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Road Trip: Quilt National 2015

Ohio may not be everyone’s ultimate summer destination, but I’ve always wanted to visit a Quilt National at the Dairy Barn in Athens. This juried biennial exhibit reflects cutting edge art quilts from around the world. Videos where the artists talk about their work are available on the Dairy Barn YouTube channel sharpen my anticipation.

In true Tactile Travel style, I’m researching good food, cultural history and interesting shopping. Do you have any suggestions?

Surfing Cats at City Quilter

It may be the last day of New York Fashion Week, but my schedule includes work, lunch, shopping and a show. No runways for me! With the weather and wind VERY brisk, I’ve actually taken the Metro. Normally, walking is an integral aspect of the Manhattan experience. How else can you get a feel of the city?

I don’t need quilting fabric, but a visit to City Quilter finally happened. For one who has seen MANY quilt shops, let me just say that this quilt shop curates a very fun selection of cottons. Once my eyes caught this fabric, the wave of “MUST HAVE” rolled over me.Alanna Nelson quilts surfing cats

Surfing cats from Riley Blake Designs. This will be a fun baby quilt back. It seemed only natural to grab a selection of Cherrywood gradations to match the colors.

What a great way to warm up a cold winter day!

Hanging at Original Sewing Expo SAQA booth

It’s another one of those ridiculous weekends when there’s not enough time for all the great exhibits going on in New England. So spoiled to bask in the plethora of textile wonder, my weekend will actually start on Thursday, April 10 at the Original Sewing Expo in Worcester. Find me at the Studio Art Quilt Associates booth at the beginning of the day.

Of course, it’s time for the Machine Quilters Expo… an event I’ve never actually been to, but I can count on Laurena and other Rising Star Quilters to fill me in.

If you haven’t yet seen the New England Quilt Museum’s  exhibit of the 2012 Nihon Japan winning quilts… run!  The show closes this weekend.  I was so pleased to see my friend Teresa Gai‘s quilt there.

As I test my hat pattern and proof my Master Knitter Portfolio, my thoughts turn back to quilting. Walking at Breakheart Reservation last weekend, I loved the black and white lines contrasting with the blue sky and the winding path. Possibilities…..

Alanna Nelson SAQA Art Quilts at Original Sewing Expo

Civita II Mini Raffle Quilt

Civita II Mini Raffle Quilt

In northern Lazio, there is a hilltop that Rick Steves essentially saved from washing away, both figuratively and literally. Civita di Bagnoregio  was the birthplace of St Bonaventure, but the gritty volcanic tuff and earthquakes eroded the sides and summit of this bluff. Until Rick Steves waxed on about it in the early 1990’s, it seemed destined to disintegration.

Civita di Bagnoregio, ItalyAbout 10 days before the Rising Star Quilt Show, members received an email with new ways they could support the show. I’d never made a 12×12″ mini quilt for the raffle, so why not?

In 2010, I made an 8×10″ quilt based on a drawing I did of this hilltop town. About 75 pieces were pieced together, which was quite enjoyable, and I wanted to take this and play with the basic image. Could I create a simple quilt and finish in time? As Tim Gunn says, “Make it work.”

The mini quilt had 4 different fabrics, 3 of them hand dyed/painted pieces from my stash. I outlined buildings with machine quilting, but that left the windows. What to do? I would love to capture the way shadows hit the space, and I would love to finish this quilt before Friday afternoon!

In comes the October speaker for the Rising Star Quilt Guild, Jane Davila, who not only spoke but brought many goodies for textile artists.  I picked up a couple of nail-polish-bottle looking bottles of accent ink from Smooch. Obviously, I have a lot to learn about using these inks, but when the time and simplicity are paramount, it worked.

Civita Quilt by Alanna Nelson
I wasn’t at the show on Saturday (ehem, it was the best day of the last weekend of sailing season), but I heard it attracted a bunch of tickets. Best wishes to whoever won!

Rising Star Quilters Show 2014

Rising Star Quilters Show 2014

October 26 – 27, 2014

Amble on over to Cary Hall in Lexington, MA for the Rising Star Quilters Guild for eye popping quilts, a boutique of hand made items, raffles and scavenger hunts.   Truly something for everyone, quilt fiend or not!

Rising Star Quilters Show Raffle Quilt MA 2013

Autumnal Stars is the large raffle quilt at the 2013 RSQ Show


I’m donating a mini quilt for our raffle inspired by a hillside town in Italy. You can also see my contribution to the “Two by Two” challenge (photos up next week, I hope!) Hope to see you there!