The Quirkology of Quilts was a quilt show held at the Ran Ramon Valley Museum in September, 2011
I was very happy to be co-curator along with my mentor and friend Margaret Linderman.
We were asked to collect the quilts for the show and we ultimately chose quilts that we really liked and that we felt had enough quirk to make them a happy collection.
We attended planning meetings, collected the quilts, and collated the descriptions from the quilters. We gathered small collections of interesting sewing-related notions, created displays, and wrote text to accompany them. AND then the big day came and we hung the show!
I have to say that I really enjoyed this part of the process the most. We had an eager team of volunteers, ranging in age from 18 to 78, and they were all there to “Make it work, people!”
The quilts went up surprisingly easily, using a hanging system created by one of the clever museum people. I focused on having each quilt “talking” to its neighbor quilts and also to the quilts across, behind and beyond them. I was delighted at the results and was delighted to see how great everything looked!
We had a main quilt room where we hung 15 quilts down the center. Two antique sewing machines stood sentry down the center, and reminded us of how far we’ve come since the days of the treadle machine.
We had a case at the far end with framed chair quilts. I am proud to say that the quilt in the center of the case was made by my niece Lucia and was given to me as a gift. Lucia was six years old when she made it this summer. It is her third (but by no means last) chair quilt! The case also included Te Amo Chair, which was made by my sister-in-law, Alethea G. See the Te Amo Chair blog post.
You can also see some of my small, painted and framed chair quilts.
Everyone who came to the show had a different favorite, but no one passed these two quilts depicting Lombard Street in San Francisco without stopping and admiring the amazing work. Susan Lane’s quilt on the left is just wonderful to see in person, and next to Cyndy Rymer’s Sunset on Lombard quilt they were a great visual pair.
Susan made her quilt using a variety of methods, including fused and raw-edge applique, painting and texture magic, over a span of 2,000 hours!
Cyndy has made a pattern and a kit with all the fabric for her quilt Sunset on Lombard, including a fabric applique of the cable car at the top of the quilt. Contact Wooden Gate Quilts if you would like to make one of your own!
Two Mexico-inspired dream chairs hung side by side showed off the colors and images that have inspired so much of my work of late. Sandy Jorgenson’s Lady of Guadalupe Celebrates the Day of the Dead on the left and Margaret Linderman’s Frida and Diego – a Dream on the right, were a visual feast!
One of the most exciting things about the central floor area was the juxtaposition of these two circle-themed quilts made by Renee Steinpress. Eurythmia (left) was created using a yard of fabric that Renee painted using Procion MX dye. It is featured in Christine Barnes book, The Color Club, C & T Publishing, 2010.
Tail Chase, seen in the center of the photo, is Renee’s newest work. She used an improvisational design process to develop the quilt and used Dale Fleming’s 6-minute circle method for the creation of the motifs. People were really impressed by this amazing piece.
I love how it looked with the Eurythmia quilt in the foreground and Margaret Linderman’s Alligator Teeth at the far right.
My Geisha Landscape from Maverick Quilts on the left was a nice partner next to Renee’s quilt, too.
Stay tuned, there is more to come about this wonderful show…