by Hannah Brinks ⋅ photography by Steve Loveless
QuiltWeek arrives at DeVos Place Convention Center in Grand Rapids from August 20-23. This exciting show allows experienced quilters, as well as new quilt admirers, to learn and explore the art of quilting. The host, American Quilter’s Society, boasts the largest quilting membership in the world, creating a community of those who share a passion for quilts through magazines, books, live events, contests, workshops, online resources and more.
The Quilt Show provides an opportunity for members of the Grand Rapids quilting community to gather and share. It is evident that Grand Rapids has embraced this particular art form. Ann Loveless’ “Sleeping Bear Dune Lakeshore” quilt received first place in ArtPrize in 2013, cementing the beauty of quilting into the city and elevating textile art to a new level.
“It was like a high five for everybody who loves textiles, and quilting in general,” said Loveless. “The win was a win for all quilters. How did I get so lucky to be the one?”
The intricately crafted panoramic view of the Lake Michigan shoreline, Ann Loveless’ landscape quilt Sleeping Bear Dune Lakeshore captures Lake Michigan at sunset complete with deep blue waters, dune grasses, and birch trees with Sleeping Bear Dunes in the distance in her 5-feet high by 20-feet wide piece. The quilt is a collage of cotton and batik fabrics interwoven with linen, silk, yarn, and other fibers, lending texture and movement to the piece. QuiltWeek visitors can see Ann Loveless’Sleeping Bear Dune Lakeshore at the Grand Rapids Art Museum.
Loveless used her ArtPrize winnings to purchase a new Bernina sewing machine, a set of skis, and lots of fabrics. She keeps her fabrics in a closet on skirt hangers.
Since ArtPrize put her in the spotlight, Ann has been busy with presentations as well as producing art. Ann received her degree in clothing and textile design from Michigan State University and has been putting her degree to good use. If the state of the art gallery and framing shop her and her husband own in Beulah, Michigan isn’t busy enough, she is publishing a book on collage landscape art quilts (release scheduled for March 2015). Her big dream is to “design an entire line of landscape quilt products.”
Loveless is entering “Sunflowers” in the AQS show in Grand Rapids. The quilt is inspired by a photo her husband took of a huge field of sunflowers near Elk Rapids. When asked, “why sunflowers?” Loveless replied, “Sunflowers are happy. I wanted something bigger. And I love yellow.”
Besides entering her Sunflowers quilt in the AQS show, Ann plans to attend two workshops and will help man the Studio Art Quilt Associations (SAQA) booth for a few hours to help recruit members.
Catherine Rupp, a representative from QuiltWeek revealed that the crew is very excited to be coming back to Grand Rapids.
“More than 15,000 people are expected to attend and there will be more than 450 quilts on display as well as workshops and special exhibits,” Rupp said. “It’s going to be quite an incredible event.”
Internationally known instructors and authors provide classes, and contests allow you to enter your own creations for the chance to win prizes. There will also be the opportunity to experience the creativity of the other entries and exhibits. The Merchant Mall, an integral part of the experience, features hundreds of local and national vendor booths containing the latest patterns, fabrics and books while also providing the newest quilting tools and technology. Workshops include anything from appliqué to professional development to advice on stitching with style.
A complete list of the Grand Rapids workshops, as well as pricing, admission and an opportunity to register are available online at the QuiltWeek website, www.quiltweek.com.