Back from Vermont and Montreal

What a lovely mini-vacation!  All traveling went smoothly, the weather was excellent (we understand we escaped the heat wave!), and we enjoyed ourselves immensely.

As always the Vermont Quilt Festival was worth attending.  I have gone for 15-16 straight years and have never been disappointed.  The quality of the show ranges from good to excellent, depending on the overall quality of the show quilts and the special exhibits.  This year’s show didn’t rank as one of the best, but I stll really enjoyed it.  What held it back was that I didn’t care as much for the special exhibits this year and, after reviewing my pics from last year, confirmed that in my opinion there weren’t quite as many really excellent quilts in the contest, though there still were many nice ones.  The antique quilt exhibit is always a highlight and this year’s was very good – quilts from the Gerald Roy collection.  Unfortunately no pics were allowed.  The vendors were wonderful and I managed to get some supplies that can’t be found in my local shops.

Overall there were not enough hand quilted quilts for my tastes.  Although there were several beautifully machine quilted quits, I saw quite a few “Ho-Hum” machine quilted quilts which would have benefited greatly from hand quilting.  I didn’t count the number of quilts done by hand but the percentage was pretty small.  I did check the teacher’s exhibit of 18 quilts and 17 were quilted entirely by machine and the 18th was half done by machine!

Following are some of my favorite quilts from the show:

I LOVED the Best of Show quilt!   It’s “Sampling the Silk Road” by Christine Wickert. It’s not that often that my favorite quilt is Best of Show but this time it was.  It was made entirely of silk, including the batting and thread.  The hand quilting is exquisite – a different pattern in each block.  Besides Best of Show, it received a blue ribbon for “Exceptional Merit” which means it scored between 98-100 points total and it received the ribbon for best applique.

Sampling_the_silk_road
Silk_road_close_up

The next quilt is “Zen Garden” by Margaret Gunn.  It won “Best Mixed Media” award and was beautifully machine quilted.

Zen_garden
Zen_garden_closeup

The next quilt is “Dandelions” by Kathleen McLaughlin.  Great overall graphic design and imaginative use of fabrics!  The full quilt picture is blurry so I can only show you a partial view but you get the idea – the full quilt has 25 (5×5) “dandelions.”  Machine quilted.

Dandelions

I liked this next quilt, “The Tsar’s Decree” by Megan Farkas because of the unusual design and because it was all made by hand and the quilting is nicely done.  This quilt actually highlights for me how “tough” the judging is at the Vermont show.  I’ve noticed over the years that it is difficult to get a blue ribbon – you’re score has to be 94 or above to do so.  The range for a red ribbon is also narrow – between 90 and 93.  Yellow, or third, is 85-89.  I’m pretty sure these are narrower ranges and higher scores needed than at most other shows.  This quilt got a yellow ribbon – not sure why.  Also, this quilt won FIRST PLACE for hand quilted small wall hangings this year at the Americal Quilter’s Society national show in Paducah!  That is a very prestigious show and very difficullt to win an award at.  I can’t explain the discrepancy!

The_tsars_decree

The next quilt is “Leaves Fall” by Ann Feitelson.  I love the graphic nature of the quilt and how she has used color and changed the colors as they flow across the quilt.  She had a beautiful quilt in last year’s show which also demonstrated a great sense of color and design.

Leaves_fall
Leaves_closeup

This next quilt was FUN!  It’s “Mind Your Own Beeswax” by Hope Johnson, who won a Judge’s Choice award.  I love the design and how creative and different it is.

Mind_your_own_beeswax
Mind_beeswax_closeup

I liked the folk art style of “Mother’s Garden” by Barbara Vedder; this was beautifully hand quilted.

Mothers_garden

I liked the strong graphic design of “The Jewel in the Crown” by Dawn Hayes and loved her use of silk fabrics and the fact that the quilting was nicely done by hand.

Jewel_in_the_crown

Finally, the next quilt, “Superstar” by Marilyn Badger was, as far as I could tell, the only quilt besides the Best of Show to get an “Exceptional Merit” ribbon so to me that means it almost won Best of Show.  No doubt this was the best long arm machine quilting in the show and she is nationally known and has won awards in major shows. I’m showing it because it is amazing, but at heart, not my cup of tea.

Superstar

I think that’s enough for today!!!

Next post I will share some photos from Montreal and soon I would like to say something about the supreme court’s decision about the Affordable Care Act since I am an MD and have pretty strong feelings on this!.

Thanks for stopping by!

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