Finally, the long awaited day arrives! I drive two hours down to Athens, OH early afternoon so I can have the gallery all to myself! Unfortunately my graphic designer couldn’t come at tha last minute due to a sick child.
It was a lovely but cold day and I arrived before the 3pm opening to the artists and just walked around the gallery alone in silence!
This show seemed particularly beautiful! Is it because I know the quilts so intimately now after working with their images for months?
At 3pm the artists only were allowed into the gallery and that’s when the fun began! I tried to get autographs in my copy of the show catalog and also photos of the artists with their work.
Right at the front entrance was this quilt…Mona in the Era of Social Butterflies by John Lefelhocz. John had frames ready so we could take his photo to resemble Mona’s! funny man! What you can’t see is that Mona is made up of ‘keys’ with letters on them that is a series of words/thoughts! Very clever!
This quilt, MOONSET by Brienne Brown, had so much detail and tiny free motion images that it blew me away! It is dark gray silk with two different colors of black thread at base and two different white shades in this jellyfish area. Wow! And I thought I had seen fantastic free motion but this and the next one were masterpieces.
Round and Round It Goes by Paula Kovarik. This quilt turned out to be the endpapers of the book and it is so impressive. The flowing free motion of the quilt story idea is mesmerizing and you could stare at it for hours and still not see it all! Of course many collectors were fighting over purchasing this one but I think Paula will keep this masterpiece.
At the front door, I saw this artist, Cris Fee from Ohio and I did a double take and looked over my shoulder to the quilt on the wall called Contemplating Self and knew she was the artist! It is a remarkable self portrait in fabric and perfectly done, don’t you agree?
A few years ago at the Houston quilt show, it was all abuzz with the awards won by a new girl, Sheila Frampton-Cooper. Isn’t that a rock star name? So I was glad to be able to meet and talk with her about this quilt, From a Seed. To me it looks like a funky bird! Sheila has lots of energy, enthusiasm and ideas. Her painting and stitching techniques are wonderful. Perhaps this is ‘modern’ quilting in a different sense of the word!
Brigitte Kopp came from Germany to see her quilt, Hands Off-Hau ab!
and Dianne Firth came from Australia. This quilt, STORM, is two layers of net with red felt ‘raindrops’ sandwiched between. When you hang it 10” from the wall and shine a light on it, you get this tremendous shadowing effect!
I have been wanting to meet Robin Schwalb since I am drawn to her asian themed quilts with a little bit of whimsy. This is called Jive Boss Sweat and comes from a recent trip to Japan. She lives in Brooklyn, my former stomping grounds and we had a nice short talk.
A very nice souvenir that Quilt National made for each of the artists is a poster starring a detail of their quilt to take home! Every quilt could have been a cover which made it so very hard for us to decided this year!
At 5pm, the doors were opened to the families and the general public and the gallery was filled to capacity so it was nice that we had a few hours alone with just the artists. Appetizers and drinks were served for two hours and the winners of the awards were announced.
At 7pm, the artists and invited guests went to the Ohio Univ Inn down the street for the banquet and awards celebration. I was fortunate enough to sit at the head table with the director of the Dairy Barn and the director of Quilt National along with sponsors, Luana Rubin of eQuilter.com, Robert James of the International Quilt Study Center and Museum, Friends of Fiber Art and Marianne Burr, cover artist.
Elin Noble was the lucky winner of the trip to Japan to teach and visit!
I wish I could have stayed for the next day when they had breakfast at the barn followed by a tour of the quilts with the artists explaining their thoughts on their pieces. But I had to return home for graduation of my youngest son which was even more exciting than the opening…at least to me!