1/28/12

Stitches in Bloom Quilt Show

Yesterday, I attended the Stitches in Bloom Quilt Show at the Oregon Garden in Silverton, Oregon.  We were traveling last year, and so I missed the 2011 show.  The 2010 show had featured so many delightful quilts, that I was excited to get to attend again this year.


With a different theme, the quilts were quite different from the ones I'd seen at the 2010 show; nevertheless, the quilts did not disappoint.  They were beautiful, clever, interesting, and [fill in your favorite adjective].  It was well worth the one-hour drive south to see them. 

When I wrote this post, I went on at some length about the aspects of the show that needed improvement, in my humble opinion.  Some of you will thank me for moving my "suggestions" to the bottom of the post.  Read it if you like.  With that off my chest, I went on to tell you about the quilts.

Of course, I took lots of pictures, and I used my new camera on the "Museum" scene setting.  The museum scene is intended to be for indoor shots when flash is not allowed.  Indeed, there was a sign at the door requesting no flash photography.  As I looked through the digital viewfinder, the images appeared at first to be too dark; but as I watched, the screen brightened up, and the images were plenty bright, and--bonus!--in focus.  I just love my new camera!  It is going to serve me well when I travel to the International Quilt Festival in Ireland in June, which (teeth chattering because I am a fearful flyer) is coming right up.

So without further commentary, here is the first batch of pictures.  (I took too many for one post, and so I'll show them over a few days.)  Here we go:

The first quilt reminded me of some fabric I picked up while we were traveling in New Mexico last winter.  It was a painted quilt with quilting added for texture.  I had the feeling that some of the stitching had been added to the fabric before it was sandwiched and quilted, to add texture to the fabric itself.



This next one is from an image of the McMinnville, Oregon, farmer's market.  McMinnville is the town just a little to the west of where I live, and I'm a sucker for farmer's markets anyway.



There were several different versions of this next quilt.  It was inspired by a Mystery Quilt that appeared in the January, 2011, issue of American Quilter magazine. 


When I saw so many of these at the show I had one of those "I-could-have-entered-my-quilt-in-this-show!" moments that I often have when I go to a quilt show. So far, I haven't had the courage.  Just to show you I'm not kidding, here's my own version of the same quilt.  I donated mine to the tornado survivors in Joplin, MO, last year.


This next quilt was one of my favorites.  It was so cleverly done.



Just look at the detail in the guitar rosette.  I love the bead work.  I am a classical guitarist, and this delighted me.


Here is the detail of the little three-dimensional leaf border in the center of the quilt.


This being an election year, I couldn't resist showing you this quilt of President Barak Obama.  The little pieces that make up the design are only one-half inch squares of fabric.  Someone has a lot of patience.



This next quilt was my favorite in this show.  So cute and clever, and the details are just incredible.  The name of this quilt was "Dressed to the Nines".


 Just look at the clever detail in the little dresses!


The hangers were made with some sort of wire.  I would say it is copper, but copper would tarnish.  In any case, it looked like copper wire.


Can you see the little straps on this dress?


Finally, I can never resist a cat quilt.



Look at their precious rick-rack whiskers and button eyes.



So, I feel a need to opine that I thought the $10 admission price was too high, and the venue much too crowded. The quilt show could be much improved if the hall were larger, or else the vendors moved to a different building. For one thing, it was difficult to get up close to the quilts because so many people were packed into the building, and it was nearly impossible to take pictures of them. I wasn't alone in my desire to photograph them. The most popular quilts had the biggest crowds, of course, and it seemed to me that those closest to the quilts were grudging about giving up their desirable vantage point. Although there might be several people waiting for others to step aside, those closest to the quilts seemed to think that was a really good time to strike up a chit-chat about something that happened last weekend while they were doing such and so . . . a topic completely unrelated to the quilt they were looking at. While I don't think my desire to photograph the quilts should usurp their desire to eye them up close for as long as they like, it does seem that they could step aside at some point so that others could have a chance to admire them up close as well. 

The crowded venue also meant that no matter which direction one walked (a more accurate description might be "elbowed"), one seemed to be heading upstream throughout the show.  There were simply too many people and too little space to maneuver.  Women being a social group, there really was no space to allow for standing and conversing without blocking others trying to move from quilt to quilt.  Keep in mind that I was there on Friday when there would be fewer attendees.  The show is continuing today, Saturday, and I can only imagine that it will be even worse for those visitors.  It's too bad really because it makes the show less enjoyable, and it short-changes the quilters whose quilts are on display.


The rather steep $10 admission price includes admission to the beautiful Oregon Garden. However, the show is held annually in January, which means it is extremely unlikely that the weather will cooperate and allow visitors to enjoy the garden itself. If the show organizers are using that as an enticement, then they should rethink their strategy.  While yesterday was a relatively nice day for weather, the fog didn't burn off until after I'd left the show at around 1:00 p.m., and in any case, the temperatures never made it into the 40's.  It was simply too cold to linger outside for very long.  This is a relatively small show and $10 for admission is not a good value.

After I left the show I visited two of my favorite quilt shops.  An hour south of where I live, it was a good opportunity, and so I took advantage of it.  I did not buy any fabric, however.  I was the picture of restraint!  I'll tell you about both shops in separate posts, and I'll be showing you more quilts as well.

10 comments from clever and witty friends:

Rachel said...

While it is a large show, I had much the same feeling at Road To California this year. TOO crowded (and I went on a Thursday!) That said, you got to see some very beautiful quilts. Thanks for sharing them!!

Vroomans' Quilts said...

Some of our guild members have sent entries for the Int'. Quilt Festival in Ireland - and we made several flowers for the outside walkway. How cool that you are going.

I think a lot of the smaller shows have too high an admission price as well as over crowding. Since I don't walk well for long periods, I have to use my wheelchair - just not manageable in crowded places. So I tend to only get to 'visit' a show if I am vending - I can view the quilts before or after.

LynCC said...

You're going to the Ireland show!!!!! Ohh!!!!! I am SOOOOO Jealous!!!!! :D Make sure you have enough fun for me, too, please!

AlessandraLace said...

oh, amazing quilts. thank you for sharing. hugs

Rosetta said...

Bellissimi, uno piĆ¹ dell'altro.
Ciao

Loretta said...

Sorry you had this problem...large crowd can be straining. Congrats on your trip...of course you know we want to see pics...lots of them! Hope you have a wonderful Saturday...please give George a hug for us...He's stolen a piece of my heart...the big cutie-pie! lol

Heartsdesire said...

If they are charging $10 admission, they should have enough money in their guild fund to find a larger venue. The quilters who worked so hard on their quilts loose out because not everyone gets to see them up close. And we all want to see the fabrics being used and the stitching. I congratulate you for showing such restraint. Two quilt shops and not a purchase at either, well done. Looking forward to seeing some more quilt show photos.

make.share.give said...

Thanks for sharing your day at the show with us. As I read the post, I smiled- did you notice almost every picture you chose had orange in it? It's my son's favorite color and it's really grown on me the past few years.
I've not had the courage to enter a quilt show either, but maybe this is the year?

Lynda Halliger-Otvos said...

Thanks for sharing these great photos of really neat quilts. I look forward to seeing the other photos you took there. And to not buy at TWO stores-wow, you had your 'restraint' shoes on didn't you ?~!

Kate said...

Thanks for sharing all the photos of the beautiful quilts. I thnk my favorite on is the "Dressed to the 9s", very detailed. Though the cat quitl is very cute.

Too bad the show was so crowded. I think it's a common problem at smaller local shows. The venue choice is probably limited and they may not have many options. But from an attendee perspective those problems are just maddening.