Last Thursday (a week ago) my wonderful grandmother and her quilting crew took me to Quilt Canada, a large quilt show that sets up in a different chosen city each year. The last time it was in Calgary was 1988, joined by the winter Olympics. The show included a judged section, auction, displays, shops, and an antique quilt area (our favorite part).
One thing that stood out to me when wandering through the professional judging section was the purposed usage of quilting. (For those of you who aren't familiar with the terminology, the pieces of fabric are "pieced" together, and the "quilting" is the stitches that join the front and back of the quilt. Its main purpose is to keep the "batting" (white fluffy stuff in the middle) in place, and to flatten out the quilt. Otherwise, it's more of an air-filled pillow) In my last quilt, I did quilted "in the ditch" (along seams) and diagonally, as well as some free loops on the border. The quilts I saw usually didn't have straight quilting seams. Sometimes, the quilting was used to add to the picture. It was all very fascinating, and hard to explain.
There was a good deal of inspiration. I am interested in doing some applique, (where pieces of fabric are hand-sewn onto another, background fabric, as opposed to joined to it) and hand quilting (as opposed to machine quilting). Here are some of my favorite pieces from the show.
The most incredible quilt- all hand quilted!