Field Report from Sisters Outdoor Quilt Show

Yesterday I drove to Sisters, Oregon for the annual Outdoor Quilt Show. It’s the first quilt event I’ve attended (QuiltCon will be my second). I walked up and down all four streets, but definitely didn’t see all the quilts as there were over 1,300 and many were inside stores or down side lanes. Here are the highlights of what I did see.

Clearly I have a strong preference for improvised piecing using varied and/or salvage fabrics and quilted by hand. Carol Webb was a featured quilter, and her work was mostly hand-quilted and used hand-dyed fabrics. These things seem to give the quilts depth and keep my eyes moving.

SOQS Carol Webb-1040612

SOQS Carol Webb-1040554

Some of these look like sari fabric:

SOQS Carol Webb-1040552

The streaky tie-dye background is totally working for me here:

SOQS Carol Webb-1040550

This is Sarah Peery’s Fibonnaci Sequence Gone Wild. I like the colours and the over-the-top amount of quilting:
SOQS Sarah Peery-1040539

Christy Merritt describes her quilt, Ohio Wedding, as a mashup created for two quilt challenges (Ohio Star Made Modern and Double Wedding Ring challenge). She used a hand-carved linoleum block to print the Ohio stars, and used suiting fabric and curtains to construct the fragmented double wedding ring design. I love the texture of the block printing, and the improvised layering of multiple traditional designs. 

SOQS Christy Merritt-1040574

SOQS Christy Merritt-1040576

SOQS Christy Merritt-1040577

Jodiy Rusconi’s quilt has islands off it’s shores (the orange is a blank to support the quilt):
SOQS Jody Rusconi-1040562

Sometimes I liked the backs best… these two squares were on the back of the black cat quilt. The label didn’t make it into my photo, so if anyone knows who the maker of this quilt is, please comment on this post.

SOQS Cat Back-1040571

SOQS Cat Back-1040570

Caro Sheridan made a pixelated self portrait of her eye… and the back looks like a hudson bay blanket. Clever.

SOQS Caro Sheridan back-1040595

I learned that crooked will draw my eye from across the street (Cheryl Burnett, Squares a Go Go)…

SOQS Cheryl Burnet-1040583

SOQS Cheryl Burnet-1040585

… as will minimalist designs. This is Kirk Butts’ Crown Royal.

SOQS Kirk Butts-1040540

SOQS Kirk Butts-1040541


Here’s a cool modern quilt. I can’t read the label in this photo. If you know the maker, please tell.

SOQS unknown -1040560

A nice rendition of Kaffe Fassett’s rice bowls pattern. There was a group of Kaffe-inspired quilts on display because he has a new autobiography out. I’ve always liked this pattern, particularly the way the shadows are pieced in a slightly darker shade.
SOQS Kaffe Inspired-1040565

Diana Jackson’s Gee’s bend-inspired Red Square has great texture:

SOQS diana jackson-1040605

SOQS diana jackson-1040606

SOQS Diana Jackson-1040608

And, after looking at so many quilts, it’s nice to look at other things. Especially other things with pattern and rhythm:

SOQS not quilt-1040582

SOQS not quilt-1040602

So long, Sisters.

Almost famous

Lloyd Kahn Spread

This is a draft spread from Lloyd Kahn’s forthcoming book, Tiny Homes on the Move, originally posted here.  Note the charming couple under the “the,” standing in front of their trailer. Awwww!

I think we also appear in the movie Tiny, though I haven’t seen it with my own eyes yet.

Quilters to Watch: Sherri Lynn Wood

This is series of posts about the contemporary quilters whose work I am excited about. I hope you can point me to others I haven’t come across yet.

Sherri Lynn Wood / Daintytime • San Francisco, CA

Sherri Lynn Wood has been making quilts since 1988, and blogging about the process since 2010. She teaches workshops, guides people through the process of making memorial quilts, and is working on a book about improvisational quilt-making, which I can’t wait to read!

