Thursday, June 11, 2015

Quilt National 9 -- pieced quilts

Let's talk about pieced quilts.  Two years ago I was seriously disappointed to see so few pieced quilts at QN '13 -- and by that I don't mean any quilts with some seams down the middle, but quilts that used piecing of different fabrics to achieve their composition and design.  Last time around I counted all of two quilts by this definition in the show, and ranted about it.  But any disproportionate presence or absence in a given show is likely to go away in the next show when you get different jurors and a different entry pool.  And I am delighted to report that those of us who practice piecing had a good day in the sun at QN '15.

Let me define "pieced quilts" even more narrowly: those that not only rely upon the juxtaposition of different fabrics to achieve their composition, but those that follow the traditional rules of quilting: neatly finished seams with no raw edges.  There were plenty of gorgeous examples of this genre.

First, I'm pleased to report that the Quilts Japan Prize, arguably a more valuable award than Best in Show, went to a pieced quilt.  I have an emotional attachment to this prize, having won it myself in 2009, and it was wonderful to have it go to a beautiful quilt made by a longtime friend of mine.

Judy Kirpich, Conflict #6/Mugging (detail below) 

I've loved Judy's work for a long time since I first met her in a workshop at Nancy Crow's barn, through her series of complicated pieced arcs and circles and now into her newer series of straight-line angst.  This quilt is about her daughter, who despite parental concern and dismay, moved to Mexico City, and then got slashed across the stomach in the course of being mugged.  (She recovered and is still in Mexico City.)

Beth Carney, Chasms 22 (detail below)

Beth is another artist whom I met many years ago at Nancy Crow's, and this series -- which apparently has been going on for quite a while, since she's up to 22 -- is a change from her previous work.

If you check out her website you can see how her meticulously pieced straight lines have gradually become meticulously pieced curves -- exactly the opposite of Judy Kirpich!  And check out her beautiful quilting.

I'll show you more pieced quilts tomorrow.


  1. I like a pieced quilt. I like piecing myself and these are really terrific examples of fresh take on piecing. Thank you for showing us, and for always having an opinion. I enjoy knowing a person's opinion without squidging around about it. LeeAnna

  2. Thanks for the shout out. Ironically your piece was one of my favorite pieces. I have mixed feelings about this years QN but there were quite a few pieces that I liked. I am studying up on Japan and thank you for your info! Judy