Visiting the 2018 Quilter’s Unlimited Show

Fair Warning — PHOTO INTENSE!

In early June I had the opportunity to attend the Quilters Unlimited Show, held at the Dulles Expo Center in Chantilly Virginia. Our guild, Ocean Waves Quilt Guild took a bus full of members and guests  to the show.  It was a great opportunity to look at a LARGE show put on by a single guild.  

QU has many chapters and has a very strong foundation in place for this annual show.  Of course, like most big shows, there were lots of vendors, and I indulged myself and purchased a few fat quarters (ahhhemm). Shhh…don’t tell how many!  I had a good time walking around and seeing new products and watching demonstrations .  

A quilter I have mentioned in the past, Cheryl Lynch, of Cheryl Lynch Quilts had a booth and was doing a demonstration of her mini mosaic patterns along with the technique and her special ruler for cutting those little 3/8″ chicklets.   Cheryl also sells her unique ruler called Curvalicious.

You might remember my post in April when I was working on a mini mosaic – (which is still a UFO….the mosaic is finished, I just need to get back to it to put on the border and get the grouting done……)

Cheryl is also the one who taught me the technique to make my quilt, Mittens, which was all I raved about during 2016 & 2017. One quick search for the keyword, Mittens, on my blog will keep you busy for an hour!  

 Anyway, I am rambling….I like Cheryl, and her design techniques and products and methods.  So, it was FUN to run into her and chat for a minute.  She had a VERY busy booth, so I hope that meant sales were brisk!  

I had free motion quilting at the front of my brain when I was looking at the beautiful quilts in this show.  This is the 3rd time I have been to a Q.U. show, and the work is always impressive.  This time, I decided I would take photo’s of the quilting, close up, to help me when I start looking for ideas of how to quilt an area on my own quilts.  I’m going to share a lot of photo’s….after all…it WAS a quilt show!  There were a few quilts that I liked the overall design of and were inspiring.  This first quilt was interesting because of the way the light was hitting the cross.  I thought it was well executed.

Resurrection Morning by Janice Kibat

Resurrection Morning by Janice Kibat

This next quilt I liked because of it’s unusual quilting on such a modern quilt –

quilt at the Quilters unlimited show, Chantilly VA - June 2018

I failed to snap the maker of the quilt’s name.  At a distance the quilting almost looks like chevrons, but up close, the design becomes apparent. 

Interesting quilting design

The next quilt was a tumbler block quilt.  The diagonal quilting with a variegated thread was interesting.

Diagonal quilting on a tumbler block quilt

It looked to me like the wavy stitch went from corner to corner of the neutral tumbler blocks, and was one of those built in machine stitches.  I have several on my Janome 8900 that I have used like this wavy stitch.  The circle flowing line and circle was done free hand and I like that there were 2 rows of that motif between the wavy stitch. 

I liked the overall look of this whimsical modern take on applique 

Modern approach to applique

What really caught my eye was the folk art design, and the whimsy of the birds or flowers, or stems  “escaping” from the confines of the block!    

A close up look at the border will show you how those circles that are appliqued on and are just floating over the edges were quilted.

Love the pebbles and the circles.

I would need a LOT of practice before I tackled pebbles on a big quilt like this!

This underwater quilt was a great project for using large scale prints of a similar motif.  

Fish quilt

Sorry for the blur, but it is an underwater quilt…..  😉  What I liked about the quilting is it “felt like waves” giving the quilt movement, softening up the hard edges of the blocks.  What I like about the overall look of the quilt is that the maker used colors from the focus print to make the surrounding border of the block. The quilter took all of these uniquely different fish fabrics and now they swim in harmony.  

waves and bubbles

 I loved the “wavy lines” and the “bubbles” in the quilting. 

bubbles and waves

I could be inspired to do this once I master circles.  Love the variegated thread too. It doesn’t jump out at you, it just subtly changes color. On some of the busier prints, you almost can’t see the quilting. 

The quilting in the next quilt gives great complexity to what might otherwise be a very simple quilt –

A Bird in Hand by Marisela Rumberg Outstanding

A Bird in Hand by Marisela Rumberg 

The description on the display card give you information about the quilter and her process –

A Bird in Hand by Marisela Rumberg

Did you notice the little wooden birds stitched onto the quilt? While my friends and I were looking closely at this quilt and admiring it, talking about all the elements we saw in the quilting (the hearts, flowers, birds, etc) we were overheard by another quilter who indicated she had met the quilt maker. Next thing we knew, we were being introduced to Marisela !  We were also told Marisela had another quilt on exhibit and we should go look for it too!  

Quilted birds - A Bird in Hand by Marisela Rumberg

Turns out, we had just seen it – and I was photographed with the quilt.

"I can fly" by Marisela Rumberg

“I CAN FLY” by Marisela Rumberg

Where I am standing the quilt was blank. My friends suggested my shirt color was perfect to become “part of the butterfly”. 

I don’t want to overwhelm you so I will save the remaining photos for another post.  I admired a lot of lovely quilts, and studied the quilting, knowing I had a long road ahead if I wanted to quilt like any of these.  I do believe you “have to start somewhere & practice”.  

What do you look for when you go to a quilt show?  Is it something different each time?  Do you spend your time studying the quilts or more time shopping with the vendors?  Are you often surprised at the quilts you see on display?  I know I am!

DISCLAIMER – These photos are of quilts made by SOMEONE else….not me!  Please don’t ask me for the pattern.   When I was able, I photographed the information card next to the quilt. All credit for the quilts goes to the quilter and the guild. (Read the captions and the story about the quilts from the beginning please!)

4 thoughts on “Visiting the 2018 Quilter’s Unlimited Show

  1. I am realistic that one of my skills is not free motion quilting. I’m too stiff and the bobbin on my machine doesn’t cooperate. So, I use straight-line machine quilting when that works, and when that doesn’t, off it goes to the longarm quilter, and I gladly write her a check. These are lovely quilts, and the photo of Mary the butterfly is a hoot.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Glad you enjoyed the photos. Some machines can swap bobbin cases. My Janome has a Free motion quilting bobbin case I put in. Also I use those little Teflon circles that go under the bobbin. Quilt by check keeps the pro’s working! !


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