Sunday, March 3, 2024

QuiltCon Raleigh - Part 3

A week ago today I was riding home from Raleigh with my friend, Courtney. Among other conversations, we talked about QuiltCon - our impressions, and favorite quilts. 

Most of you know that I'm a fan of Paola Machetta @cultofquilts improv quilts, but I'm also interested in quilts entered in the Handwork category, and those with an abundance of hand-stitching.

Through seven in-person QuiltCons, I've been watching several hand-stitchers. A couple of them re-appear each year.

One is Jennifer Broemel @jen.broemel. On first glance, Borrowed Blue looks pretty enough. 

On closer inspection, you realize that this 45" X 45" packs a whole lot of stitching! It seems that she pieces a quilt top, covers it with netting/tulle, machine grid quilts it, and then fills each gridded square with a hand stitch. 

It's pretty amazing. I asked a volunteer to show me the back, and wasn't too surprised to see that Jen leaves thread tails hanging too. Such an interesting way to create a hand-made quilt... err, work of art (who would EVER use this as a quilt?!) wouldn't you agree? 

Beginnings to See is 30" X 30" and also made by Jen. 

Again, you can see how she likes to hand stitch on a grid.

Also in the Handwork category was this 65" X 65" quilt called Why Knot 2 by Simone Symonds @salty.plum. 

It's 12,800 ties and 25,600 knots! Basically a shag rug! This might be a nice one to snuggle under.

Julie Reuben @b_plus_q is another maker whose handwork I admire. This 42" X 30" Shine on Me quilt is three pieced fabrics that have been densely hand stitched. 

She used many perle cotton colors very effectively. 

Choosing Calm is another of Julie's beauties measuring 39" X 40". 

It's a whole cloth quilt that's entirely fly-stitched! Color gradations appear because Julie used seven shades of perle cotton. I asked Julie how much thread she used: "14 full balls, and several partial balls." Wow! 

I had to tease Julie when she posted an Instagram picture of her handwork as she was flying back home. "Fly-stitching while flying." Seems appropriate. 

Julie also made Iridescence that was in the Modern Traditionalism category. 

It's not until you see the quilt close-up that you can appreciate all the handwork in this 42" x 42" quilt. It's something else, isn't it? 

In the Small Quilts category was 36 Days of Quilt Type, a 24" X 24" quilt made by Kaitlin Rim @freetime fibers. 

It was domestic machine quilted, and then hand-stitched. 

Likewise, Stardust, a 30" X 21" Small Quilt by Betsy Balog @b_log was domestic machine quilted. 

But look how she enhanced machine quilting with chain stitches! Love it! 

Rainy Heliconia was domestic machine quilted too. In the Small Quilts category, it's 17" X 25" and was made by Eva Saunders @gingerlyquiltco 

Her addition of long stitches really gives the impression that of rain falling.

This Small Quilt is Walter, a 13" X 13" Bauhaus-inspired "concrete landscape" made by Sarah Hibbert @quiltscornerstone. 

Lotsa linene in this one, and it was entirely hand quilted. 

I can guarantee you that more quilts than these included hand-stitching, but these were some of the stand-out ones to me. 

Quite honestly, when I left QuiltCon I was sure I had seen all 600 quilts in the show, yet I was shocked to see the quilt that won the "People's Choice" award. I never saw it! This is the picture I took from an Instagram screen-shot. 

White Bubbles is a 74" X 81" quilt made by Irina Timofeeva @irinatimofeeva_quilts. It was in the Piecing category. The artist's statement indicates it was machine pieced - made entirely of circles - and longarm quilted. 

Since coming home, I've been in a muddle about which project to work on next! I already had several things going, including domestic machine quilting my Prudence EPP quilt, but came home with two new WIPs from the workshops I attended. 

Jo Avery's Improv Tiny Piecing quilt

Jo's workshop called Improv Tiny Piecing was delightful. No doubt it's because Jo and I have a nice friendship. We were on the MQG's Temperature Quilt webinar panel together, and she's the designer of the Patchwork Pony pattern that Big Cypress Quilters made for the Children's Home Society of Florida.

In any case, her workshop was fun. 

These are all the pieces students made during the workshop. 

I had made these by the end of the three-hour workhop.

This 8" X 27" row is what I've put together since coming home. The orange print door was made with one of Jo's scraps. I've designated it as "Jo's Door." Her private entrance into a quilt studio? 

But for now, I'm finishing ruler-quilting Prudence, though I can't wait to work on something else. 

QuiltCon was inspiring and motivational! Linda


  1. Thank you for sharing your Quilt Con experience. I especially enjoyed this post with a close up view of the hand stitching work. . .so interesting!!!--TerryK@OnGoingProjects

    1. Thank you for taking the time to tell me this, Terry! That hand-stitching IS really interesting, and I’m glad you enjoyed seeing it in my post. Linda

  2. Pamela Dempsey in Northeast TexasMarch 4, 2024 at 9:09 AM

    Love the hand stitching detail! The tiny buildings improv are so cute 🥰! I love handwork more than sitting at a machine 😻

    1. Yes, yes! I too love to see handwork close-up. I'm glad you liked that. Thanks for thinking my improv buildings are cute. They're sort of addictive to sew! And agree about handwork, especially as I get older. :-)

  3. Thanks for the closeups of the hand stitching as well as the tiny piecing.

    1. Hi Andee! You're a "noreply-commenter" so I hope you see that I am responding to let you know I appreciate your comment. I'm happy to share pictures of what I like to look at too - the close-ups.

  4. Wow. Can't thank you enough for sharing all these hand-quilted quilts. The detail and technique in them is stunning.

  5. Jen Broemel is local to me! I know her from Indy MQG. She gave us a workshop on method—it's as you described. Her style is unmistakable. That red/orange/yellow piece looks like she's moving in a new direction, yeah?

    1. Hi there! You're a "noreply-commenter," so I'm replying here in hopes you see this. Nice that Jen is near you, and that you know her. How interesting it would be to see her technique, though I'm glad you affirmed that I worked it out correctly. Her methods are very innovative, and it's quite apparent that she not only enjoys handwork, but does it well. No doubt, she's always striving to "improve" and find new combinations to try. I can't imagine how much thread she goes through!

    2. IDK what makes me "no reply"...? I logged in with my Google account so I wouldn't be anonymous and clicked the box to be notified about comments.

    3. Oh (sign). I sure wish I knew! You're not the only commenter to have problems. Whether you're "noreply" or "anonymous," it's beyond me to understand why that happens. I learned about three years ago that I could no longer comment on other people's blogs when I used Google. So then I switched to Google Chrome, and voilá! Now I can comment again. The only thing I know for sure is that if your email address is a Yahoo account, you'll never be able to comment. Google and Yahoo quite playing nicely together about 12 years ago.

    4. That's interesting and frustrating to hear about yahoo accounts. Now I know why my DH can never comment on my blog! Try as he might.

  6. Thanks for sharing the handwork quilts. I haven't seen many of them anywhere else. Seems to me several are entering the world of fiber art and art quilting. So much crossover of categories now. It's nice to see Prudence getting it's final touches of quilting. You must be quite happy to see this long term project wrapping up?

  7. It seems the reality is that QC has gone waaaay over to art quilts, which is ironic since the ORIGINAL MQG definition of modern quilts excluded them. I guess you can't stop "progress".


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