Tag Archives: Mary Ruth Smith

Quilt Show Season – PIQF part 1, circle quilts

Detail of quilt by Irene MacWilliam

Detail of quilt by Irene MacWilliam

It may surprise you to learn that I don’t go to many quilt shows.  When I have attended quilt shows in the past, when I was working full-time, I would see everyone’s wonderful work and feel that I was really underachieving and working below my potential. I was not only intimidated by the work I saw, but intensely jealous that everyone else seemed to have more time and more talent than me. Not a good feeling.

Also, the shows provided such intense visual stimulation that I was yawning after the first thirty minutes and absolutely catatonic by the second hour.

With my leave of absence beginning its second year, I have had more time to quilt and have created some of my best work. I have had two quilt shows of my own in a year and things feel like they are clipping along at a good rate.

The best news is that this allows me to enjoy quilt shows so much more, and this year’s Pacific International Quilt Show (or PIQF) was a great pleasure to attend. The work was new and fresh. The quilts were interesting and beautiful. And I really enjoyed myself!

Over the next few posts I would like to share some of the quilts that I was inspired by. Case and point: these amazing circle quilts.

You Can't Put a Hole Where a Hole Don't Belong, by Irene MacWilliam

You Can't Put a Hole Where a Hole Don't Belong, by Irene MacWilliam

First up and all the way from England, Irene MacWilliam’s You Can’t Put a Hole Where a Hole Don’t Belong! Three layers of turned applique and big chunky hand stitches – wonderful! Irene wrote that the lyrics to Bernard Cribbins’ song Hole in the Ground was the inspiration for this quilt.

Hot Town - Summer in the City, By Janet McCallum

Hot Town - Summer in the City, By Janet McCallum

Also coming from England is Janet McCallum’s Hot Town – Summer in the City. Janet lists the view from the Empire State Building as the inspiration for this piece. She used conventional and hand-dyed fabrics to create the streets, buildings, water towers and air conditioning units as viewed from above.

Hot Town - Summer in the City - detail

Hot Town - Summer in the City - detail

The background/borders were absolutely luminous in person, fuchsia and green dupioni silk. I wish the photo could convey some of that!

Detail of Towards Infinity

Detail of Towards Infinity

From South Africa, quilter Sally Scott submitted this unusual quilt called Towards Infinity.

Towards Infinity, by Sally Scott

Towards Infinity, by Sally Scott

Much of this quilt is yarn couched down with black zig-zag stitching. The diamonds on the serpents are embroidered and the center circles are made with coils of beads. The influences of African imagery and textile are very palpable when you look at this tall, thin wall-hanging.

Super close up of Towards Infinity

Super close up of Towards Infinity

The colors are wonderful and I absolutely loved this quilt.

Passages, by Mary Ruth Smith

Passages, by Mary Ruth Smith

Mary Ruth Smith’s Passages was entered in a part of the show called Layers of Memories presented by SAQA (Studio Art Quilt Associates).

Mary Ruth states, “Memories of a feed sack dress with a circular motif, made by my mother and worn in the first grade, provided the content for Passages.” It is a captivating combination of fabrics, colors and embroidered circles.

Detail of Passages

Detail of Passages

Again, I wish the photography could convey the magic better, but you can see the wonderful hand work propelling this quilt right into the field of quilts as ART!

Close Up of Sunset

Close Up of Sunset

The last quilt to share today is from a collection curated by Northern California Quilt Council (or NCQC). Jan Soules’ Sunset really caught my eye with the wonderful floral fabrics and the lively colors. I have been loving making circle quilts lately, and I really wish I could have made this quilt!

Sunset, by Jan Soules

Sunset, by Jan Soules

Sunset is an example of something I saw often at PIQF this year, and that is the combination of pieced quilts with fun and funky embroidered elements.

Detail of Sunset

Detail of Sunset

Stay tuned – more quilts coming!



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