Sunday, September 25, 2016

Pennsylvania National Quilt Extravaganza (PNQE) 2016 Recap


Last week, I attended PNQE, a Mancuso quilt show in Oaks, PA. It was about 1.5 hours from my house but it was well worth the trip for three reasons:

1. Modern quilt inspiration!
2. The Mr. attended his first quilt show!
3. My quilt won a ribbon!

More on all of these below.

1.  Mancuso shows traditionally exhibit traditional and art quilts - though their shows have a modern category this year! Well done, Mancuso. Modern quilting is a huge part of the quilting world now! That being said, I wish there had been more entries into the modern quilt category - but I found lots of modern quilting inspiration all over (especially in the gigantic international quilts exhibit).
Top left: "Purples in Africa" by Christine Vlietstra (UK); bottom left: "Sunrise, Sunset" by Heather Bitner (PA, USA); middle: "Ribbon Dance" by Rosemarie Palmer-Sungail (PA, USA), quilted by Cindy Cary; right: "Dream of All" by Harumi Iida (Japan)

Just to be clear: I have never met a quilt I didn't like (because I love quilts), and while I can appreciate traditional quilts, I'm more of a modern traditional/modern gal. So I was pleasantly surprised by the bold colors and modern elements in the exhibit.

Top left: "Colorful Trees and Streets" by Petra van den Daele (Germany); bottom left: "Life Cycle" by Jo Gallaway (UK); middle: "The Chisel Master" by Alison Laurence (NZ); right: "David" by Gilli Theokritoff (UK)

Here were some of my favorites, but it was really impossible to take pictures of them all (that's why quilt shows exist - so we can see everything in person!). I'm particularly fond of well-done quilting (and especially that done by domestic machine) so I tended to go in for up close shots.

The Philly Modern Quilt Guild had a huge exhibit (below), and that was the source of much oohing and aahing from us! I posted larger versions of some of these quilts last week on my Instagram account. It was an amazing show, and I wish we had the time to see it all.
 
Top left: "Rainbow Quilt" by Anna Levengood; bottom left: "Trees" by Jill Stafford (who I had the pleasure of meeting at the show!); middle: "Ribbon Quilt" by Sarah Bond; right: "Change from Baseline" by Deborah Woodworth

2. Though Mike and I have been together for ten years (say what, has it really been ten years?) and I've been quilting for six, he's never actually been to a quilt show. This is a real shame, since not only did I want to show off my quilt to him, but he's quite the artist himself (he draws amazingly).

He's also developed quite the expertise about quilts and free motion quilting, so we walked through, making comments on stitch length (something he's jokingly particular about since I'm not so much), color combinations, panels that were quilted vs. quilts that were completely pieced, and that sort of thing. He especially ogled over "The Chisel Master" quilt (in the second mosaic featuring the hand). The detail was absolutely stunning!

 "The Chisel Master" by Alison Laurence (NZ)

We also asked someone to take our picture in front of my quilt (the first pic in this post) because the quilt is about our marriage (you can read the story here). All in all, it was a successful day (and we had pizza, so, you know, all was even more excellent).


3. This was my second time entering a juried exhibit. Last time was QuiltCon 2015, when this quilt was automatically accepted in after it was part of the Modern Quilt exhibit at International Quilt Festival. I received some great constructive feedback from QuiltCon: color balance good, work on starts and stops with quilting + stitch length. This time around, my constructive feedback was only about squaring my quilt before binding (which I still haven't found a full proof way to do - anyone have advice on that?).

I found it interesting that the judges didn't make any comment on my stitch length and obvious stops/starts. It goes to show how much feedback can vary from show to show. That being said, I'm determined to enter my more recent works into shows because I've improved so much (still not striving for perfection though! Because it's a quilt. And I'm not perfect. And I'm not a show quilter. :)).


Otherwise, "Home" was praised for having a "mid-century modern" vibe, which is what I won the ribbon (and some prize money!) for. I originally entered it because it was my only quilt that was completely show-ready (the right label and hanging sleeve attached), and because it seemed to fit the theme of "Evolving." Overall, I'm thrilled with the experience and to see it hanging there with so many other gorgeous quilts was a joy.

Strange light in my sewing room this morning, but this is my current mini quilt wall! And yes, I've moved the blog logo quilt over because I need to figure out a better way to hang it on my door.

I'm not a show quilter (I'll say that again and again forever) but I will try to improve my craft. I know I've already improved by miles since I made this quilt in 2014.



In other news, I've just learned that "Soar" and "Deconstructed Churn Dash" (two more recent makes) will be heading to the Modern Quilt exhibit at the Ontario Museum of History and Art in California this winter! All the quilts are based on a modernized traditional block. Now that three of my quilts will have traveled to California (further west than I've been), maybe I should go someday soon? Also, lots of hand-sewing and Poldark are in my future (gotta get those quilt sleeves attached).

Did you attend PNQE? If not, what is your favorite quilt show you've ever attended? I'd have to say QuiltCon 2015 because of the sheer number of modern quilts in 1 room. Inquiring minds would like to know!

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22 comments:

  1. The only one I've been to is Quilt Canada, which was a great experience.

    And I saw someone recently using a laser guide/level (you know, from the hardware store) to square and trim off her quilt (sorry, I don't remember who!).

