Monday, April 21, 2008

Quilt Guild

Last Monday I had the pleasure of attending the Northwest Quilters guild meeting for the second time. There is quite a large group of active quilters - so it's really fun. First they go through the business - which is as exciting as you might imagine - but here's where the crafty folks pull out their hand work (and how I spotted the knitters). After the business there was a short break where we could chat & also vote for the winner of a quilt challenge. All the challenge quilts were hung up around the room so it was kind of like a mini-show. While not every quilt was to my taste, there were some really spectacular works. I wish I had brought my camera!

After the break there was a presentation by a quilt artist - Ellen Anne Eddy (yes, the quilting world has it's celebrities too!).

This is her "In Imagio Dei" - In the Image of God... her self portrait.

She was quite a crack up, and showed many really amazing pieces of art. We even got to pass them around and look at them up close - which was refreshing because usually with quilts the rule is 'look but don't touch' and for many of us with fiber obsessions - that's not easy!! It's hard to appreciate the quilts without seeing them in person - they have so much texture and the colors are so vibrant. I also really appreciated her attitude- that making art is a birth-right and not something for just 'artists', the way she expressed herself through her art, and just in general her relaxed & playful attitude towards quilting.

Anyway, after looking at all the challenge quilts, and after examining the art quilts, they did a show & tell where anyone could stand up and show of their current quilt projects. The first gal who got up worked at a popular quilt shop in Salem... the beautiful quilt was a store sample. The next quilter who got up pointed out a few of the fabrics which she had created using a sun-dying technique and commented that those fabrics would be in a new line of fabrics coming soon to a quilt shop near you. Another quilter was showing off just a few of the 140 doll quilts she made (of the 500 she plans to make) for a children's charity. One of the last quilters showed off a quilt she made after taking a class from Eddy and talked about how she'd been really inspired...went over and gave her a hug after showing off the beautiful quilt.

Now, prior to going to the meeting, Sally & I had been curled up on the couch keeping warm with Pink Lemonade. As I was getting ready to leave I literally just pulled it off the couch and stuck it in my bag - cat hair & all to bring with me so I could show a couple of friends who would be at the meeting & had only seen pictures of it. I made the mistake of showing it to one of those friends during the break, and she was quite insistent that I get up and present it during show & tell. As they were doing show & tell she even came over with the intent to drag me up there. But I couldn't... I just couldn't! How could I show my little cat-fur covered couch quilt after all that? Seriously it would be like going to a pot-luck with Caprial & John and bringing mac & cheese from a box. Now I love mac & cheese - I'm not ashamed to tell you. But there's no way I'd bring it to that pot-luck!

Fortunately she relented and I was saved from mortal embarassment. But it made me long for a quilt group like my knitting group. Granted, my regular knit-night is not a knitting guild... it is so much more casual. A few of us hang out at the yarn shop, knitting, noshing, and gossiping. Everyone in the store (staff & shoppers a like) are really friendly and I feel completely comfortable wandering over to a stranger and admiring their project, every once in a while we'll get together to see a 'celebrity' knitter, or go to the yarn festivals.. but mostly we just hang out and knit. So as much as I enjoy the opportunity to go to the quilt guild meeting and get inspired... I need to find something much lower-key for showing off my humble quilts!


jovaliquilts said...

Ellen Anne Eddy was at our guild a couple years ago and she is indeed awesome. I bought one piece of her fabric but haven't used it.

You need to form a small quilting group with just a few likeminded friends. I have learned a lot in my guild, which has people whose quilts have won national awards, but I need my quilting buddies whose quilting is more like mine.

Michael5000 said...

Yeah, Rebel. Do you have any likeminded friends who quilt?

Exuberant Color said...

I hope you find your small group. I found some of the guilds to be just like high school, not always friendly and encouraging. My art quilt group is both men and women and we have a lot of fun.

Bezzie said...

My mom used to drag me to her guild meetings--they sound exactly the same. Is the age group older in your guild? That kind of made it fun though. Crazy old ladies and the infighting some of them did--what a riot!

IrishgirlieKnits said...

Well, I do love your Pink Lemonade quilt though :) But hopefully it inspires you to get together with some other likeminded quilters...what about on ravelry? Any local knitters that quilt? Just a thought!

Rebel said...

jovial - I sooo wanted to buy something, like one of her smaller pieces but I resisted!

M5k - I may know a like minded quilter or two. I wonder if one of them would be willing to host a regular quilting bee?

exuberant & bezzie - I don't think that guild is cliqueish or anything but I do think there was only one person younger than me there.

irishgirl - I've kinda snooped around for an online quilting group but haven't found just the right thing yet. Craftster has some quilters but I don't think any are local.

jovaliquilts said...

Hey, I just went to reply to a comment you left on my blog, but your setting is "no-reply." Maybe you want that, but if not, it's easy to change. Log into your blogger account and go to 'Edit Profile'. Under'Privacy' check 'Show My Email Address'. Scroll down to 'Identity' and fill in your email address where it says, and save the changes. If you don't get email notifications in your mailbox, you can fix that under the "Comments" tab.

Rebel said...

Oh - thanks for the info... I'm still no blogging expert!