This past Saturday, Beth, the Kids, and I went to "A Kaleidoscope of Quilts" presented by the Champlain Valley Quilters' Guild of Vermont located at Shelburne Farms in Shelburne, Vermont.
First off, let me explain that the Guild began in 1979, now has 250 members, and now does some amazing work! Tight seams, small stitch size (for those that actually hand quilted), and great themes. We'll take a closer look in a bit.
Now that praise is outta the way, let me gripe: with artwork of these sizes, WHY, WHY, WHY would you display them in such tight quarters?!? Come on ladies, you need to find a better solution than the Coach Barn. The racks were spaced at most five feet apart and sized just to fit the quilts. Ladies were bumping into each other, you couldn't take in the entire quilt at once, people flow was non-existent, and don't get me started on how hot it was inside. If these were paintings or photographs an art gallery would never consider cramming them so tight. Come on Shelburne Farms, give these works of art the space they deserve.
I spoke with a volunteer coordinator upon entering the show and made sure that photographing the quilts was allowed, and thankfully it was. Upon entering the display room, I found myself one of may with cameras snapping pictures. The spacing was so tight that even with my widest angle lens I couldn't get many of the quilts completely in a frame. So, I had to settle for some closeups... which is fine as it shows some of the very fine work these ladies do.
You can see all my shots here, but these are not all inclusive by far. There were too many quilts with too many people in front of them to get shots of them all.
"Baltimore Album" by Patricia Egan and Carol Egan is quilt meticulously hand quilted with the straightest lines I've ever seen. Certainly lines were drawn then removed, but even the stitches are parallel. It was really elegant.
"What Made Your Childhood Shine?" by Jane Massenas is the first quilt I've seen that is three dimensional. Jane sewed little tabs with inscribed with things like "love" and "kiss" along with fabrics that gave this quilt texture. Very busy, and very unique. I like it!
"Wool Bees" by Hope Johnson caught my eye due to it's hexagonal shape. Getting closer, it is indeed wool fabrics and just screams "WARM!". Sized smaller, it certainly wouldn't fit my 6+ foot frame.
Lastly, as advertised in their brochure, is the "Ground Zero" quilt. This commemorative quilt depicting over 600 images of people lost during the attacks of September 11th, 2001 was created by Lois Jarvis of Madison, Wisconsin.
Sorry, this quilt isn't as grand as it sounds. Visually unstimulating and creatively drab, the only thing of note about this quilt is the faces printed on the pieces of fabric.
Sure, Lois's heart was in the right place, and sure, piecing the star shows her technical ability, but come on, it looks like she just threw on the gray border! I don't think I'm alone in this opinion either, as when I encountered this quilt, it was all alone without a single admirer.
I encourage you to take a look at the pics I shot and keep in mind that I didn't get the best shots, nor complete coverage of all the works. And if you are in the area, or need a vacation in New England, you should really try to stop by next year and see the show. These quilts were, in my opinion based on many evenings of using quilts and being pulled into many quilt stores, simply stellar examples of this art form. BRAVO LADIES! You all should be proud!