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  2. Oooh, it would be so great if you could make it to CA for QuiltCon in Pasadena in 2018. But if you make it to CA, I will do my best to meet you wherever that is! The show looks beautifully curated, and congratulations on the ribbon. :) The photo of you and Mike with it is lovely. And hooray for quilts being juried into another show. How fun!

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  3. Congratulations on your prize! I went back and read the story behind your quilt, and it really struck a chord with me. It's a beautiful quilt, and I love the sentiment behind its creation.

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  4. Congratulations on your ribbon!
    I've never been to a quilt show - but to be honest I've never checked whether there are any around here. But I'm all the more thankful when other bloggers share their quilt show experiences!

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  5. Thanks for writing this recap and for your pics on IG! It was like a nice little curated show since I couldn't attend. Last year my husband and I took my daughter and she loved looking at all of the colors. Plus all of those amazing quilts are so inspiring! And congrats on your ribbon!!

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  6. Thanks for highlighting some great quilts, Jess! I especially love "Change from Baseline" by Deborah Woodworth. Congrats on your award : ) (As for squaring, I have to be honest and say that I don't know, but I personally like the idea of it not being exact - maybe especially on a design like yours - because it feels authentic and handmade and not perfect and that's more of my aim. I square blocks as I go and corners on quilts with clear lines that are easy to align, but on something like this, I wouldn't bother. Feels more organic!)

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  7. Congratulations on your ribbon! Thank you for the detailed photos of the exhibits; how lucky you are to have a quilt show so close to home! I always take lots of photos too, and see plenty of inspiration, but I can't say I have incorporated any techniques yet, at least, not knowingly.

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  8. Congrats!! I love seeing judges comments! Here's my squaring up quilt tip: I square up my quilt as much as I can when trimming but I also wash my quilt and from the washer I place it on the floor and box the quilt while it is still well and then let it dry over night. It's really helped my squaring and washing hides a multitude of quilty errors ;)

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    1. Hi Heather! I'm unable to reply to your comment by email so I hope you see it here. That's a great idea! I usually don't wash quilts unless I'm giving it to someone or definitely using it here, but I could try that for certain ones. Thank you!

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  9. Congratulations, Jess! I love this quilt, and I'm very proud of your win. Do you feel a wee bit giddy?

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  10. Are you really 1.5 miles from Oaks? I'm just down 422 aways. Congrats on your ribbon. It's an awesome feeling!

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    1. Hi! I am unable to reply to your comment by email so I hope you see it here. That was a *whoops* on my part. My head said "hours" but my hands typed "miles." I didn't catch it on editing, either. :) Thank you!

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    2. Could you please explain how you enter a quilt in these shows? How do you find out about them? How does it work?

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    3. Absolutely! This particular show is a Mancuso show - they host quilt shows all over the US. I get their daily emails (you can if you'd like by scrolling to the bottom of their homepage and clicking "Join Our Mailing List" on the left): https://www.quiltfest.com/

      Other shows I hear about are mostly through Instagram. I get notifications about QuiltCon, the Modern Quilt Guild's show, through email as well. I now follow the Road to CA blog - they have a show deadline coming up Monday. Usually you pay an entry fee and send pictures of your quilt, plus all the info, and then you hear back and must ship your quilt if you get it. I hope this helps!

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  11. Congratulations on the ribbon. I love going to shows and have been fortunate to attend several throughout the US. Have you thought of entering your quilt in ROAD to CA which is a show in CA every January? Check it out. Then you could see your quilts in Ontario and at ROAD. As Yvonne mentioned Quiltcon will be back in 2018. We now have anothee show in Palm Springs in October and PIQF in October, too. Come visit us!

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    1. Hi Mary! I'm unable to reply to your comment by email so I hope you see it here. Thank you for the encouragement! I'm in the process of preparing for a few more shows and hopefully I'll make it to CA one day! :)

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  12. It sounds like the 2 of you had a great trip. Thanks for sharing the show pics; they are so inspiring. Like you I'm not a show quilter. On the rare occasion that I exhibit something (and it's definitely not at your level) I find it very challenging because all the details that require such close attention seem to take away from the fun of it.

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  13. Congrats on your great quilt show win!

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  14. Congrats! It looks like great event. Lovely quilts!

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  15. Terrific, Jess! I've always been smitten with this quilt--and the woodgrain quilting is amazing. Gotta love a guy who goes to a quilt show AND brings you milkshakes :) Can I borrow him?

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  16. Karen McTavish has great instructions for squaring a quilt prior to binding...takes two people and a large carpeted area! My favorite quilt show was the International Quilt Show in Birmingham, England. I flew over with 4 quilting friends from Florida (I live in Washington state) and we spent almost 3 weeks there, 2 weeks with 2 lovely quilters from Tealby, England who welcomed us into their homes and took us all over Linconshire!!! The International Quilt Show had something like 2,000 quilts hanging...so amazing and I want to go back! I also want to go to the quilt show in Sydney, Australia. I don't want much, do I??

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  17. Congratulations on your ribbon, Jess! I appreciate posts like this one because -- *get this* -- I've never been to a quilt show. (I KNOW!) Reading about different shows, what I might find at them, how quilts are judged, etc. is helpful to me.

    I don't quilt with the intention of submitting my projects to shows, either, but it would be awesome to have a listing of modern-quilt-friendly shows. You know, if you're swimming in free time and looking for post suggestions!

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