Sherry Lynn Wood

Her quilts are process-oriented and her process is well documented (read more about the I Ching quilt below, and her Mood quilt on her blog). The colours in these quilts are juicy and the piecing is innovative.

She’s doing a series with Eli Leon, author of Accidentally on Purpose, which is the best book of quilting theory I’ve read.

Sherri Lynn Wood I Ching

Some of her work is available for sale on Etsy.

SherriLynnWood Wool

Quilters to Watch: Eleanor McCain

This is a series of posts about the contemporary quilters whose work I am excited about. I hope you can point me to others I haven’t come across yet.

Eleanor McCain • Shalimar, FL

Eleanor McCain is a physician who has been showing quilts since 1998. Using hand dyed fabrics and a masterful sense of color, her work is both nuanced and stunning.

Eleanor McCain

She uses traditional structures – nine patch, log cabin – to create technically challenging and surprising compositions. I would love to know more about her process and see the work up close. Some of her “basket weave” quilts (in the grid and thirteen series) boggle my mind: I can’t figure out how they could possibly have been pieced together.

Eleanor McCain Multicolour

She makes both bed- and wall-scale work: the quilt above, for example, is 13″ x 13.” See more at Eleanor McCain.

Quilters to Watch: Bosna Quilt Workstatt

I found a couple of new quilt-makers this week, and thought I’d do a series of posts to about the contemporary quilters whose work I am excited about. I hope you can point me to others I haven’t come across yet.

Bosna Quilt Workstatt • Germany

Painter Lucia Lienhard-Giesinger creates designs which are quilted, freehand, by a group of Bosnian women. The project was started in 1993 in response to the Bosnian crisis. The most recent work on the website is from 2008, but the work has shown in Germany this year.

The designs, mostly variations on large-scale log cabin and strip piecing, achieve surprising results through deft use of colour and tone. Improvisational hand quilting creates delicate, unexpected textures. 

Bosna Quilt Werkstatt
Design: Lucia Lienhard-Giesinger
Bosna Sada and Elma detail
Quilting: Sada Srna and Elma Ušanović
Piecing Lucia Lienhard-Giesinger, Quilting Elma Ušanović. 2006
Piecing Lucia Lienhard-Giesinger
Bosna Elma Detail
Quilting Elma Ušanović. 2006

See more at Bosna Quilt Workstatt.

Bean harvest

It’s so great to be in Oregon. The weather is a very reasonable 78 F and everything is in full green. This afternoon I spent a little time harvesting and cutting beans with my friend Tilke. We picked and prepped two and a half big bowls full from a small patch in her garden. Later she will blanch and freeze them.

green beans beforegreen beans after

Uphold Joshua Tree’s right to decide our own fate

Dollar General Photo 01

Dollar General is going ahead with its plans to build a new store in Joshua Tree. Even if you don’t live here, please sign and share this petition. Here are my reasons:

1. Our town is an island of artsy, small-business diversity in the chain-sprawl monoculture of Southern California. If Dollar General succeeds, it will get harder and harder to prevent other chains from building here.

2. There is already a Dollar General about 7 miles away in Yucca Valley, where most people in town already go to get groceries. Building another store in Joshua Tree seems to be part of some Starbucks-inspired western expansion plan.

3. If you want to improve things for poor and working class people in this town, lets work on getting the shoulder expanded on the highway and more crosswalks put in so that people aren’t taking their lives into their hands when traveling without a car. Lets work on building bus shelters so you can wait for the bus without getting heat stroke.

4. The site for the new store is several long blocks away from the existing commercial strip in Joshua Tree, creating even more sprawl in a town that desperately needs to concentrate its downtown core into a pedestrian-friendly shopping zone.

5. There are already many empty buildings in the existing commercial strip — building a new one is wasteful and contributes to rural decay in the long run.

6. At the invitation of the County several years back, Joshua Tree residents wrote a community plan that said, to preserve the character of our community we don’t want any big box stores. Now the County (which is the largest in the USA) is saying that wording isn’t specific enough to deny the Dollar General’s building permit application.

What are your reasons?