Saturday, August 1, 2009

International Quilt Festival Long Beach

The long anticipated second annual International Quilt Festival / Long Beach is now past and I am still basking in the glow! I spent most of the week commuting between my home in Westwood and the Long Beach Convention Center since this year I decided not to spend any more than necessary on hotel expenses. Actually the trip down in the morning was quite easy each day if we left by 7:30 AM and since we stayed until after dinner the evening traffic was not that awful.

I started off on Wednesday with Bonnie McCaffrey's wonderful class on painted fabric portraits. Her techniques are amazing and yes, you can do it if you follow her blueprint. in fact in the last few days at home I have used her techniques to paint a portrait of my son for a long planned quilt and it actually worked!

Friday, my class on calligraphy on fabric with Lisa Engelbrecht was very interesting and Friday night I began the two day class with David Taylor - which continued on Saturday. I am enormously impressed with his work which is visually glorious. I took the photo and drawing of my son at summer camp which I began at last year's Long Beach Festival in another class and think this time I may actually finish it. I'm not sure that it will be hand applique' - but I am quite inspired. David is charming and personable, a talented artist and a great teacher.

Sunday morning I tried my hand at "Accidental Landscapes" with Karen Eckmeier. It was a casual very enjoyable class using free cut curved fabric pieces layered into seascapes. It was great fun and a great technique. I came home with the central scene and in my studio added borders, fused applique' and beading and voila! a little finished art quilt - maybe a gift for a beach loving friend at Christmas. See it above! I'd love to try her technique again for other small landscape quilts.

In between classes there wasn't that much time to explore the show which didn't open until Friday. I tackled the exhibition quilts on Friday at lunch time and the vendors on the next day. I ran into my friend and art quilt minigroup companion Nancy and we did the quilts together. it's so much more fun to browse with someone! Nancy kindly took a photo of me with my quilt "Alright, Mr. Demille, I'm ready for My Close-up" exhibited in Silver Screen II (shown to the right )

I found the vendors a little disappointing on Saturday - seemingly hundreds of booths with much the same merchandise and ,frankly, a lot of junk.... I only bought a few fat quarters of hand dyed and batik cotton for my David Taylor class.

The highlight of Sunday afternoon was my two hour shift working at the SAQA booth. I arrived to find that my little quilt "Currents" which I had donated to the September SAQA on-line auction was hanging along with others in the booth. What a nice surprise! I met several SAQA members - Jamie Fingal, Jeanette Kelly among them - and it was so great to be able to put names with faces and spread the word about SAQA and the work it does to promote Art Quilters and their work. We sold several books and gave out a lot of information. I helped pack up the booth at closing and watched the process of taking down all the quilts and the vendors packing up. Just like closing night of an antique show - my other life.....

My one disappointment with the show was arriving on Wednesday and finding that my quilt "Night Flight" had not been brought from Houston and was not on exhibit in "Celebrate Spring"and would not be going on to Houston in October. I was told it was a "Glitch in the office" at Quilts, Inc. I'm afraid the situation colored some of my enjoyment of the show (More about this in a future post) but on the whole Long Beach was a wonderful experience and I am already looking forward to next year....

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