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It took over 10 years and many, many tiny stitches, but they were all worthwhile. Elsie's beautiful quilt, Summertime, won Best Hand Quilting at Road to California 2020. She even hand appliquéd the binding. Summertime also won First Place, Handmade at the Houston International Quilt Festival 2019.

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Anaya with Oranges by Bisa Butler, 2017
Cotton, organza, chiffon, lace and netting 36 x 20 inches Courtesy of the Dimmitt Davies Collection.

Mark your calendar for an exciting and breathtaking exhibition. The Katonah Museum of Art (Ketonah, New York, USA) spring exhibition, Bisa Butler: Portraits, March 15 – June 14, 2020, will be the first solo museum exhibition of the Ghanaian-American artist’s work and will feature approximately 25 of her vivid and larger-than-life quilts. These works capture African American identity and culture.

 

 

Butler, a formally trained African American artist of Ghanaian heritage, broaches the dividing line between creating with paints on canvas and creating with fiber by fashioning magnificent quilts and elevating a medium hitherto designated as craft into one that is clearly high art.

While quilts have historically been isolated in the history of art as the products of working women, Butler’s work not only acknowledges this tradition, but also reinvents it. Continuing with an aesthetic set in motion by artists such as Romare Bearden and Faith Ringgold, Butler forges an individual and expressive signature style that draws upon her own cultural background and experiences. 

 

 

Broom Jumpers by Bisa Butler, 2019,
Cotton, silk, wool and velvet
98 x 58 inches
Mt. Holyoke College Art Museum

 

These vibrant portraits of African American life and the tales the quilts tell are largely based on photographs from which Butler takes inspiration. She creates a story around each image, and, in her choice of fabrics, she uses texture, color and the cultural origin of the cloth as part of a personal iconography that makes statements about society and identity.

African painted cotton and mud cloth tells the story of her ancestral homeland, vintage lace and aged satin might demonstrate the delicacy and refinement of times past while multi-colored organza and layered netting can convey a story of someone colorful and multifaceted.

The constructed nature of the work with its reliance on piecing and stitching acknowledges the traditions of needlework normally associated with women and domesticity. Butler subverts this notion through her choice of motifs, embellishments, patterning and scale, all drawn from African textiles. What results are stunning works that transform family memories and cultural practices into works of social statement.


Dear Mama by Bisa Butler, 2019, Quilted and appliqued cotton, wool and chiffon 73 x 53 inches, Scott and Cissy Wolfe, Rancho Santa Fe, CA.

 

Along with the exhibition, The Katonah Museum (which is less than 50 miles from Manhattan in NYC) has a number of exciting programs planned that will broaden your understanding of her work and the importance of story telling through the medium of fabric.

Following the KMA, the show will travel to the Art Institue of Chicago from September 5, 2020- January 24, 2021.

 

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Here's a beauty from Jinny Beyer. Do you know its name? Play the game and find out.

 
 
 

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You still have time before Valentine's Day to work on these cute heart placemats and coasters from the Table Glitz Series by Jen at Shabby Fabrics
 
 

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Lise Belanger saw this elephant in a dream. Passionate about color, she appeared to use them all in her quilt, Colourful Dream. We are also enchanted by the almost stained glass-like effect she achieved in her design.

Colourful Dream won First Place, Fantasy / Whimsy, sponsored by WonderFil Specialty Threads, at the Houston International Quilt Festival 2019.

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Ricky added a new pump organ to his house (he now has two). He can now "go to church" while he's still at home. Have a listen as he plays "A Mighty Fortress" and gets a visit from his three puppies.

 

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It's all about the eyes when Alethea uses the "Ghastlies" fabric to create this rather unusual quilt, The Strangest Vase That Ever Was.

Watch Alethea work her collage magic in Show 2602.

TheStrangestVaseThatEverWasbyAletheaBallard - 36 Pieces Non-Rotating

TheStrangestVaseThatEverWasbyAletheaBallard - 100 Pieces Non-Rotating

TheStrangestVaseThatEverWasbyAletheaBallard - 289 Pieces Non-Rotating

TheStrangestVaseThatEverWasbyAletheaBallard - 36 Pieces Rotating

TheStrangestVaseThatEverWasbyAletheaBallard - 100 Pieces Rotating

TheStrangestVaseThatEverWasbyAletheaBallard - 289 Pieces Rotating

Original Photo: Mary Kay Davis

 

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It's all about the eyes when Alethea uses the "Ghastlies" fabric to create this rather unusual quilt, The Strangest Vase That Ever Was.

Watch Alethea work her collage magic in Show 2602.

Original Photo: Mary Kay Davis

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Today we continue our selection of quilts recently displayed at the Spring Paducah 2019 show featured as part of The 14th Quilt Nihon Exhibition. The exhibit is described as:

"Organized by the Japan Handicraft Instructors' Association, the Quilt Nihon Exhibition is one of the most prestigious international quilt contests in Japan. The exhibit features 42 quilts from the "Innovative Traditional" category, which will later be exhibited at the Tokyo Metropolitan Museum of Art."

Please enjoy the thirty-fourth quilt from the exhibition by Noriko Oga.

Title of Quilt: Border

Quilter's Name: Noriko Oga

Dimensions: 88" x 88"

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Masterpiece Award winners Gail Stepanek and Jan Hutchison added another 1st place ribbon to their collection with Spangled. This stunning quilt won First Place, Balanced Piecing and Appliqué at the Houston International Quilt Festival 2019.



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