I was lucky enough to visit the Auckland Festival of Quilts 2015 over the weekend. There were plenty of gorgeous quilts on display, and the new venue had better lighting and more space in which to view them to their full potential. There were a few trends I noted and I’m going to talk about one of them which stood out for me, and that’s hand quilting.
In 1989, Caryl Bryer Fallet’s quilt, Corona 2, became the first machine quilted quilt to win Best of Show at AQS. It caused quite a stir because up until then hand quilting was seen as the only proper way to quilt a quilt. In the following 16 or so years, machine quilting has not only been accepted, it has been wholeheartedly embraced by the quilting community.
So it was refreshing to see so many hand quilted quilts at the Festival of Quilts. It was also refreshing that the hand quilting was not always paired with traditional patterns but also used with modern designs and colours.
This was a wool quilt, appropriately called ‘Woolly Quilt III’, made by Dawn Borovich. Started in a Sue Weston workshop, the hand quilting beautifully complemented the simple but rich colours.
This fun and bright quilt is called ‘Panic in Paducah’ and was made from a kit by Nancy Thompson. Nancy was paralyzed by all the choices in the biggest quilt store she’d even been to in Paducah, USA and so choose a kit where most of the choices had been made for her. The circles she has hand quilted over the square piecing is a wonderful offset
And oh my, this quilt was a stunner! And a prize-winner. Carol Newsham made a Kim McLean pattern and won Best Hand Appliqué or Embellishment, sponsored by The Embroiderer, Best Hand Quilting, sponsored by Patchwork Passion and First Prize Professional Bed Quilts, sponsored by Donnas Quilt Studio. Need I say more?
There were some more traditional quilts with beautiful hand quilting on them too.
This quilt was called ‘Lemons et al’ and was a Becky Goldsmith pattern made by Anita Arbery. Anita made a lovely job with this quilt and her fabric choices, and her hand quilted feather border was a nice touch.
‘Rajastan’ by Heather Wheeler was completely made of silks that she bought on her travels to India. The appliqué and quilting was even done with threads from the silks! I liked the texture created by the closely worked hand quilting on the border. Heather must have lots of patience!
I hope you’ve enjoyed this glimpse into the Auckland Festival of Quilts and perhaps it’s inspired you to give the precious art of hand quilting a try on your next quilt.