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Seduced by Quilts: An Album of Art-stitch-tic Inspiration

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From the stitchers of the famed Unicorn Tapestries to our own Betsy Ross, the realms of the needlearts have belonged mostly to women--the mothers who patch us up when we are broken, and the grandmothers who are the weavers of life.

So it's no accident that women have excelled in quilting, an art form which is woven into the very soul of America. In this country's beginnings, scarcity of goods and thrifty spirits inspired women to craft warmth from scraps, and with genius they created the greatest beauty possible from the materials at hand. Now that quilts are more often made for artistic value than for the purpose of recycling rescued scraps, this feminine craft has blossomed with passion into its own art form.

A large number of quilt shows are held around the US annually. Smaller quilt guilds may greet a few hundred attendees, larger shows over 50,000. But all of them offer beauty to tantalize the eye and delight the soul.

The 2015 Mid-Atlantic Quilt Festival in Hampton Virginia, which will feature over 500 quilts and wearables on exhibit, and over 160 vendors, will be held at the Hampton Coleseum in Hampton VA, Feb. 26 - March 1. In anticipation of the show, here are some selected quilts from last year's show to inspire you!

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Quilts from the 2014 Mid-Atlantic Quilt Festival


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Best of Show: Tink's Choice (96" x 96") by Laura Trenbeath


Detail of Tink's Choice, and full quilt, inset, by Laura Trenbeath.
(Image by Meryl Ann Butler (photo credit))
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Innovative Category, Third Place: Fairy Garden (60" x 80") by Cathy Wiggins

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Fairy Garden (60' x 80') by Cathy Wiggins received a 3rd Place ribbon.
(Image by Meryl Ann Butler (photo credit))
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Best Use of Color: It All Comes Around (55" x 43") by Karlyn Bue Lohrenz


It All Comes Around (55' x 43') by Karlyn Bue Lohrenz
(Image by Meryl Ann Butler (photo credit))
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The following three quilts won ribbons in the "Traditional" category. However, when I started quilting in 1982, ALL of them would have been considered "innovative"! We've come a long way, baby!


First Place Traditional category: Celebrating my INFJ by Judith Heyward


Celebrating my INFJ by Judith Heyward
(Image by Meryl Ann Butler (photo credit))
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Second Place Traditional category: LZ8 by Sharleen Fields


'LZ8' (104' x 104') by Sharleen Fields
(Image by Meryl Ann Butler (photo credit))
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Best Use of Color, Traditional category: Murdererskill Crossing (83" x 83") by Janet Atkins


Murdererskill Crossing (83' x 83') by Janet Atkins
(Image by Meryl Ann Butler (photo credit))
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Honorable mention in the Innovative Quilts category: Put a Ring on It, by Michael Michalski. This colorful wall quilt is an innovative a variation on the Traditional Wedding Ring design, The theme of the show was "Silver Lining." This quiltmaker's touching comments, which accompanied the quilt, were: "Modern marriage, so many ways to define it but still based on principles of love and trust. Built on a framework as strong as the steel structure of a building, the moments of joy flow as a rainbow. My silver lining is that someday I can now have this as well."


Put a Ring on It by Michael Michalski
(Image by Meryl Ann Butler (photo credit))
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The following quilts won ribbons in the "Wall Quilt" Category:


Best Wall Quilt: Shenandoah Falling (35" x 51") by Margaret Solomon Gunn



Shenandoah Falling (35' x 51') by Margaret Solomon Gunn
(Image by Meryl Ann Butler (photo credit))
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Detail, Shenandoah Falling by Margaret Solomon Gunn
(Image by Meryl Ann Butler (photo credit))
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Third Place, Wall Quilts: Woodland Visitors (27" x 31") by Barbara McKie.


Woodland Visitors (27' x 31') by Barbara McKie, 3rd place in Wall Quilts.
(Image by Meryl Ann Butler (photo credit))
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Best Pictorial Quilt: No Place Like Om by Meryl Ann Butler (author of this article.)


No Place Like Om (53' x 34') by Meryl Ann Butler
(Image by Meryl Ann Butler (artwork; photo credit Joel Becker))
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Detail, No Place Like Om by Meryl Ann Butler
(Image by Meryl Ann Butler (artwork; photo credit Joel Becker))
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"Plumage" by Rami Kim won First Place for Full Ensemble in the Wearable Art category.


Plumage by Rami Kim First Place for Full Ensemble in Wearable Art category.
(Image by Meryl Ann Butler (photo credit))
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Two which won "Judges Choice" ribbons:


Hope (40" x 48"), by Sandy Curran.


Hope (47' x 40') by Sandy Curran
(Image by Meryl Ann Butler (photo credit))
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Celestial Splendor by Rachel Wetzler (62" x 62", Innovative)


Celestial Splendor (62' x 62') by Rachel Wetzler
(Image by Meryl Ann Butler (photo credit))
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Other fabulous quilts on exhibit at that show include these inspiring works:


Nokomis (grandmother) (66" x 44") by Laura Gilmartin


Nokomis (grandmother) (66' x 44') by Laura Gilmartin
(Image by Meryl Ann Butler (photo credit))
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Wimpy's Little Chic (36" x 28") by Robin Phillips.


Wimpy's Little Chic (36' x 28') by Robin Phillips
(Image by Meryl Ann Butler (photo credit))
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Nelson Mandela (37" x 26") by Aretha Henderson


Nelson Mandela (37' x 26') by Aretha Henderson
(Image by Meryl Ann Butler (photo credit))
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Heidi's Schlowers (31.5" x 44.5") by Andrea Brokenshire


Heidi's Schlowers (31.5' x 44.5') by Andrea Brokenshire
(Image by Meryl Ann Butler (photo credit))
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It's About Time (68" x 68") by Robbi Eklow


It's About Time (68' x 68') by Robbi Eklow
(Image by Meryl Ann Butler (photo credit))
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So, if you need inspiration, get thee to a quiltery! Quilters and quilt shows around the country, including several listed below, are waiting to show you their art!


Mid-Atlantic Quilt Festival 2015, Feb. 26 - March 1, Hampton, VA.

The Quilt Fest of New Jersey, March 5- 8, Somerset, NJ.

AQS Quilt Week, March 11-14, Lancaster, PA

AQS Quilt Week, April 22-25, Paducah, KY

International Quilt Festival, Oct. 29- Nov 1, Houston TX



Various quilt guilds offer raffle tickets for their quilts.
(Image by Meryl Ann Butler (photo credit))
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Meryl Ann Butler is an artist, author, educator and OpedNews Managing Editor who has been actively engaged in utilizing the arts as stepping-stones toward joy-filled wellbeing since she was a hippie. She began writing for OpEdNews in Feb, 2004. She became a Senior Editor in August 2012 and Managing Editor in January, (more...)
 

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