Monday, March 24, 2014

Katie Blakesley & Laura Gunn

Recently I attended the DC Modern Quilt Guild’s exhibit at the Anacostia Arts Center. 


Four of us from Southern Maryland rode up to DC together and another friend who recently moved out of the area met us there.  We had brunch at the arts center café which was amazing!  Then we spent an hour cruising the exhibits, checking out all the beautiful quilts on display, and chitchatting with fellow quilting enthusiasts.

I took some photos of the quilts, but I felt like a big dork with my camera, so I didn’t take quite as many as I wish I had!


A hexi masterpiece by Melinda Newton.


Gorgeous machine quilting by Meli Mathis.


A quilt by the man who started it all, Frederick Nunley, who blogs at Orange Explains It All.  One of his quilts was in a previous exhibit at the arts center and it garnered the most attention out of all the artifacts on display, prompting the curator to ask him to facilitate a display of work by local quilters.

And, leave it to me to pick the simple ones, but this was my favorite quilt in the exhibit.


“Pinocchio” by Susan Fuller.  The green wall behind it just made this quilt glow.

As soon as I saw a few people entering the auditorium, I hustled my friends into line for the presentation.  I wanted front row seats, baby! 


First up was Katie, who presented ideas and designs from her collaborative book Vintage Quilt Revival.  There was a gorgeous trunk show featuring the quilts she made from the book, plus she even showed us the first quilt she made by herself!  It was interesting to see how she, Lee Heinrich, and Faith Jones took traditional blocks and made the quilts more modern by adding negative space, increasing the size of the blocks, using more modern fabrics and color schemes, and putting the blocks on point. 

And then fabric designer and artist Laura Gunn did a presentation about color.  It was high energy!


She discussed the color wheel in depth and showed us how different color combinations can alter the way colors look to the human eye.  In this picture there are three canvases with the same color aqua.  It’s not the best picture (the auditorium was quite dark) but you can see the aqua looks so much brighter on the orange canvas and less vibrant on the yellow canvas, but they are the same shade of aqua.  I asked a lot of questions and if you can believe it,  won a door prize of 3 yards of her poppies fabric in one of the drawings.  But I don’t have a photo because right before she drew a name, I told my cousin I hoped she won because the fabric looked so much like “her.”  It was hard to part with that beautiful bundle of fabric after I held it in my hands, but I was rooting for her after all. 

Afterwards, there were “pop-up shops” where a mob of women descended into a space about 50% too small for the lot of us.  I left with some loot of course!


I’m happy to report I already used most of the linen frogs for my shamrock table runner and some bits of the two purple prints for my Pantone pillow.  The Midnight at the Oasis pattern is by Jen Kingwell, and although I might not make it for a long time, I don’t think I’d ever have the chance to buy it in person again, so I got it.

My kind of day!


  1. Thanks for sharing all these! It must have been a wonderful day :-)

  2. I'll bet that was a fun day. I LOVE the frog fabric.

  3. Seems like you had a fantastic time Jamie. Love all the pretty quilts and what a perfect loot too.

  4. I've really enjoyed reading about your day out seeing amazing quilts and listening to Laura Gunn's talk. It all sounds wonderful!

  5. Oh what a FUN day Jamie!! Everything sounds fabulous! That Midnight at the Oasis pattern looks intriguing:)


Some days the only adult I talk to is my him keep his sanity by leaving a comment so I have another adult to talk sewing with:) I will make sure to reply!