A World of Beauty in Detail | Inside Quilters Newsletter

My experience at Market was similar to Lori’s and Mary Kate’s – there was lots to see, plenty of people to meet and reconnect with and cool new things to discover. We’ll be sharing a bunch of new products, techniques, quilts and inspiration in coming issues and blog posts, so stay tuned! But with all the hustle and bustle of Market, it was a pleasure to be able to take a moment to look at the quilts in the small but impressive World of Beauty exhibit which was a little island of calm amidst the busyness of Market business.

One fun thing that happened was Bill and I were invited to attend a breakfast and presentation hosted by Olfa, to celebrate the 35th anniversary of the rotary cutter. It was interesting to see the very first prototype and to learn how this indispensable tool has developed throughout the years. I use my rotary cutter all the time so I am very grateful that the rotary cutter exists to make quilting that much more fun and easy.

Olfa’s very first rotary cutter prototype, from 1979, is on the bottom.

Back in the convention center, there were a couple quilts in the World of Beauty exhibit that looked lovely from afar, but even more incredible upon closer inspection. Here are a few of my favorites, with some nice detail shots so you can see what I’m talking about.

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Yumemi by Maiko Ogawa of Tokyo, Japan. So much to look at!

I love how lively this is! Here’s Ogawa’s statement about the quilt: “This [Yumemi] is my seven-year-old daughter’s name. My dream at her age, “Dad, I want to live in a two-storied house,” came true when I became her mother. The girl in the garden represents my daughter, as well as myself in childhood. After 30 years, I reunited with my father, who taught quilting. I want to keep such a lovely dream.”

It was pieced, appliqued  and embroidered by hand, and has both hand and machine quilting. But I promised a closer look so here we go.

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All the vignettes with bouquets of flowers were so dense with exquisite detail.

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Lots and lots of work – by hand!

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Another beautiful bouquet. You can see a peek of the raw-edge lawn in the center panel at the very top of this photo.

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The center panel had such amazing details, like the individual roof shingles and the layered raw-edge fabric creating a grassy lawn, for instance.

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Let’s take a look at the borders! Wow!

Truly inspiring work! It’s difficult for me to imagine ever being able to make something like that, but I’m glad somebody else worked so hard to make it so I can see it.

Another quilt I loved, also by a Japanese artist, had details that made me stop and look closely in admiration. Since it’s made in only taupe, it’s much more subdued than the first quilt, but the work that went into is so impressive.

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Bless My Sweet Home by Tomoko Endo of Fukushima, Japan, made entirely by hand.

This is what Endo said about her quilt: “While I was making my quilt, the big earthquake happened in my town on March 11, 2011. It was a terrible natural disaster, but I realized I had a wonderful family and friends. I tried to put those feelings in this quilt.”

Detail photos? Well, alright.

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One of the house vignettes.


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Sunbonnet Sue hanging up some clothes to dry.

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Playing in the snow. Aren’t the little border flowers nice?

This next quilt has amazing details, too, but in a different way than the first two.

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Zen Magpies by Helen Godden of Latham Canberra, Australia. The birds were painted by hand.

This one was so inspiring to me, since I’ve been practicing my free-motion quilting. Hopefully one day I can be as adept as Godden. Here’s what she said about the quilt: “What is black and white and quilted all over? Painted on silk sateen, the magpies sing their song with such joy and freedom. They are surrounded by extreme quilted doodle-mania, an explosion of decorative free-motion fun. With over 100 different designs, the quilter has found her Zen.”

Close-up of the quilting:

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Lots of Zentangle-like designs, all done beautifully. It takes a lot of skill and confidence to lay down that heavy black thread on white sateen!

These quilts aren’t ones you see every day and it’s such a privilege to be able to study them up close. But it also makes me want to hole up in my sewing room forever to work on making quilts! It’s won’t be forever but this coming weekend I can get a good chunk of time to quilt, at least.

Please follow us on Facebook, Pinterest, Instagram, Twitter, Google+, YouTube and our website for all the quilty news. Have a marvelous weekend!

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