Diversity colors quilt show | TheUnion.com

Diversity colors quilt show

The traditional and the technological mixed at the Pine Tree Quilt Guild show this weekend to produce stunning new visions of favorite patterns and inspiring original designs.

Betty Maddox of Grass Valley won the Viewer’s Choice Award for her “Charming Bow Ties.” Pieced using 1-inch squares for 2-inch blocks, each of the 1,840 bow ties uses an entirely different fabric. Yet the overall pattern creates a visual effect of concentric diamonds.

Julia Marvel, also of Grass Valley, won first place for her “Countryside Cottage.” The small hanging medallion quilt depicts a cottage surrounded by different star patterns and swirls of quilted blocks in rich earth tones. Quilting was done by Trish Gardner of Grass Valley.

The featured quilter was Ardy Tobin of Nevada City. Her specialty is reinterpreting traditional patterns with bright, bold fabrics. Tobin arranges the colors to create optical illusions of entirely different patterns.

One of her quilts employs a brightly hued Shoo-Fly pattern alternating with a black-and-white Nine-Patch. Combined, they create a vision of bursting colors that evokes the “mod” look of the late 1960s.

Tobin’s “Suns for Maggie” uses commercial batik prints and two different patterns to create a star-and-ring effect.

“I used a computer,” Tobin said. “It’s two big blocks that I played with until I got a secondary effect.”

Tobin’s modern creations include “Out of the Inferno.” It combines an irregular patchwork of blue, purple and green that ends in shreds at the lower edge but which evolves into yellow, orange and red flames and appliquéd stars toward the top.

A quote from Dante’s “Inferno” describes the experience of a loved one’s recovery from depression, Tobin said.

Tobin’s other quilts involve photo transfer techniques that have been seen increasingly over the past decade, show co-chairwoman Anita Dall said.

“It used to be all just calico,” Tobin said. “Now, there are these bright colors, and you can’t just do a traditional quilt with that. It calls you to do something more.”

One of the oldest quilts on display was a blue-and-white Reel pattern dated to 1827. An ancestor of new local resident Caryl Fairfull, Rebecca McChesney made the quilt for her wedding using linen hand-loomed from flax grown on the family farm in Virginia.

The quilt appears to have been made over time, perhaps as money became available for cloth, according to an appraiser. It’s large size suggests it covered the entire family while they slept.

Among the most unusual quilts was “Moroccan Jewel” by Valerie Hixson of Alta Sierra. She pieced and appliqued a richly patterned, jewel-tone fabric to create the kaleidescope quilt. Hixson added beadwork for extra sparkle.

Myrna Raglin of Nevada City is known for her intricate appliqué work. She showed “Roseville,” a quilt inspired by Roseville pottery. Raglin appliquéd the individual petals of roses and fuschias to represent different pottery pieces, adding embroidered stamens.

Sharon Koslosky of Grass Valley brought a whimsical note to the show with a small quilt featuring 16 cats drawn and named by her 8-year-old granddaughter, Victoria.

According to the quilt notes, Koslosky enlarged the drawings, traced them with a permanent marker and painted them with fabric paints.

This year’s show featured crazy quilts, with several family heirloom quilts on display. Often made of luxurious fabrics such as silk, velvet and taffeta, their makers embroidered motifs of flowers, stars, and, in one example, a woman and her dog playing badminton.

To contact staff writer Trina Kleist, e-mail trinak@theunion.com or call 477-4231.

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