MASTERPIECES QUILTS OF INSPIRATION: FEATHERS AGLOW
Happy Autumn! As the days begin to grow shorter and the nights stretch longer, I look back over this busy past summer. So much accomplished---so much to do. The Born Again Quilts façade project is only minor adjustments away from completion, quilts have been completed or restored and community and church groups have gained knowledge on how best to keep their quilts healthy and properly stored. As many projects have been completed, many more are still in stages of restoration. It takes one stitch at a time but as time marches on so does the progress.
This summer I reported briefly on meeting Meredith Schroeder this year's inductee into the Quilter's Hall of Fame. Meredith walked us through an extraordinary collection of quilts by today's foremost leaders in quilt artistry. One of the quilts is Feathers Aglow by award-winning quilt artist Judith Thompson of Wenonah, New Jersey. In her artist statement Judith writes, "For more than thirty-five years I have appreciated and studied textile arts, especially quilts. Since the 1976 United States Bicentennial I have developed a special interest in antique quilts. I use traditional quilting techniques that I continue to refine and apply to my new designs. By combining piecing, appliqué and quilting by hand. I take inspiration from earlier works to evolve my own designs. I am especially interested in appliqué because it allows me to freely create and express my ideas in new designs. I prefer hand-quilting because it allows fine control of my work. I enjoy teaching and get great satisfaction knowing many of my students have progressed to become accomplished quilters. My vision to create new and unique quilts by interpreting vintage works and incorporating combinations of design element and color layering."
Feathers Aglow features incredible hand-quilting. It was one of the very few quilts in the exhibit not machine-quilted. Judith's work is indeed inspired by traditional quilts as the feathered medallion draws its look from the traditional appliqué Hawaiian pineapple quilts. The "diamond within a square" is also a traditional quilt block design. Her use of batik fabrics adds another level of depth to the quilt creating its glow.
What a talented and inspirational quilt artist. Some day maybe I will meet Judith at the annual Celebration in Marion, Indiana, either as a teacher or an inductee as a fellow hand quilter, she would certainly have my vote!
Lois Eubank is the owner of Born Again Quilts restoration studio and quilt gallery. She can be contacted via www.bornagainquilts.com.