I had a great trip the the Maine state quilt show on Saturday. It's almost an hour to Augusta and I got to listen to NPR all the way. Delightful. Some interesting stories on Weekend Edition about fight clubs (inconceivable) and a new documentary being made about Timothy Treadwell (also inconceivable though for completely different reasons). And then just a few minutes of Click and Clack. (What would you do if you found $3200 dollars in small bills under the carpet of the used car you just bought?)
I zipped through the show for my first run in just about an hour seeing all the quilts and vendors. Then I went back and considered the quilts much more carefully. Over all: uninspiring. I hate to say that, because in truth, I believe every quilt that someone makes and loves is super fantastic! And that they put it out there to be seen and shared: even more super fantastic. But, on the whole I saw very little that I thought showed a real spark of creativity. It's not so much that I even mind predictable patterns or traditional colors, it just all seemed to lack oomph. Ok, not all. Some were great. None knocked my socks off.
Our quilt show has a unique judging system in that there are three judges, they each judge every quilt on a 100 point scale, the three scores are averaged and if the quilt falls into a certain range, it's awarded a ribbon for that number value. Yes, every quilt in the catagory could win first place. Or no ribbons at all. This system has pros and cons which I will not bore you with.
I was glad to see more first place ribbons this year. Good work, Maine Quilters! Or maybe I should, thanks for taking your heads out of your butts, Judges.
I am thrilled to say that Sarah Smith of the Frayed Edges won an Exceptional Merit ribbon for her Bijagos Warrior. Exceptional Merit is for quilts with an average score above 97! There were only three in the whole show. Way to go Sarah!
The Best of Show was by Nancy Prince. Here's a picture from her website. She was teaching at the show this weekend. Frankly, her work appears to be technically flawless and her design sense is charming is a Thomas Kinkade sort of way, but I'm not a huge fan. (ohh I hesitate to even write that... I hate the idea of making anyone feel badly... it's not that there is anything wrong with it. It's just not my thing. )
Pat LaPierre McAfee won the third Exceptional Merit ribbon. It's called Alphabetically Speaking.
She also made this quilt which won Best of Show last year and has made some rounds on the circuit. Boy, she's got that free motion thing down. I also loved chatting with her at her booth where she sells the "easy slider" a sheet of teflon to put on top of your machine that helps the fabric move easy under the needle.
Speaking of chatting with vendors... it is such a delight to be greeted enthusiastically when I come into a booth! In my quick first round, a few things caught my eye. But I ended up buying stuff from only two vendors. They were both so engaging, supportive, helpful, interested and fun. I was thrilled to spit out my cash. In fact, I probably spent more than I would have if we hadn't "built a relationship." I'll write more about those purchases and post a picture tomorrow.
There was also a special exhibit of loon quilts. Fun -- all kinds of quilts, some original, some from patterns, small, big...
I was pleased to show "Day at the Lake." My mom did the applique and construction and I did the quilting. She lives on Lake Ontario and it was a delightful project to do together.
Then there was the Art Quilts Maine Self Portrait Challenge. Eleven of our members showed quilts. Here's mine. You can look through my March archives for the progress of this. I'm pleased with it. It was fun to make. I learned a lot about what I like to do and what is tiresome.
Here's Kathy's portrait. (She's in my small group, Frayed Edges.) The coat opens up to reveal tons of creative energy and spirit! And the face is a beautiful likeness.
Here is another self portrait from our group. This is Julie Weaver. I think the technique and execution is fantastic. She told us how she did it at our last guild meeting. I'm not sure I remember.
Remember I said not much else struck my fancy? Here are three that did.
Day Lilies by Johann Chellis (also a member of Art Quilts Maine)
Something wonderful and traditional in the Green and the Purple.
Also wonderful and traditional.