Visiting the Queen’s Bush Quilt Show 2017
Last weekend, I had the opportunity to visit the Queen’s Bush Quilter Guild’s 2017 quilt show in Markdale, ON. I had a great time. My good friends Nancy F. and June W. are members of this guild, so I wanted to support their effort. Markdale’s big claim to fame, in case you aren’t up on your Grey County geography :), is that they are home to Chapman’s Ice Cream. For the past three years, we’ve spent our summers there and we love it.
Sometimes, a quilt show can be so large and so dense with displays and vendors, that there isn’t possible to see or appreciate the quilts. But guild did a wonderful job. There were quilts from across the region and they were carefully displayed and really easy to study. I really liked that they gave all the visitors disposable gloves. I didn’t touch any of the quilts, but it was nice to know that if I had wanted to ‘lift the curtain’ I could do so respectfully.
The vendors were also really good as well. They take their quilting seriously in this neck of the woods. I picked up a couple of nice quilting books (because, you know, my to-do list isn’t already three thousand kilometres long…) and I also found some new shops in Bruce county that I hadn’t visited before. I’m thinking they’ll make a great day trip destination this summer.
Of course, the focus of a show like this is always the quilts and there were quilts in styles and techniques to suit every taste.
These paper pieced quilts both caught my eye. The first is a wall hanging. I’m not a big fan of paper piecing myself, but I could see myself making something like this cheerful basket of flowers (and my apologies – I always try to photograph the quilt labels so I can give credit where credit is due, but I forgot to in this case!)
And then there was this stunning Judy Niemeyer design. It just felt so tropical and vibrant. I’m telling you right now, I will never make a Judy Niemeyer quilt but I certainly marvel at those with the patience and skill to construct them.
As you know, I am a big fan of applique. There wasn’t a lot of applique on display but this cheerful design, called “Enchanted Garden” caught my eye. I think it’s a Piece o’ Cake design, if I’m not mistaken, and I think the quilter, Lynn Mokriy, did a wonderful job.
Hand quilting was also on display all over the place. There is a sizeable Mennonite population in Grey county, which isn’t surprising given that it’s a highly rural area. A lot of the quilts in the show were either hand-pieced or hand-quilted or both.
This whole cloth quilt really caught my eye. Isn’t it lovely? Of course, in my house, an all cream coverlet would stay all cream about 0.62 seconds, between the dog, the two cats and the two boys, but even then, I can admire from a safe, fur-free distance.
And then there were gorgeously interpreted classics like this Pineapple quilt by Carla Crowther. The combination of the colour scheme (I love blue and white) and the muted scrappiness were what attracted me to this quilt. ‘Modern’ quilting hasn’t made much headway in this neck of the woods but seeing such lovely timeless designs makes that OK.
Here’s another very fresh feeling classic. The pastel batiks really shimmer and I thought there was a lovely balance between the postage stamp border and the more open centre patten.
Then there were the quilts that incorporated techniques I could see myself using on future designs. This quilt uses a really large scale poppy fabric. Large scale novelty prints can be really tricky to use, I find, which is why I tend to shy away from them. But here, while the strong colours and big print could be overwhelming, but I think that the geometric lattice helps balance it really nicely. I think this is a great technique for showcasing a distinctive fabric but at the same time, making it ‘liveable’. (And this was the other quilt I forgot to get info for! Sorry!)
“Parade of Cats” was a very simple quilt design, but it too tackled a tricky fabric – namely border prints. I’ve seen great border prints. Everything from farms to cars to lilacs and holiday scenes. But what to do with them? I think Joanne Inglis’ use of the cartoon cats was great. The bright stars add visual interest while the horizontal bands of cats tie everything together. This one’s definitely going in the ‘ideas’ drawer.
I also liked that the guild included quite a few antique and vintage quilts. This log cabin, for instance, was made locally by a Grey county resident and her two sisters in the 1920s. According to the note, the sisters would come for long visits in the winter and they would work on quilts and other sewing projects during their stay. It’s such a classic design, and I like seeing the dress and suit fabrics it was constructed from.
Having experienced three winters now, I can totally appreciate the value of a stay-cation back in the day.
So all in all, a lovely visit and big kudos to the Queen’s Bush Quilter’s Guild for a great show!