Brilliant Fireworks by Etsuko Iitaka, Japan
World Quilt Florida at Orlando’s Orange County Convention Center, January 19-21, 2017, will host an amazing collection of special exhibits from around the country plus the international entries from the World Quilt Competition: On Tour. This year, guilds from Florida are taking part in World Quilt Florida in the best way they know how … by creating quilts. World Quilt Florida is proud to include these special exhibits of hometown art:
How do we spell Florida? … Everglades Park – Hibiscus Quilt Guild of South Florida
A guild member picked a phrase based on Florida themes and then each member picked a letter and made a quilt depicting something in reference to the phrase that starts with that letter. 2016’s phrase is “Everglades Park”. Pictured: River Otter
MASKarade – Gold Coast Quilters’ Guild
Masks have been used for their expressive power since antiquity and come in many forms: Ritual masks, on action heroes and heroines, masks in fashion, pageants and carnivals that have played out for centuries. Even in the animal world, Mother Nature has given many animals mask-like faces. Quilts pictured were created by Beverly Fine, Jane Gavlick and Candice Phelan.
Miami Art Quilters at The National Day of the Cowboy
National Day of the Cowboy was set aside for the preservation of the pioneer spirit and heritage, and the promotion of cowboy culture. As part of this celebration the Miami Art Quilters have displayed their cowboy inspired works for many years. Each year participation and authenticity has increased. Quilts pictured are by Cheri Ucci and Arlene.
Orlando Modern Quilt Guild
The Orlando Modern Quilt Guild is a non-profit organization formed to inspire and support our members in their enjoyment of and growth in quilt making. We promote an interest in and appreciation of the art of quilt making. More information can be found at theorlandomodernquiltguild.blogspot.com.
Stitched Together – South Florida Modern Quilt Guild
The quilts in this exhibit were made by members of the guild during the first year of its existence as a modern quilt guild. The guild’s interest is in modern quilting, which can include many approaches. Modern quilting, like all art, changes, grows and adapts from quilter to quilter as they find their own voices. For information, visit southfloridamqg.com.
Trees – Quilters Innovative Design
“Let’s take our hearts for a walk in the woods and
listen to the magic whispers of old trees.” ~ Author Unknown
Trees shelter us. Trees provide life and sustenance for us. Trees inspire us. The Quilters Innovative Design group selected Trees as our yearly challenge. The topic provides artists with an opportunity to create, experiment and perhaps have a bit of fun in the quilting medium. Quilt pictured was created by Bernie Mayer.
What’s Old is New Again! – Florida Cabin Fever Quilt Guild
Florida Cabin Fever Quilt Guild is a traditional guild that brings people who love quilts, and want to learn and preserve the art of quilt making, together. Over time, quilts have evolved from being simply utilitarian to works of art. These traditional pieced and appliqued quilts are made with patterns that have been used by quilters for generations. Pictured: Magic Windows – pieced by Eleanor Moland, quilted by Gail Rowland.
You won’t want to miss these and the other wonderful exhibits at World Quilt Florida. This incredible event will also include the Florida Quilt Competition entries, workshops and lectures presented by world-renowned instructors, and a Merchants Mall offering the best in fabrics, notions, machines, wearable art and everything for the quilter, textile artist and home sewer.
Major Annual Sponsor – Brother: The Sewing Studio Fabric Superstore; Major Vendor Sponsors – BERNINA of America: Wandering Stitches, Elna: Sew-Mini Things, Juki & Baby Lock: The Sewing Studio Fabric Superstore; Sponsors – ABM/Innova, and Handi Quilter; and Special Vendor Sponsor – Granny’s Legacy Patterns generously support World Quilt Florida.
Only 5 days remain to submit your entry to the Florida Quilt Competition at World Quilt Florida. Click here for online and printable entry forms. The entry deadline is this coming Monday, December 5, 2016.
While we’re all waiting to see who this year’s winners will be, take a few moments to enjoy some of the wonderful entries from the 2016 competition:
World Quilt Florida returns to the Orange County Convention Center in Orlando, Florida, January 19-21, 2017. World Quilt Florida is an incredible opportunity for quilters from across the Sunshine State to experience the talent and creativity of their fellow enthusiasts.
Major Annual Sponsor – Brother: Sewing Studio; Major Vendor Sponsors – BERNINA of America: Wandering Stitches, Elna: Sew-Mini Things, Juki & Baby Lock: The Sewing Studio Fabric Superstore; Sponsors – ABM/Innova, and Handi Quilter; and Special Vendor Sponsor – Granny’s Legacy Patterns generously support World Quilt Florida.
The Quilt & Sewing Fest of New Jersey, held at the Garden State Exhibit Center March 2 – 5, 2017, welcomes new instructor, Jessica Skultety. Jessica , local to northwestern New Jersey, is a teacher, lecturer, pattern designer and writer. The former President of the Central New Jersey Modern Quilt Guild, Jessica is a self-taught quilter whose quilts have been displayed in several national shows. She will be teaching two workshops at The Quilt & Sewing Fest of New Jersey and will also have a one woman show of her works. Check our website for more information: Jessica Skultety’s Workshops.
We recently interviewed Jessica to get the inside story on how she started quilting and what inspires her.
How did you start quilting?
I have always been crafty, and I learned how to sew during high school in a required home economics class. A couple of years later, I decided to make a quilt out of all of my t-shirts instead of sending it out to be made with money I did not have. So, I borrowed my future mother-in-law’s sewing machine and I was quickly bitten by the quilting bug. I’m mostly self-taught from Google and blogs.
