Thursday, February 24, 2011

Form, Not Function 2

Best in show at "Form, Not Function: Quilt Art at the Carnegie" went to Barbara Watler for her work "Red Bioluminescence."  And an impressive work it is, with delicious dyed organic forms, echoed in hand-stitched radiating zigzags that constitute the quilting, and covered with zillions of tiny french knots.

Barbara Watler, Red Bioluminescence (detail below)

Perhaps because hand embroidery was the first needle skill I ever learned, I have a soft spot for it on quilts.  This is a fine example of how hand stitching gives texture and emphasis to beautiful surface design.

I have to confess, though, that had I been judging the show this quilt would have had a run for its money from Vallorie Henderson's exquisite felted and stitched piece.  I have a soft spot in my heart for Vallorie, too, because many years ago she taught me how to do wet felting (my workshop piece remains the one and only wet-felting I've ever done, but that's another story...).  This piece is simply stunning, with subtle, glowing colors and wonderful texture with little pleat/folds. 

Vallorie Henderson, Wooded Stream (details below)

I think this is the only framed piece in the show -- the question of how best to display fiber art is eternal, but quilts are more commonly shown flat against the wall with a stick-and-sleeve -- and the frame shows it off to perfection.

Two excellent pieces, either one worth a blue ribbon in my book.

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