Friday, January 8, 2016

From Insects to Elephants at the Wisconsin Quilt Museum, Part 1

Inside the Barn
 Hi everyone, it is a new year and I'm finally posting again. Last week hubby and I drove up to Cedarburg, Wisconsin and saw the "From Insects to Elephants" exhibit at the Wisconsin Museum of Quilts and Fiber Arts.
But first, I had some thrilling news a couple of weeks ago.

You might remember my quilt "Gotta Dance!"?  Well it won the 2nd Place ribbon at the National Quilt Museum's contest this year! I spent the last 3 weeks or so eating Christmas cookies and working on 3 essays for the American Quilter's Society book about the exhibit. (Available when the exhibit opens this spring. I'll be there for book signings by the way!)

 In case you want to see the other top ribbon winners here is a link to the Museum's page.

Gotta Dance!  by Cathy Geier

This year might mean some changes for my typical way of doing things. What does change look like? It looks like insomnia, lol. My sleep issues are back again. I've always just made what ever I wanted to - what ever I felt like - when I quilt. This year I might be working with RJR in a more formal way to produce patterns using their fabrics.  You know about "On Demand" TV, well I'm kind of viewing this as "On Demand" quilts.  Can I be creative 'on demand'? We'll have to find that out and it is a bit stressful.

Anyway, enough about me. Back to glorious patchwork! The WI Quilt Museum is in a reconstructed, updated old barn. It is pretty neat what they've done. (Clean everything, nicely decorated, it is wonderful!) You walk in and are surrounded by color and beautiful fiber art. This particular exhibit featured some glorious jackets as well. 

Jackets were made by Karla Spinks

Another view of the Museum 

When you first walk into the barn, guess who greets you!? Susan Carlson's 22 foot crocodile! And WOW what a greeting! Here he is... 

By the way, Susan made a life size crocodile - yes there are 22 foot crocs out there. YIKES! 
Crocodylus Smylus by Susan Carlson 
 I took a lot of detail shots for you. Creating animal collages of bright and bold fabric prints is very popular right now and I figured you'd like to see all the particulars. 

His legs...

His lovely teeth... and smile

His little pink toes...
His spiny backbone...

His underbelly...

And lastly his spiky tail! 

I thought you might like to see the write up - so here it is. 

I'll show you more quilts from this exhibit in the future, but for now here are some of the animals grouped in the opening area. It was a glorious patchwork exhibit!

Tickled Pink by Susan Carlson
 I really love this kind of collage. I have Susan's book and someday I'm going to open it and make something new and different from my usual stuff. Isn't this a wonderful critter!? 
The little guy's face, eye and horn
 The paint on this next guy really added a lot of texture to his skin. It actually looked a bit dry and leathery. The quilt was hanging up high and I had to adjust the photograph a bit in my photoshop program so this image isn't as sharp as I would have liked. 
Incognito by Melanie Marr 

A little blurry - sorry about that. 

I've seen this elephant on pinterest and it was wonderful seeing it in person. She built her elephant on muslin using glue to hold the bits in place then she covered it in tulle to keep them there. 
Ellie by Darlene Determan

Ellie has such an expressive face
Closeup. Do you see what is in her eye? Isn't that neat?!

Here are Ellie's legs and toes - it is really hard to see the tulle isn't it?  

I'm finishing up today's post with a couple of random quilts. I had these ready to go before I blogged because last week had a day set aside as "National Bird Day" and I posted these on my facebook page. 

Wings by Nancy Linz
 Of course I love her patchwork background - actually the whole scene. I like the mix between traditional quilting and 'art' quilting.

Parrot Peek-a- Boo by Susan Brubaker Knapp
I hope you've enjoyed this little tour.  One last thing to mention about Cedarburg... FOOD. In particular the Stilt House. I had their Shrimp Gnocchi and wanted to lick out the bowl it was so good!

There are more trips up to the Museum in my future and I'll be sure to take pictures and report on any restaurants or bar and grill establishments we choose to refuel ourselves with along with whatever beauties the museum has hanging!

In the meantime, I really need to get back to my sewing room. I haven't been doing much in it for nearly a month now and I need to quilt those little projects I made for classes a few months ago.

On the other hand, reading something sounds like more fun.

How interesting it is that Newton's Laws of Motion are so descriptive of reality in my home. I'm referring to his first law -

A body at rest will stay at rest until acted upon by another force.

Lol. Time for work or time for rest!? I'll report back to you next week. 


  1. Fabulous quilts! Congratulations on your well-deserved win. I'm going to learn that technique for creating subjects with bold prints at the end of April. So excited!

    1. Thanks! I see these kinds of animal quilts in Kaffe fabrics and I think they are so cool. I hope you have fun!
      Oh, these are just a few of the quilts that were hanging there, I'll be posting more and in different styles too. :)

  2. You quilt is fabulous, congrats on your win, now try to catch some zzzzzzzzzzzs. You earned them. Mary

    1. Thanks! I'm trying... I'm trying. Last couple of nights have been better than last week so that's good. :)