Joen Wolfrom’s Playing with Color: Celebrating this Holiday Week with More Beautiful Quilts from HoustonJoen Wolfrom | December 22, 2011
It’s a beautiful time of year with the anticipation of all that December has to offer. I am madly attempting to finish a project by Friday noon. I assume all of you have your own deadlines and seasonal stresses to deal with too. Recognizing that we are all maxed out on time and energy, there will be no color lessons this week or next.
In this post I am featuring another group of quilts that caught my eye at the Houston IQA show this fall. They are each amazing in their own unique ways. Whenever possible, I have added links to the quilt artists whose works are shown. I hope you check out their pages when you have time. (Again, you’ll find black stands with white papers, ribbons, and other distracting objects in front of some of these quilts, which couldn’t be helped. Photos are informally taken with my little Nikon point ‘n shoot.) Enjoy!
Summer Fantasy by Joanne Baeth, Susan Massini, Dona Ford, Cheryl Carbone, and Louise Page
I absolutely love this quilt. When my eyes fell upon it, it reminded me so much of a delicate watercolor painting. Later I learned this quilt was a recreation of a watercolor painting by Bev Barmore, Joanne’s cousin. Summer Fantasy was created by a five-member art group from Oregon. A photo of this painting was divided into five sections. Each member completed one section. Joanne pieced together the sections and then quilted the artwork.
I find this a fascinating group quilt, as it’s not an easily divisible image at first or second glance. Without a doubt, this art group is both talented and skilled. Perhaps this quilt will entice others to create a different group quilt—one that is both challenging and fun.
Now for those of you who love pieced quilts based on traditional roots, this next quilt is a real delight!
All Geared Up by Mary Bauer, Crestwood, Kentucky
What a fantastic quilt this is. Mary was inspired by one of John Flynn’s quilts. Although I am not certain which of his many quilts was this quilt’s inspiration, I assume it is John’s Snail’s Trail quilt. However, John has many amazing contemporary quilts that have historic roots.
I really like the way Mary has stretched these trails. She has created movement and a sense of dimensionality through overlapping. I am enthralled with traditionally-based quilts that are ingeniously transformed into contemporary statements. This quilt was paper pieced.
Congratulations on the great quilt, Mary. I can hardly wait to see what you come up with next.
Lift Your Eyes to the Hills by Pat Durbin of Eureka, California
Pat Durbin is noted for her beautiful landscape quilts. Each year she creates at least one quilt that celebrates the beauty of our world. This quilt was inspired by a Glacier National Park (Montana) scene. Her husband Gary took this photo, which Pat used as her inspiration.
Pat wanted to replicate the mood evoked from this setting. She used many techniques to create this imagery, including painting, machine applique, free-motion machine embroidery, thread painting, machine quilting, and piping. This looks like another winner, Pat. It’s beautiful.
Sakura I: Hanaogi Views the Cherry Blossoms by Megan Farkas from Sanbornton, New Hampshire
Megan Farkas’s Sakura I: Hanaogi Views the Cherry Blossoms is an elegant quilt that evokes a sense of subtle gracefulness in a land of yesteryear. This quilt was inspired by a Japanese woodblock from the 1790s.
Having made seventeen kimonos a few years ago for a school play (for one of my grandson’s class), I was especially interested in Megan’s beautiful kimonos. I loved seeing the variations in her kimono designs. Megan also took time to add silk cherry blossoms to the scene, which added an extra touch of springtime ambiance.
It’s such a delight to see a large hand appliquéd quilt such as this. It also includes embroidery, hand quilting, and some outlining with black marker. Megan used cottons, Hobbs Polydown batting, cotton threads, embroidery floss, “silk” flowers, and beads.
Megan received a special award at the IQA Show. Congratulations, Megan, for receiving the Future of Quilting Award. This special recognition is given to talented young quilters—–they have to be young enough not to be eligible to be a U.S. president (just in case you live in another country, that would be under the age of 35). Do check out Megan’s facebook page to see some of her other quilts.
Reflections by Carol Swinden from Cape Traverse, PEI, Canada
This quilt is so novel and refreshing. Carol Swindon took a picture of a neighbor’s 1959 Cadillac. The title of the quilt has two meanings. A nearby tree is reflected many times on the car’s shiny surfaces. This quilt reflects back on the 50 years since this classic car was made. Carol created this quilt with machine piecing, raw-edge appliqué, and machine quilting; She used cottons, tulle, organza, and satin. As often said in the 50s, this is really cool!
Cape Cod Window by Sara Sharp, Austin, Texas
This lovely Cape Cod window has been photographed often over the years by Sara Sharp when on vacation. Overlooking Cod Bay from this rustic cottage, this scene feels so natural with the use of many illusions. It is a feat to create illusions through color change in fabric. The luster on the apples, the reflections on the wine bottles, and the shadows on the counter top add such richness to this window setting. Cape Cod Window is pieced, fused, machine appliquéd, painted, decorative machine stitched, and free-motion stitched.
Be certain to check out Sara Sharp’s website (link above). You will be treated to some amazing artwork.
The Hues of Amber by Karlyn Bue Lohrenz from Billings, Montana
Karlyn Bue Lohrenz’s The Hues of Amber has a luscious vibrancy that creates beautiful visual drama throughout the design. Karlyn loves amber and used this quilt to explore the many color nuances within this gem. Having spent some time in the Baltic region where amber is so highly regarded, this quilt really attracted my attention. Its beautiful flowing movement and undulating colors are captivating.
I have put a link to one of Karlyn’s U-Tube videos above. It gives an excellent overview of her quilt journey.
Gossip Garden by Debbie Martinez from Hobart, Indiana
Debbie Martinez’s Gossip Garden symbolizes the many facets of gossip, but most particularly the idea that gossip starts with just a little comment and grows larger as it moves from one mouth to another. Notice how cleverly Debra has illustrated this concept, as the mouth sizes increase as they move farther away. Debra’s quilt is filled with clever details. Gossip Garden is a quilt with an important message brought to us in a light-hearted way. You can see a few additional quilts by Debbie in the link provided (above).
As you can see, the creative spirit is alive and well in the quilting world. Aren’t these quilts wonderful? If you want to leave a comment, feel free to do so. FYI, our blog comment space appears after the Facebook comment area.
Merry Christmas and Happy Hanukkah! I hope this week brings you joy and offers you the opportunity to add many more loving, happy memories to your memory bank. I can hardly wait for Saturday to arrive!
Text and photography copyright © Joen Wolfrom
The copyright of the quilts shown in this post remains with those artists who created these works of art.
Joen is a color enthusiast who teaches and lectures on color. She has written three color books: Color Play, Visual Coloring, and The Magical Effects of Color. Her Studio Color Wheel is used to illustrate color concepts in many of these blog posts. She is also the designer of the 3-in-1 Color Tool. Her new book Adventures in Designis now available. Joen’s newest design tool, the Magic Design-Ratio Tool has just been released. All books and products are published by C & T Publishing.