Quilt Arizona! 2023, Part I

Burst of Colors
Burst of colors by Jill Eskew; quilted by Pat Roche

On Friday I went to my first quilt show since the pandemic. The Arizona Quilters Guild has a show every year (except 2021; it was held in February in 2020, but I didn’t attend). I can’t remember the last time I attended this show; it’s been a while.

Copper Mountain Springs
Copper Mountain Springs by Melanie Harris; quilted by John Harris

This year’s theme is Canyon of Colors. I photographed 40 quilts at the show. I’m going to include them in four separate posts, so that I don’t overwhelm myself or you. I took pictures of quilts that appealed to me. Some of them were prize winners, but you know what? Not all the prize winners interested me, not that they didn’t deserve the recognition. But a lot of the non-winners caught my eye because of their use of color or their whimsy. I also prefer traditional quilts, so I passed by some of the more modern ones. One problem I had was fitting some of the large quilts into my viewfinder. The aisles were too narrow to step back far enough to capture them completely, even with judicious focusing.

detail of Copper Mountain Springs
detail of Copper Mountain Springs, showing the awesome quilting and rhinestone accents

I made one very big mistake. Attendees received a lovely booklet as they entered the show. I didn’t look at mine until after I left, because I was eager to see all the quilts. On the back was a map of the convention center. The quilts were on display in two different halls. I only saw the ones in the Main Hall. After I had seen them all, I thought, gee, there weren’t as many quilts as I remember seeing in the past. I saw a sign that said “More Quilts” and I went down a hallway and saw some lovely Hopi quilts on display as well as some for sale. I looked around the next corner and didn’t see anything more, so I backtracked and looked at all the quilts in the Main Hall again, as well as the 39 vendor shops.

Arizona Canyons
Arizona Canyons by Sujata Ryan

What I didn’t realize because I didn’t look at the back of my booklet, was that there was another exhibition hall off the hallway around that last corner. So let that be a lesson to you: when attending a quilt show, be sure to look at your booklet!

Detail of Arizona Canyons
detail of Arizona Canyons showing the expert quilting

If you are disappointed that I missed almost half of the quilts, I urge you to check out Quilt Inspiration in the coming weeks. Marina and Daryl Lynn usually attend this show and post about it. As of yesterday, they were still posting about the Tucson Quilter’s Guild Show, but I’d be surprised if they didn’t cover the AQG one as well.

Dancing Butterflies
Dancing Butterflies by Gail Witt; quilted by Jessica Jones

One nice touch at this show that I haven’t seen before: each quilt had an index card folded around the edge near the right side lower corner, fastened by a clothespin. If you wanted to see the backside of the quilt, you didn’t have to wait for a white-gloved volunteer to come help you; you could carefully flip the clothespin.

Zigzag Rainbow
Zigzag Rainbow by Becky Ripley
detail of Zigzag Rainbow
detail of Zigzag Rainbow

Zigzag Rainbow is constructed with one-inch squares and half-square triangles. Note to self: I want to make a quilt like this.

Colors on Parade
Colors on Parade by Terry Findlay; quilted by Amy Dyer

Colors on Parade, made of half-square triangles acquired in a quilting group exchange, also has a bottom border of flying geese like the one on the right side. Note to self: I want to make a quilt like this.

Laurene's Legacy
Laurene’s Legacy by Jean Lopez; quilted by Robin Ruiz

Laurene’s Legacy, a Baltimore Album Quilt, is named for the late Laurene Sinema, a beloved quilt designer, founder of the Arizona Quilter’s Guild, and Phoenix quilt store proprietor who authored many quilting books. Laurene owned the original mid-19th-century quilt this is based on (published design by Heartland Quilt Guild), and many of the fabrics came from Laurene’s shop. As I was looking at this quilt, Jean Lopez happened to walk by, and graciously allowed me to take a picture of her with the quilt:

Laurene's Legacy
Laurene’s Legacy with Jean Lopez, creator
detail of Laurene's Legacy
detail of Laurene’s Legacy showing quilting and ribbon
Will and Juli's Celtic Wedding Quilt
Will and Juli’s Celtic Wedding Quilt by Carol Rich; blocks hand-quilted; sashing and borders machine-quilted
detail of Will and Juli's Celtic Wedding Quilt
detail of Will and Juli’s Celtic Wedding Quilt showing meticulous hand-quilting
Pineapple Scrap Quilt
Pineapple Scrap Quilt by Jillane Ocana
Southern Gentleman Meets Carpenter's Wheel
Southern Gentleman Meets Carpenter’s Wheel by Janice Jones; quilted by Kris Neifeld
detail of Southern Gentleman Meets Carpenter's Wheel
detail of Southern Gentleman Meets Carpenter’s Wheel showing quilting

My husband, Greg, told me I should “buy something I don’t need” at the show, because I often come home empty-handed from shopping trips because I don’t see anything that I need. I breezed through the vendor booths without being tempted, because I know I have more patterns and fabrics at home than I will ever be able to use. But one item did make me take pause.

Seam ripper/stiletto (closed)

What do you think it is?

Seam ripper/stiletto (open)

A seam ripper/stiletto combo! The prettiest one I’ve ever seen. It’s pricey, though. $40. I had to walk away and think about it.

Greg actually gave me permission to buy something I didn’t need. I do need another seam ripper or two, but a cheap one would do. I usually use a bamboo skewer when I need a stiletto.

But this one is a work of art.

I went back to talk to the maker, Ron Schuler of Quills and Quilts. “What is this made out of?” I asked, pointing to the handle.

“Magic powder,” he replied.

“Like an epoxy?”

“A two-part resin.”

And it looks and feels like stone.

I bought it. And I used it (the stiletto part) on Saturday. It works like a charm.

If you want to see more of the beautiful quilts from this show, stop back on Saturday. Until then, happy quilting!

7 responses »

  1. Wow, those are some spectacular quilts! I look forward to seeing more. As for the fancy seam ripper/stiletto, I wore out the seam ripper on mine so my husband is looking for somewhere to buy a replacement insert. I do enjoy the size and feel of it, and of course I used it a lot!

    Liked by 1 person

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