Sunday, April 9, 2017

International Quilt Show in Chicago

Glorious! Today, April 8, was a day surrounded by fellow quilters, who observed many beautiful quilts from painted and digitized ones to a bright colored series of shapes and colors, and many fabulous applique, pieced and antique exhibits. The workmanship and creative talent is truly inspirational. There were hexagons, from an online BOM group, an antique Christmas exhibit, and so much more.

 Here we are at the beginning Julia, Helen, Delores and me!

I traveled from Wisconsin to Chicago via bus with my quilt guild. I am so lucky they choose the Saturday so I am able to attend. With coffee and needlework in hand I boarded the bus at 8:00 A.M. 
We arrived just prior to opening at 10, with wallet in hand and treasures to behold. 

Truly, I am in awe of the wide array of categories. This year over 700 quilts were displayed. Fortunately,  a group of friends and I split it up for some at the beginning then at the end following the treasure hunt in the isles and isles of booths. For after a while, you can only take in so much detail comparing the inspiring works. 

And of course, the vendors in row upon row of booths from all across the states. As we walked and walked all day, my legs are a bit sore even a day later. 

This is the front winner: so incredibly quilted, and carefully appliqued, beaded, and embroidered by Mary Alsop if Eden Prairie, Minnesota. Perfectly named: Mystical Garden inspired by My Enchanted Garden by Gretchen Gibbons. Even the quilting in the stripes on the borders were rows of pearls or some tiny design done to perfection.

I will just give you a few of my favorites: with no particular sequence or emphasis, just a smattering of what I remembered to photograph. 

Fenceful of flowers by Peggy Garwood from Fairfield Glade, Tennessee,
Beautiful combination of lilacs, blues, golds, and greens taken from a batik. The design is done with rail fence blocks and applique from Robert Callaham's design. 

I am a sucker for the Piece O'Cake design of Aunt Millie's Garden and this one is so beautifully appliqued and quilted by hand. Additional blocks were added from Jane Zillmer and Deborah Kemball. The circles in the lattice are puffed with an extra quilting and wad of fiber.
  Title:  Not Now, Maybe Never  made by Joan Dorsay of Ottawa Ontario, Canada

 Loved this quilt which used 2 ombre fabrics one in the burgundy reds and the other in the teal/aqua hues. It is amply named  A Touch of Lime by Susan Garrity The quilting in the body was done in lime, while the outside borders used that burgandy. Up close it was a sight to behold with the piecework and quilting.

Splash by Susan Ennis and Ginny Eckley, a 3rd place winner.This is a silkscreen printed in black. My photo is a bit blurry, but the quilt design was the silk screen and sewn/quilted on top of it with echoing .  So different, yet, so striking. This is one of a 3 part series, another which was also a winner but of entirely different design and color scheme except for the silkscreen pattern in the background.

Miniature fans beware! This is so incredibly detailed.  This is Wind Blown Roses,by Annis Clapp of Arlington Texas, and is based on a miniature version of a Sue Garman quilt done with leftovers of the original.   No, I did not touch it; I only held my hand in front of it to give you a perspective of the size and superb workmanship: perfection. I can't even fathom how to applique that small. Oh, and I have small hands; my ring is a size 4. 


  1. Wow, what a great show to visit. I sure miss when it used to be in California. My sister, Mom and I would go every year. We went to the Chicago show twice and to Cincinnati once. That last miniature quilt is simply impossible!

  2. I was there on Friday. There were more quilts this year than last year -- some real beauties!

  3. I missed the Chicago show this year, so I really appreciate your photos, esp. Since I love appliqué quilts. That little mini is a treasure.