By Victoria Stone
LONG BEACH CA One of the most exciting parts of the Okan Arts Shop moving to Southern California is that Quilt Festival Long Beach is just down the road.
I stopped by on Opening Day to revel in the beautiful quilts that are on display this year.
I was entranced by the exceptionally joyful Inner Cube by Jodi Murphy, quilted by Teresa Silva, winner of First Place, Modern.
Also under the banner of Celebration Of Color was this elegant cityscape by Hsu Hsi-Chen. Photography just doesn’t do justice to the depth of this piece, titled A Road Leading To Home.
One particularly interesting exhibition was titled Lest I Shall Be Forgotten. This selection of signature quilts make their mark. The exhibition name comes from a moving inscription on a truly massive Feathered Star quilt, reading ‘Harriett H Huston is my name… when this you see remember me, lest I shall be forgotten,...” She made this quilt in 1846, at twenty years old.
Another stunning piece was this unsigned appliqué crazy quilt from 1890. The piecing is full of silks, velvets, and multicolored embroidery.
I greatly enjoyed the exploration of quilts and buildings in the Tactile Architecture exhibit. This art quilt, titled Shelter Me by Leila Sigler connects nine small buildings around the world with banding and beading.
Another fun piece from this exhibit was It’s a Mad, Mad, Mid-Mod World by Julie Limbach Jones, quilted by Matt Randall. This cheerful quilt is filled with classic atomic-age houses and motifs, with colorful homes, boomerangs and starbursts.
A collection of Marilyn Farquhar quilts are on display, under the title of The Only Change Is Constant. Her artist statement recalls her shift from exclusively making ‘joyful’ quilts, to allowing all her emotions shine through her wonderful work.
This heart-wrenching quilt, called One Bullet, is a reaction to the loss of her brother to gun violence and is filled with the stitched faces of her community.
This quilt was so striking I couldn’t look away. Quilt Melt by Lorraine Woodruff-Long is an exploration of our changing world in stark black and white.
I had the great pleasure of meeting the colorful Kathryn Pellman, at her exhibit Word Salad, Fashionistas and Girlfriends, which celebrates women’s lives, friendships, and stories.
This collection of quilts is curated from the international quilting bee Bee Sewcial, with group leaders designing quilts around the members’ creations. Pictured left to right are Fire and Ice by Hillary Goodwin, Rings by Debbie Jeske, BeeBright by Michèle-Renée Charbonneau, Eyes by Karen Foster, and Smile by Leanne Chahley.
The Best Of The West exhibit features a series of true showstoppers. I particularly enjoyed the juxtaposition of these two quilts — the classical elegance of Only One Bird, by Patt Seitas, alongside the bold and dynamic The Last One, by Lori Ramsey, quilted by Sandy Carreon.
The local Long Beach Modern Quilt Guild was showcasing the results of their new logo challenge. These petite quilts used the colors of the new logo, a neutral and an optional wildcard to create a collection of geometric delights.
I very much enjoyed the boldness of these pieces, pictured are Squares With Round Holes, by Ann Leibovitz and Somebody’s Watching Me by Gail Holtan.
Running the Long Beach Modern Quilt Guild booth were Fundraising Chairperson Sharon Drobka and President Kristan Haitz. There are some stunning examples of LBMQG member work. The minimalist Modern Wedges 1.0 by Sylvia Ashley with incredibly funky quilting, the glowing green Funny Fall Flowers by Ann Leibovitz, and two of the guild’s Community Outreach Quilt Challenge: Centermark and Fractured. Even the logo is a quilt!
In a melding of traditional quilting and modern technology Sheila Bishop and her son Grant digitized and created templates for the incredible, and anonymous, 1840 Lost Star Quilt.
Anne Dawson, of The Quilter’s Studio on Lopez Island, created the pattern. She showed me her Lost Star Quilt, titled Lacerta.
This collection of Lost Star Quilts, from left to right are Stars Realigned by Lee Glendening, My Lost Star Quilt by Carol Zeek DeGraaf, and a photograph of the original Lost Star Quilt, meticulously edited by photographer Michael Craft to look as it would have in 1840.
Garment artist turned quilter Nate Robbins created this incredible appliqué portrait quilt of late basketball star Kobe Bryant. Titled The Sun on the Next Traveler’s Horizon, it was quilted by Nan Akins.
I found myself drawn back to this lovely antique floral quilt from the International Quilt Festival Collection. Dated c. 1880, Love Apple by Mrs. Susan Braguler (or Bragur). While it’s a gorgeous example of a classic four-block quilt, the hand quilting makes it shine.
On my way out of the show I got to see the captivating Turn the Dial by Kathy York.
While the front of the Turn the Dial was striking, I got the wonderful experience of the white gloved Leia from San Fernando Valley showing me the even more colorful back. White glove attendants made an already dynamic show even more exciting.
The Quilt Festival Long Beach is on for the rest of this weekend, and it’s full to the brim with more gorgeous quilts.
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ABOUT US: Okan Arts, a petite family business, is co-owned by mother-daughter duo Patricia Belyea and Victoria Stone. Patricia and Victoria sell Japanese textiles online, host creative quilting experiences, and lead quilting & textile tours to Japan.
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