Thursday, August 16, 2018

Vancouver Special

On Saturday and Sunday August 25/26, the Vancouver Modern Quilt Guild will proudly present our second Modern Quilt Showcase. Once again, I'm coordinating the show alongside a few other dedicated guild members who've been working super hard to pull it all together. It takes an enormous effort to plan a multi-day public quilt show in a large, industrial setting. We love the Pipe Shop venue in North Vancouver because it is flooded with natural light; the wide open space featuring huge timber posts is the most perfect backdrop for our colourful, modern quilts.

Unlike most contemporary quilt shows taking place these days, we've once again decided to forego the usual "drape" approach to hanging. Our quilts will hang directly from cross bars and dowels suspended from overhead wire. Many of the quilts will have backs visible, which is also rather unusual for a quilt show. It'll be a stunning show of about 140 quilts. I really hope to see you there!

We issued a challenge to our members this time: create a modern mini quilt for the theme "West Coast Modern". The quilt must be made of solid coloured fabric and not exceed 80" total perimeter.  I'm enjoying challenges more and more these days as my confidence in designing original work increases year after year.  I've also learned that it's possible to make just about anything you like and figure out a way to make it fit the theme.

“Special” a miniquilt by Poppyprint

I considered lots of modern landscape interpretations because, well, Vancouver is a coastal city on the edge of B.C., with ocean on one side and mountains on the other. Then out of the blue, I decided to take the "modern" more literally and create a little quilted version of a well-known (somewhat controversial) house design built throughout Vancouver's east and south sides. These homes are known as Vancouver Specials: they feature two full above-ground floors built on grade, maximum square footage, shallow sloping roof, typically a kitchen on each floor, front balcony with sliding glass door, brick bottom with stucco top and an off-centre entranceway.  They often fill their city lot, leaving a small front and back yard.  The homes were built relatively quickly (some came in kits) and provided multi-generational housing that suited the influx of new Canadians to this city who were used to living this way in their home countries and cultures.  While not the most attractive homes, they served an important purpose: to welcome new families to Vancouver and provide affordable housing in a rapidly growing urban area.

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As families have aged out of these neighbourhoods, many of these 70's built homes have been purchased by younger professionals and renovated into expansive, spare modern spaces for family living. There is even an annual home tour featuring such houses.

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I created my little version entirely with Oakshott shot cottons and quilted it with the new Aurifil longarm 40/3 cotton thread on a cone. I love the weight of this thread for quilting!  I'm thinking more and more about minimalist design and trying it out. This may be my first step...making this quilt a true challenge for me. It's definitely one aspect of modern quilt design that I find the most difficult to wrap my brain around.

“Special” a miniquilt by Poppyprint

“Special” a miniquilt by Poppyprint

I sewed a little sleeve and label on the back yesterday. My mini is all ready for the showcase. To make the mini challenge even more fun, we'll be asking visitors to vote on their favourite. The quilt with the most votes will receive the most beautiful miniature ribbon, handmade by a guild member.  All other quilts in the showcase are also up for Viewer's Choice ribbons, so please come by, enjoy some incredible modern quilts, buy a lucky raffle ticket on our charity quilt and vote for your favourites.

VMQG Modern Quilt Showcase
August 25, noon  - 8:00 p.m.
August 26, 10:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m.
Admission: $5, children <12 free="" p="">

The Pipe Shop, 115 Victory Ship Way, North Vancouver, BC
 (just one block east of the Lonsdale Quay Seabus Terminal)
Accessible with washrooms onsite
Free parking nearby in the ICBC parkade, pay parkade at the Pinnacle Hotel & Lonsdale Quay.
1 hr and 2 hr free street parking in the neighbourhood


Dianne said...

Great info on Vancouver specials Krista! I plan to be at the pipe shop to see the quilts and admire the challenge quilts!!

KaHolly said...

Your mini is drop dead gorgeous in its execution and simplicity. I absolutely love it! Thank you for sharing the story behind the quilt design. Very interesting. Sounds like a show I will hate to miss. Wish in had flue powder.