Together From Afar

Another year of QuiltCon has come and gone. Though the virtual format for 2021 kept us physically apart, we believe it successfully brought our quilting community closer together. 

Some of our favorite aspects of the virtual format included the voice feature that accompanied many of the quilts in the gallery of the show. It brought the quilts to life when we heard the makers talk about their creations while viewing them. 

We also loved seeing all the quilts displayed together, one by one, right next to each other, without curtains and rows separating them. We would love for the Modern Quilt Guild to incorporate some of the online features that we enjoyed this year in future QuiltCons, even when the main event is able to happen in-person again. 

Here are some of our favorite quilts from the virtual show. We thank all the makers of the quilts for providing photos of their quilts so that we could share them here with you. 

Supernova by Phong Chi Lai @studiopcl

Supernova by Phong Chi Lai @studiopcl

ASupernova is a powerful, stellar, catastrophic explosion. This quilt was made as an emotional response to our current global situation. While creating it, Phong reflected on the complexities of the human footprint on the Earth and the concerns we collectively face with our climate. The materials used are 100% reclaimed natural fibers. All fabrics were hand dyed using natural dyes.

Though Phong created the piece with a specific idea about it’s meaning, he wants the viewer to come to their own conclusions and form their own narrative about the work. 

We love the organic feel of this quilt as well as the explosion of stories it seems to be waiting to tell each of its viewers. 

Supernova by Phong Chi Lai @studiopcl

Supernova Back

This quilt is for sale. If you are interested in purchasing it you can contact Phong Chi Lai through his website:

Grandmother’s Freakin’ Garden by Diana M. Vandeyar @dianavandeyar

Grandmother’s Freakin’ Garden by Diana M. Vandeyar @dianavandeyar

Vandeyar has become a master of re-envisioning the traditional Grandmother’s Garden motif. She first createdGrandmother’s Life on Mars (pictured below) which won an award at QuiltCon 2018 in Pasadena, and now we haveGrandmother’s Freakin’ Garden

Grandmother’s Life on Mars by Diana M. Vandeyar @dianavandeyar

While making this quilt, Vandeyar felt like it allowed her some modicum of control in the midst of a year (2020) that felt very out of control. This quilt was entirely made by hand. 

We love the way the flowers on this quilt are melting and the deep jewel tones that were used. 

Pink Squares by Amanda Nadig @amandanadigart

Pink Squares by Amanda Nadig @amandanadigart 

Right before full lockdown went into effect, Nadig went to the thrift store and selected some of the pieces she wanted to use for this quilt. She also dug through bags of old clothes headed to the thrift store for donation.

Pink Squares was pieced by hand throughout the summer of 2020 at the local park while Nadig watched her children flying kites and playing in the sandbox. Despite the play equipment being closed because of the pandemic, it was still a relief for the family to enjoy being outside and sitting under a tree. 

We are moved by the rawness of this quilt while also feeling that it extends an invitation of warmth to the viewer. The pink Nadig chose provides a soft place for the eye to land. 

This quilt is for sale. If you are interested in purchasing it you can contact Amanda Nadig through his

American Matriarchy Quilt by Jessica Wohl @jessicawohlstudio

American Matriarchy Quilt by Jessica Wohl @jessicawohlstudio,

This quilt is an abstraction of the American Flag, imagined as if we were founded by a matriarchy instead of a patriarchy. Wohl started this quilt at the Slow Stitching Retreat where Tara Faughnan was teaching her Six Pointed Star workshop. 

The applique stripes are varied and broken to represent a desire for us to acknowledge our flaws and imperfections and as a reminder that there is always work to be done. We are not a perfect nation. We can improve. 

Wohl intentionally chose a fluorescent pink quilting thread to represent that the very thing literally holding the work together is clearly associated with femininity.  

Wohl says about the quilt, “I think maybe it's a flag for the country I see in my dreams.”

When we first viewed this quiltwe were immediately drawn in by the mourning and longing that it conveys. The pinks and reds give the quilt a feminine feel and also a sense of power. 

Jagged by Jill Fisher @pieladyquilts

Jagged by Jill Fisher @pieladyquilts,

Fisher made this quilt after coming across a bucket of irregular triangle shapes that were cast-offs from a pickle dish quilt she made. At first she paired the triangle pieces together randomly without paying much attention to the color combinations she was creating. After stepping back and looking at what she had started, she decided she needed to be more deliberate about the combinations she was putting together. This process of adding order to the chaos of her quilt helped settle her mind, especially during the pandemic. 

We love the saturated colors and it’s wonky shape. Sometimes we all need a little wonkiness to soften some of the jagged edges of our lives. 

Please visit us at our Instagram @curatedquilts to view the interviews we conducted with some of the incredible makers in our community over the week of QuiltCon. 

By Brittany Bowen Burton

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