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Posts Tagged ‘Vintage Quilts’

So You Want To Make A Winning Quilt: Outstanding Modern Quilt

Tuesday, May 30th, 2017

Z is for Zoey won Outstanding Modern Quilt at Road to California 2017. Sponsor Riley Blake Designs awarded $5,000 to maker, Mary Kerr and quilter, Karen McTavish.

Family and quilting goes hand in hand for Mary Kerr. She grew up in a family of quilters and her latest winning quilt, Z is for Zoey, was made for her granddaughter, Zoey Rose, Mary’s “very own mini-me.”

A Road 2016 faculty member and curator of the special exhibit, Quilt As Desired, Mary has a special affection for vintage designs. She wanted this piece to reflect the convergence of the past….her love of vintage with the excitement of the future….Zoey’s place in the modern world.

Z is for Zoey was inspired by a a single long strip from the 1930s. Tongues of fabric had been hand appliquéd with black thread on both sides of a muslin strip. It was never incorporated into a quilt and at one point someone even cut out one of the fabrics to reuse. The quilt married Mary’s “love of vintage textiles with the freshness of the Modern quilt aesthetic.”

Mary thought long and hard about the design. Once she decided how to create the “Z,” the top came together in just a couple of days. Then, according to Mary, Karen McTavish “added the perfect background with her distinctive lace quilting.”

While both Karen and Mary were “very pleased” that Z for Zoey won Outstanding Modern Quilt, Mary says, “My Zoey takes full credit for the win!”

For the near future, Mary plans to continue to teach, write books and hopefully inspire others to work with vintage fabrics.

You can learn more about Mary on her website.


Road 2016 Special Exhibit: Quilt As Desired

Tuesday, April 19th, 2016

Quilt as Desired, curated by Mary Kerr, a Road 2016 teacher. [caption id="attachment_3977" align="aligncenter" width="618"]Picture by Brian Roberts Photography Picture by Brian Roberts Photography[/caption] Mary teamed with some of the best longarm quilters in bringing this exhibit to life. Mary found the vintage tops for the quilts. She never paid more than $50 for any of them and they were in all kinds of condition.  Mary passed the tops on to the quilters who donated their time, batting and expertise in bringing the quilts back to life. Sometimes they added to the top; sometimes they took away. As Mary remarked, “It was a unique marriage of old and new, blurring the lines of the quilting world.”  Shows, such as Road to California that display the exhibit, pay to get the quilts shipped to their location and for having Mary come to lead tours and explain the quilts. [caption id="attachment_3980" align="aligncenter" width="615"]Photo by Brian Roberts Photography Photo by Brian Roberts Photography[/caption] The full exhibit has 40 quilts. Twenty four of them were included in the exhibit at Road 2016. In 5 years, when Quilt as Desired is done touring, all of the quilts will be auctioned off for various quilt causes chosen by Mary and the longarmers. [caption id="attachment_3979" align="aligncenter" width="526"]Photo by Brian Roberts Photo by Brian Roberts[/caption] Miss Sally was a top quilted by Sally Garuet, founder of the American Quilt Story Group. The original fan top is circa 1930. The Art Deco quilting was done by M&M Quilting.Quilt_as_desired-12 This Dresden Plate top entitled Melon Smoothie was quilted by Marty Vint of Baltimore, Maryland. Mary has macular degeneration and estimates she will only be able to quilt for 2 more years before she loses her eyesight. When this quilt is auctioned off, the proceeds have already been designated to benefit macular degeneration research. [caption id="attachment_3981" align="aligncenter" width="529"]Quilt_as_desired-8 Photo by Brian Roberts[/caption] As Mary said, “No woman ever started out to make a quilt top. A quilt top deserves to be quilted.” All it takes to finish a quilt is time, talent, and resources – which this special exhibit offered for these amazing quilt tops. You can go to Mary’s web site to find out where Quilt as Desired is going next on its tour. You can also purchase a DVD of the entire exhibit.]]>

Road 2016 Faculty: Meet Mary Kerr

Tuesday, September 8th, 2015

Mary will be teaching four classes: 4009R  Saving Our Treasures on Thursday; 5006R  Searching for Clues  on Friday; 6005R  A Hexed Affair on Saturday; and on Sunday, 7005R The Business of Being in Business Mary Kerr bio photo 2015

Mary Kerr has moved around. She was born in South Bend, Indiana where her father was a graduate student at Notre Dame and grew up in Athens, Georgia. When she met and married her Army husband, they moved 16 times during his 22 year Army career. While they have lived in Virginia since 2003, Mary is still moving around with her quilt activities. She has traveled extensively throughout the United States with her classes and her exhibits. As Mary says, she “love(s) this crazy quilt life!!”MK My Heart Soars Mary has three grown children and three grandchildren; 4 year old twins (a boy and girl) and a 4 month old grandson. When she isn’t quilting, Mary loves spending time with her family and friends …..traveling, playing music, enjoying the beach, riding bikes. How did you get started in quilting?  I grew up in a family of quilters ….two of my great grandmothers, both grandmothers and numerous aunts quilted. I began quilting myself after I was married in 1982 and started teaching in 1987. Where do you find inspiration for your quilting?  I am often inspired by our quilting heritage including vintage patterns and designs. I love using the vintage fragments and pieces in new ways. My current work incorporates these leftovers into new and exciting quilts. I have written 5 books, three of which focus on saving these unfinished fragments in unique ways. I enjoy giving my students permission to play with vintage. MK Recycled Hexie Quilt cover (2)What has been the best class you have taken?  The class that sparked my love of quilt history was Barbara Brackman’s  Clues in the Calico workshop  that I attended in 1999. What is the one tool you can’t live without?  My digital camera. I can play with designs until I get the one I am happiest with. Pictures in progress just add to the fun! What do you like best about teaching? I love the moment that students fall in love with the project they are working on. I adore this quilt community and the opportunity to share our history, traditions and inspiration.MK Mary Mary fragment What do you want your students to get out of your class?  I want them to be inspired to explore new ways and new ideas. I want to be the one who gives them permission to work with vintage textiles and the stories behind their creations. What is your best quilting tip? You can do anything!MK Roses for Opal Mary Kerr will also be presenting the special exhibit, Quilt as Desired” at Road 2016. This exhibit features quilts that blend the old and new quilt worlds. The best long arm quilters have taken unremarkable vintage tops and created something magical!]]>