Are you getting excited about the American Quilters Society Quilt Show and Contest? I am! Quilts remind me of snow flakes, they’re all unique. My Aunt is an avid quilter and she has made me a few pieces. The work put into a quilt never ceases to amaze me. Every thread and pattern is in its perfect place. The result is always something magnificent that can be put on display or used for a warm blanket. I would imagine that attending the AQS Quilt Show and Contest would be like staring into a sea of colorful flowers. (Perfect for spring time!)
As the count down to the Show & Contest begin, Sarah & I have had the honor of getting to know a few of the contestants. Here is a piece from the featured quilt Turquoise Turtles & Friends created by Karen Eckmeier of Kent, Connecticut. Just a sneak peek! Karen talked about her quilting and of this particular piece:
Sarah: What’s the story behind this quilt?
Karen: My original plan was to make a large Mola inspired quilt to hang with my collection of Mola panels in my laundry, but when it was finished my husband said it was too nice for the laundry! I chose the circular mandala type format to showcase my favorite creatures, which were inspired by designs of the South, Central and North American Indians.
Sarah: How long have you been quilting, and how did you get into it?
Karen: I started quilting in 1987, after buying a Star of Bethlehem quilt at Peddlar’s Village in Lahaska, PA (not far from my home town of Churchville, PA in Bucks County – where my family and relatives still live – AND I attended Muhlenberg College in Allentown, PA, with a degree in German & Russian, go figure!!). I had never sewn before, let alone quilt….so I taught myself how to quilt, and got hooked in the process!
Sarah: Is this your first time entering a quilt into the American Quilter’s Society Quilt Show & Contest?
Karen: This is actually my 9th time to be a finalist in an AQS show. I have won a 2nd place (1997) and 3rd place (2001) and 2 Honorable Mentions (2000 & 2001) at the AQS Paducah shows.
Sarah: Where do you find your inspiration for quilting?
Karen: The lines and colors found in nature are perhaps my biggest inspiration, but I can be equally inspired by the lines of buildings, doodles in my sketchbook, vacations, people, the food on my plate, just about everything we look at and experience in our everyday life is food for thought.
Sarah: What’s next for you creatively or technically with quilting (your aspirations or goals)?
Karen: After taking my walk in nature this morning, I decided that I needed to make another mandala quilt in this series that celebrates Spring. “Chocolate Moose & Friends” (juried into Lancaster too) and “Busy Bees & Friends” (juried into Paducah this year) are the quilts that followed this turtle quilt. These quilts are a totally new direction for me and I’m having a lot of fun with the journey
Make sure you check out Karen’s work this week at the AQS Quilt Show & Contest!