Friday, July 7, 2017

Vermont Quilt Festival Part II

     The Vermont Quilt Festival just may be my favorite quilt show. One reason, the drive up is spectacular-- it's also located near Burlington on Lake Champlain which is a beautiful town to tool around. The show is unjuried; all you need do is mail in your entry on February 1st and they will take the first ones to come in. Each work is judged on its own merits, not against the others, so you can have multiple first places in the same category. And you get a three page critique from the judges at the show's end. It's a great place to start if you want to show quilts.

     We arrived in Vermont quite late (see the previous post, lol) and missed the awards ceremony. But were still on time for the preview. Actually, my friend Tere and I had such fun on the way up, I was feeling like a ribbon for my "New England Album" could not really improve the day. But being an award winning quilter herself, Tere understood the need to find the "baby" first-- and there it was...

... with a little spot of blue!! I don't mean to be ungrateful having done well at the shows and bringing home some red and yellow... but this is the FIRST time I've ever been FIRST in anything... yes, I was third in my high school class, second in my junior high spelling bee, then there was a spate of honorable mentions, etc, etc. I felt so happy!

    Now we were free to wander the show and here are some of my favorites-- I have to say, quilting is one sport where everyone should get a participation ribbon because everything, absolutely everything, was so beautiful.

Let's start with Best of Show-- it was IMPOSSIBLE to get a good shot of the whole quilt because of all the buzz, but here's a detail shot. Yup, those basket strips are about 1/8" wide. All hand quilted. All because Barbara's friend Carol gave her some embroidery floss so she wanted to use it! That is love.
"Thread's of Friendship" (Carol's Gift)  Barbara Korengold

 The show theme was "Colors of the Seasons" and this quilt only represented Christmas, but what is not to love about snow globes. All embroidered, too! The quilting was exquisite.
"A Turquoise Christmas" Jolene Lewis
    I fell in love with this from across the room.. and first I thought the hexies were appliqued on white, but NO! It was entirely made up of hexies and they are less than 1" wide. Watercolor quilts are somewhat out of vogue now, but I love them. I voted for this one "Viewer's Choice."
"Granny Pink's English Garden" Jennifer Billard
 We just finished "Le Petit Jardin" Sew-a-Long, and this won best miniature. Exquisite. Love the prairie points.
"Le Petit Jardin" Christine Wickert
    Having an ice skating daughter, I learned to love the winter, mostly because I sat in an ice rink all summer. Beautiful snowflakes here. I am not sure that Norma Ippolito machine embroidered or longarmed the detail snowflake, but you couldn't tell because it was so perfectly done.
"Sapphires on Snow" Norma Ippoilito

    Once you finish ogling the show quilts, you might feel like you are finished, but no.... there is an entire hall on the other end of the building with special exhibits.

    This piece was in Katie Pasquini Masopust's Life Work exhibit. Coming from an art background, I loved her painterly approach in fabric! This puts to rest the idea that quilts are craft, not art-- the Museum of Modern Art could display this person's work, with pride. I was able to catch her walking tour the next day.
Graffiti V, 2015, Katie Pasquini Masopust

   The Vermont Quilt Festival always shows vintage quilts each year, and I enjoy this part immensely. This year, they focused on stars, which I mentioned before, I LOVE. None of these quilters ever imagined the honor they would receive, because none bothered to sign them. :-( They were just identified by the current owner and a generic name.

  Get those labels on the backs of your quilts, people! The say it's not a quilt till it's quilted, but I say, it's not finished until it's labelled!

Maine Star c. 1885 Collection of Debra Grana

Touching Five Stars c. 1902 Collection of Sharon Waddell

Seven Pointed Lone Star c. 1900 Collection of Sharon Waddell

     Nancy Prince was a guest lecturer. If you follow the show circuit, a winter scene like this won Best of Show in Houston a couple of years back. She thread paints these little scenes with so much heart, it makes us all yearn for the past. The siding on the little house was made of flanges-- perfectly done.
"Longing for the Past" Nancy Prince

The teaching staff always puts their own piece in the show. This is Kimberly Einmo's "Cathedral." Gorgeous. I took a class with her at MQX East last year, and if you ever have the opportunity to, grab it. Kim is all heart, has really made piecing a science. I loved her story of how her dad wanted her to be an engineer and was disappointed when she didn't pursue it. But then she invented her own rulers, and he was one proud papa-- I bought all of them! XOX

Loved this portrait. It amazes me how pixelated pieces like this look like abstract art up close, but then you back away, and Grandma emerges. A loving tribute to a real person.

"Sky Blue Pink" Cathy Brown

Back at the main hall, I noticed Tere had kind of a pained expression on her face, which you might have thought was from exhaustion. I asked her what was wrong and she said, "Not everybody got a ribbon!"

And we lamented the fact that every one deserved a ribbon-- quilting is a sport where, YES, I do believe in participation ribbons. But I have been in the judging room and have witnessed three exhausted people hopelessly trying to put a number on that which is sublime. 

So here's my own category "Priceless."
"Flowers from the Ashes" Judith Barden

"Mustang's Midnight Freedom" Run Karen Kay Hopkins

"Parking in London" Wendy Sanden

"Snippets and Scraps Sampler" Kristin Bahn

After two hours, the expression on both our faces was pained and this time, it was really pain! The show was closing and we went back to check up on the "baby" and say goodnight... and we saw this! 

A spot of purple...

    A special award ribbon had been added to my quilt! I couldn't believe it... 

    Tere gave me a big hug, and then seeing the gesture, a stranger came over to look... none of us even knew what the award was for, so this person obliging went to find out... it was "Best Use of Machine Embroidery" which, of course, is the one I have always dreamed of. 

     Then another person came over seeing the little commotion going on, then a person with a huge camera.... Tere was trying to take my picture with her cell phone... by this time I had a little audience so I didn't really know where to look... in the end, in Tere's picture I had my eyes closed and was looking at the floor. But no picture could have captured my feelings at that point-- the perfect day had suddenly turned into one of life's beautiful moments, and I wanted to share it with the world so everyone would feel that way with me..

We stayed through Friday and left for home Saturday morning and did this:

All in all, my best VQF ever!



  1. Wasn't it a great show? Congratulations on your ribbons and it was wonderful to see the quilt in person. My best friend got a red ribbon for her 365 Challenge quilt. And the antique quilts from Sharon and Deb were outstanding. I particularly love the Pennsylvania Dutch pink-green-yellow-red quilts.

    1. LOVED your friend's quilt... what an achievement! Some of the blocks would have taken me longer than a day to make.... I'll stick with blocks of the month! XOX

  2. Thanks so much for sharing your trip. The quilts are all BEAUTIFUL, but, your quilt is EXCEPTIONAL!!! So very, very happy for you.