Finding inspiration at the European Patchwork Meeting

Exhibits, improv process

This month I visited for the first time the European Patchwork Meeting (EPM). The opportunity to be there was offered by having one of my quilts, “East”, part of the SAQA  Exhibit Wide Horizons: I spent one afternoon together with Giovanna, in the role of hosts for the visitors coming to the SAQA gallery: what an honor!

I spent the first two days with quilting friends from Quilt Improv Studio: you can find this part of the story in the article published on Quilt Improv Studio blog.

I took a third day by myself, and I continued the tour in the other villages of France where more exhibits were displayed. There, I found inspiration in the works by Priscilla Bianchi and her sense of composition with bold colors.

I could appreciate the real appearance of quilts by Alicia Merret and Betty Busby, which I always admired for the capability to create textures.

I discovered the skills in creating subtle variations by Misik Kim: I really spent long time observing all the details of her work “The connection”.

I could learn not only from improv and abstract quilts, but also from figurative and representational art. I could not resist to check close up view of the multiple fabrics used by Denise Labadie: she brought me back in time, to the year of my visit to Ireland with school mate friend Ambra!

Finally, the possibility to talk with Scott Culley made my day. You would be astonished by the accuracy he puts in his quilts! And with a strong message! Seeing in person his work was really a good example to keep in mind. I can go down the rabbit hole as much as I wish, with my piecing work: I am not alone in loving so much the quilting practice.

Quilts can invite giraffes to dance


The third and last episode of the series “The secret lives of quilts” is out on Patchworkvictim blog, on its YouTube channel, and here above!

This time, the power of quilts to connect, flies from Italy up to Canada! I had the opportunity to participate in a mini quilt swap arranged once a year by the Modern Quilt Guild (MQG), and I created the work below for my swap partner: I titled it “Giraffe’s rock”, being inspired by fabric with text on the theme of “rock”, which was preferred by my swap partner: because the aim was to use a fabric pull according to the taste of the person who will receive the work.

This fabric selection was really surprising to me: I used a group of super cold blue shades which I don’t adopt very much (since I prefer the turquoise selections of blue). And I discovered how every blue skinny line, pieced among the warm orange blocks, created a very bright contrast effect.

I learnt a lot from the mini-swap experience. My swap partner, Linda, a biker form Canada, is a professional quilting longarmer: what an honor to be paired with her! She proposed that we wait for both mini quilts to be received either by her, in Canada, and by myself, in Italy. When I received her pack, knowing that she had my pack ready for the opening moment, I couldn’t wait! I contacted her on Instagram, and we started a minute-by-minute chat, sharing all the emotions of discovering all the features of our received quilts. We shared common taste for the orange colors: both of us made the quilt with such hues! She used a professional label: I should improve my quilt label style!

Thanks to Linda, and to our MQG swap fairy Mary , who supported swap timing and international communication, for us and for other 15 couples of swappers. Isn’t this title for the swap facilitator role, “fairy”, a confirmation that quilting power is a kind of magic?