Thursday, May 30, 2013

Form, Not Function 5 -- Machine quilting

In shows like Form, Not Function, which requires that all entries be composed of layers held together by stitching, you can see a wide variety of quilting techniques and designs.  As is common in art quilting, most of the pieces were machine quilted, and this year the trend is definitely utilitarian, with    freehand parallel lines the most common approach.

There was no fancy machine quilting on display, the elaborate and magnificent designs that you might see at Paducah or other shows with a more traditional slant.  I wasn't really surprised at this, because "art" quilts tend to rely much more on design and composition to make their points.  But a tour around the room, focusing on the quilting, made me wonder what else people are doing besides those simple lines.  (And I'm frowning at myself just as much as at anybody else, because that's my default quilting pattern too.)

The most masterful machine quilting in the room was done by Sandra Ciolino, with tiny, perfectly controlled freemotion loop-the-loops densely covering the entire surface.

Martello #2: Breakthrough, Sandra Ciolino, 54 x 38" (detail below)

I also liked Daren Redman's quilting, an interesting curved grid.  It's hard to do this kind of quilting, where you stitch into a corner, then turn around and stitch out again, without leaving pesky little bubbles at the turning point.  Daren did it beautifully.

Summer Flowers, Daren Redman, 49 x 53" 

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