Sunday, February 24, 2008

Mid-Atlantic Quilt Festival

I attended the Mid-Atlantic Quilt Festival in Hampton, Virginia this weekend, and took a great advanced machine quilting class from Linda Fiedler (shown above with some of her work). I took this class because I wanted to make cleaner starts and stops in my machine thread painting and machine quilting. I also wanted to work on my stitch length consistency. In addition to learning these things, I came home with a different way of thinking about how to quilt my traditional quilts and my art quilts, and convinced that I needed to design and use more original quilting motifs in my work.

Linda's quilts feature foreground motifs she quilts in thread colors that contrast with the backgrounds, and in heavier thread (or several layers of thread) to make them really stand out. Then she goes back in and quilts more subtle background motifs. These layers make her quilts great fun to view up close for a long time.

She has a very placid, positive demeanor, and did a great job of gently encouraging those in our group who felt uncertain or afraid to take on some of the more advanced motifs (including the two friends, Grace and DeLane, I coerced into taking the class with me!)

We also got great information about threads, needles, tension and batting.

The Festival itself was great; lots of quilts, lots of vendors, and several wonderful exhibits. My favorite was Fiber Force: A Futuristic Approach, curated by Lisa Chipetine. This exhibit featured avante-garde art quilts that were among the most innovative and thought-provoking in the entire Festival.