International Quilt Festival 2010

29 04 2010

I attended the International Quilt Festival on Saturday, April 17, 2010.  I spent most of the day roaming the vendors, disappointed by the lack of bright, modern fabrics for sale.  However, I am very glad I did go.  This is the last year for the International Quilt Festival to call Rosemont ‘home’.  Next year, the show will relocate to Cincinnatti, Ohio, due to feedback from convention goers regarding local eateries, hotels, and parking.

The quilts on display were a mixture of antique quilts, and more modern offerings.  Quilts from the 2009 Hoffman Challenge were on display as well, though it was only a small selection of the 300+ items that are in the travel rotation from this particular challenge.

As I said, I was a little disappointed with the vendors.  Overall, there were just a ton of Civil War reproduction fabrics, a lot of wool felting, and lots and lots of simple, simple patterns.  I’m not into the colors of Civil War reproduction fabrics, generally speaking.  As a whole, I find the colors a little too ‘blah’ for my tastes and design tendencies.

As could probably be expected, Kaffe Fassett’s were the primary offering for bright and modern fabrics. Yeah… No thanks.  While I might like individual fabrics by Fassett, I would never create a quilt using solely his fabrics.  In general, I regard his designs as Technicolor vomit.  Far too much going on there for my eye, especially since I have taken graphic design courses in the attempt to get a degree and be able to actually call myself a graphic designer, and effective use of negative space as a resting point for the eye was constantly stressed.  I don’t understand the blind adoration people have for his designs…

I did find Vogue Fabrics’ booth, and snatched up four different batiks, a yard of each at $4.99/yard.  I picked up two more batiks at another booth, for $7.50/yard.  I also discovered “Eclipse” by Exclusively Quilters.  I absolutely adore the combination of black and gray with that pure yellow!

One of my favorite booths was the Patched Works booth.  I loved the fabrics on display, as well as a good number of the quilts.  Funnily enough, one of my fellow Milwakee-Madison Modern Quilt Guild members worked that booth!  Check out Jen’s blog, and her photos of the booth here.

I also picked up a jar of Waterblocker Skin Cream, which I highly recommend!  My hands suffer from chronic dry skin.  I handle a lot of fabric throughout the day, as one of my primary job functions is to fold t-shirts.  I’m also responsible for steaming sample shirts in prep for photography.  So, dry, cracked skin is pretty much the norm for me.  Not so with this amazing cream!  Even better, it’s all natural, which my son’s bum loves!  Zeb-head has sensitive skin, and we can’t use anything with chemical scents on him, and he doesn’t always respond well to different diaper rash creams.  I used the cream on his little bum, and, with only one application, the diaper rash immediately started receding.  Honestly, this was probably the best buy of the show for me!

Astonishingly enough, I picked up two patterns by Jane Spolar of Quilt Poetry (image courtesy of website, as I was too lazy to scan them in, and my photo would not have done these patterns justice).  They are “Floral Meditation” and “Phoenix”.

I love the rosemaling look Spolar’s patterns have, and I highly recommend that you take a trip to her site and have a gander at all of her offerings.  Apparently, she also has a fabric line, called “Bliss”, for Northcott Fabrics.  I might have to buy some of this when it releases.  

Now, I say “astonishingly enough” in regards to buying patterns because I’m just not normally a pattern person.  When I make a quilt, I don’t want to make the exact same quilt that hundreds of other individuals have made.  I regard my quilts as expressions of my creativity, and how creative is it for me to use someone else’s design?

Part of this resistance to patterns also comes from the fact that a good chunk of the patterns out there are so very simple, that they’re easily replicated without buying the pattern.  Why should I spend money on a pattern that ten minutes and a decent set of math skills can re-create?  That’s fabric money.  Sure, there’s the flip side.  Why not pay $10 and save yourself the basic math?  I just can’t.  I taught myself to quilt, which included designing my quilts and planning out measurements on graph paper.  I will always fall back on my own skills to produce a quilt, which includes designing it myself.

Patterns like Jane Spolar’s are, clearly, the exception to my rule.  I would never have the imagination for designs like those pictured above.  I just don’t have the background, artistic or quilting, to have anything like that come to mind.  When I draw, I do so very realistically, and have difficulty abstracting an image into basic, yet flowing shapes.

Anyway, there you have it.  My experiences at IQF 2010.  I might try to swing a trip to IQF 2011 in Cincinnati, but that’s really dependent on hubby and having friends to stay with!




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