Sunday, July 3, 2011

QSDS alumni show 1

The last stop on my recent tour of Ohio quilt art venues was the Riffe Gallery in Columbus, where the annual show sponsored by the Quilt Surface Design Symposium is on display through July 14.  Anybody who has attended a QSDS workshop is eligible to enter, and this year's show had work by 36 artists.

I found about half the work pleasant but nothing special, but the other half was excellent.  Today I'll show you three abstract compositions from the excellent side that struck my fancy -- although the techniques varied, the overall character and color sensibility seemed quite similar, reminiscent of traditional quilt designs but each fresh in its own way.

One of the best was made by Sue Benner, a huge block design.  Because it's fused rather than pieced, she can blur the edges of the blocks for an informal effect. The size, the colors, the careful placement of lights and darks all combine to make this a winner.  If there had been a best-in-show to be awarded, I'd give it to this quilt.

Sue Benner, Prairie/Wall 1: September, 87 x 69" (detail below)

Donna Radner pleated her fabric before stitching it down, which gave intriguing texture, thanks to the shadows, and also gave zigzagged edges where one color overlapped another.

Donna Radner, Twisting Canyons #6: Looking Within, 43 x 42" (detail below)

Finally, I liked Marla Hattabaugh's small twin pieces, which combine discharged fabrics with hand-dyes.  Marla is a master of hand-quilting, and has quilted for Nancy Crow for many years; her simple but interesting quilting designs complemented the casual piecing.

Marla Hattabaugh, JmH & RmH, 18 x 33

I'll write about other quilts in the show later this week. 


  1. Thank you Kathy for this post. You are an excellent writer and I love that you are beginning to review shows. Of course you are on my blog's Favorite Blog list but I also added your link to my article on writing.

  2. thanks, Terry, for the kind words! I love to review shows -- the problem is that you have to get to them. I'm sorry I missed the Parallax show that you and I both had work in (Rochester NY; just closed) and the Coshocton show in Ohio. Life is too short and distances are too long.

  3. First, I have to agree with Terry; you're an excellent writer and I enjoy reading your posts. Second, I also have to agree that I'm thrilled you're reviewing shows. Your detail shots have compensated for the shortage thereof in the Quilt National catalog.

  4. thanks, Vivien. I always love to get up close and see how quilts are made, and I suspect other people feel the same way. (sometimes I have to force myself to stand back and look at the whole thing, I'm so fascinated by the details)

  5. Ohhh love this post! I really do love your choice for Best in Show - I agree whole heartedly about the use of value! Wowsy!