Jenbenbry's Blog

Quilting in the Windy City

First Chicago Modern Quilt Guild Swap May 17, 2010

Filed under: Quilts in Progress — jenbenbry @ 2:27 pm
Tags: , , , ,

I attended my second Chicago Modern Quilt Guild (CMQG) meeting yesterday afternoon, and it was great! We had a wonderful presentation on color theory by Ebony which really helped me think about picking quilt colors in a new way. We also had our first swap! Everyone was asked to use four fat quarters to make a block and then bring the block and the leftover fabric from the fat quarters to exchange. We have a few months to add a border or finish the blocks and quilt, then we bring it back and regift it to the original maker of the block.

I made a zig zag block using three Kaffe Fassett patterns in blues. My inspiration for the block came from two hippos who makes simply amazing quilts!

I received a block with gorgeous, rich colors from Yolande, and I hope to do it justice! I’m thinking about how to continue the hexagon pattern she has started…


Chicago International Quilt Show 2010 April 17, 2010

Filed under: inspiration — jenbenbry @ 1:00 pm
Tags: , , ,

Wow!  I had the pleasure of attending the 2010 Chicago Quilt Show yesterday.  The quilt show runs through Sunday April 18th at the Rosemont Expo Center just outside of Chicago.  It was amazing, humongous, inspiring, crowded (even though I purposefully went Friday instead of Saturday or Sunday to avoid crowds), and humbling.  I’d say about a quarter of the expo space was devoted to the quilt show and about three quarters to vendors.  I’d prefer something closer to half and half.  There were  vendors for everything from sewing machines, long arm machines, buttons, ribbons, patterns, fabrics, tools, books, thread, hand creams, back massagers, sewing tables, and so much more.  I picked up some really cool vintage Czech glass buttons, some great fabric deals, the tools to try painting on fabrics, and the newest Kaffe Fassett book – which I had signed by the authors!   How cool 🙂

But the quilts, oh the quilts, they were incredible.  By the way – if you want to see more detail on any of these quilts, just click on the image and it will enlarge.

These first few quilts are antiques – all over 100 years old, and some closer to 200 years old.

This quilt, Petal Palette created by Jean Smith in Florida, was my favorite of the more modern quilts at the show.  I’ve included a shot of the detailed embroidery in one of the petals below.

Crocus by Maggie Weiss of Evanston, IL. I love the contrasting greens and purples in this modern design.  I need to look up more of her work, she’s just a hop, skip, and a jump away!

Grape Hyacinth and Tiny Dancer both by Margo Fiddes of Edmonton, Alberta. These are lovely, bright, and bold while impressionistically portraying the flowers.

Grid Growth by Margie Davidson of Edmonton, Alberta – (second image is closeup).  I really like the juxtaposition of the organic leaves in this quilt with the structured grids.  The embroidery work on the leaves is beautiful.

The next quilt was created by a group of twenty quilters in Canada.  They chose a painting by a Canadian artist, Anne Savage’s Saint Sauveur, and cut it up in to twenty pieces which they created independently.  Then they rejoined all of the pieces in to the quilt below – and it turned out so amazingly lovely!

Seven Steps to… By Laura Libigs Colby of Holiday Island, AK.  This quilt is more realistic than a lot of the modern quilts I liked at the show, but I love the colors used and how the leaves feel so three dimensional on the quilt.

Five Pebbles by Dianne Firth of Turner Canberra, Australia.  Ms. Firth describes her quilt as embodying the character and quality of water flowing around pebbles in a stream.  The embroidery work is just amazing.

Evening Dandies-Lions, that is!  By Leighton Taylor of Indianapolis, Indiana.  What a creative and artistic quilt!  I was pleasantly surprised by the lions’ faces in the dandelions!

Autumn Rainbow by Debbie Cimaglio of Gurnee, IL

Bridging the Gap by Robin Robboy of Decatur, GA

Focal Point by Sylvain Bergeron of Oswego, IL.  This quilt just blew me away.  It won third prize in computer aided machine embroidery.  The quilt uses five waves of color – four that start in the corners and one that starts in the middle.  You can see the different colors and how they interact in the close up images.


Kaffe Fassett Squares March 18, 2010

Filed under: Finished Quilts — jenbenbry @ 10:22 pm
Tags: , , ,

My next quilt project is for me!  Yay!  I received a book of Kaffe Fassett quilt designs for Christmas (Passionate Patchwork) and decided to make a small version of one of his quilts.  I love the way the squares form from the striped fabrics.  I scoured most of the Chicago quilt shops looking for striped fabrics in bright colors. I tried to vary it up in terms of size and colors.   I’m still having some trouble getting everything even, as you can see along the bottom edge of the quilt.  Any suggestions for getting things a bit more even?

Appropriately, I used Kaffe Fassett fabrics for the backing and binding. I like the contrast of the circles on the back and the squares on the front.