What are your favorite techniques?
I’m an obsessive domestic machine quilter. In six years, I’ve never sent a quilt out to be quilted; I revel in the chance to try new motifs and challenges. Now, I have the opportunity to teach free motion quilting, which is such an honor. I coined a name for my favorite piecing technique: brick-by-brick improvisation. I’ll be teaching this technique in the Orange Peels and Improv class at the Quilt Fest.
Why modern quilting?
Sometimes I’m a modern quilter and sometimes I’m not. My work sways towards modern quilting because of two reasons: bright, bold colors (that I love) and improvisation. Otherwise, I often tweak traditional blocks to create something new as a modern traditional quilter. I also found such a wonderful, accepting, talented bunch of quilters in the Central Jersey Modern Quilt Guild that meets in Pennington, NJ.
What do you look for in fabric?
I look mostly for tone-on-tone, like-solid, or two-color fabrics that will complement my fabric stash. Since I tend to make a lot of scrap and improvisational quilts, I use a lot of these fabrics. For me, it’s all about blending a bunch of fabrics to create color! My solid fabric stash has grown enormously over the past couple of years, too; there’s something about using solids among prints. I’ve started making all-solid quilts too.
What is your teaching style?
As a trained K-12 teacher, I’m formulaic but always ready to improvise. Also, I am always focused on fun. If you aren’t having fun sewing, why are you doing it, anyway? Students walk away with adding several new techniques to their belts and many tell me they feel relaxed afterwards. I aim to be approachable and relatable, because I also learned these techniques at some point, too! Finally, I open conversation and invite class members to share their own techniques, as I’m always learning, too! It creates a better experience for everyone. Meanwhile, I can go to my next class and share everything I’ve learned so that those students can decide what works best for them.
Memorable moments so far in your teaching career?
This is a silly one, but I’ll never forget when the ladies from a guild in Pine Bush, NY brought a whole bowl of Reese’s peanut butter cups to class, just because I had mentioned them on my blog! (P.S. Jessica loves Reese’s!)
What are your biggest challenges in your artwork?
My biggest and most exciting challenge is the actual quilting. I don’t like to make “easy” quilts – and if it’s quite easy to piece, I love creating a challenge with the quilting. My goal is always to a) add a new, unique layer to the final quilt and b) to have fun. If I know the quilt would look great with just straight lines, I think, okay, that will be tedious to quilt – how can I mix it up?
In addition, since I do all of my quilting on my domestic machine (a Janome Memory Craft 6300 named Elsa), the size of the quilt often adds to the challenge. On my blog, I’ve documented all kinds of ways I’ve accommodated quilts in my space (like this post, Top Ten Tips: Quilting Large Quilts on Your Home Machine).
What is the biggest accomplishment you’ve achieved so far?
My quilt, Home, was included as part of the Modern Quilt Guild’s exhibit at International Quilt Festival in 2015. It also went on to QuiltCon and PNQE, where it won a theme ribbon. My upcoming individual special exhibit at the Quilt and Sewing Fest of NJ is high up on the list, too.
How do you see your art progressing in the next five years?
What a great question. Honestly, I only have a notion (no pun
intended). My work has changed so much from when I started 6 years ago. At first, I used lots of patterns; now I make up my own (for the most part). I used to favor large print, multicolored fabrics; now, not so much (though I love piecing them together on the back). Right now, I’m especially passionate about quilting words on quilts (like this quilt, which is based on a quote from the musical Hamilton). I plan to continue this exploration.
Also, I recently discovered an excitement for sashiko and hand stitching. I’ve just begun to accentuate my dense machine quilting with hand stitching. In fact, I have to give credit to Susan of Easy Piecing, who vends at your shows!
How does quilting make you feel? What emotions come out of creating something beautiful?
Quilting is often therapeutic. In the past, I’ve used it to center myself in stressful situations. I’ve also recently quilted to express sadness and anger. I try to sew happiness to send to family and friends who are going through rough times. Whenever I create a quilt purely for the sake of making, the feeling can only be described as “joy.”
What do you think about being a young quilter in what is predominately an older woman’s art world?
It’s definitely a humbling place to be. I work with women who have been quilting for 20, 30, 40 or more years. They have so much knowledge to share. It excites me to think of how many quilts I might make throughout my life, since I started so young and make so much. I have the benefit of learning from others while crafting my own modern spin on techniques. My goal is to bring more young quilters into the fold, which I’ve already begun to do.
What do you do when you are not quilting or educating?
I work in a public school and tutor sewing privately. Otherwise, I love to read, watch Outlander, Lord of the Rings, Doctor Who and Parks and Recreation, and work out (my favorites are Zumba and spin classes). My husband and I also consider ourselves pizza connoisseurs, so there’s that.
You write as well – what made you start a blog?
When I started my blog, Quilty Habit, in 2010, it was right after I began quilting. I had already written two other blogs mostly for family and friends. Plus, I learned how to quilt from the internet (thank you Google and blog tutorials), and I dearly wanted to join the developing online community. Blogging is still a huge part of the quilting process for me; it’s not the same as writing a short caption on a finished quilt photo. I always tell people that my blog is my home base, despite how active I am on Instagram. I delve deep into the quilt process for the benefit of readers (and for myself – I look back at my writing all the time for help!). I tell the stories of my quilts and encourage others to do the same. If we don’t tell them, who will?
Now that you’re intrigued, check out Jessica’s Quilt & Sewing Fest of New Jersey workshops: Jessica Skultety’s Workshops.