Saturday, January 13, 2007

Guild Meeting

A couple of refreshing speakers made today's guild meeting more satisfying than is often the case. I wish I had pictures but some can be seen at -- pictures from today's meeting will be up in a day or two -- it is, in fact, a fantastic website maintained by a brilliant webmaster who also takes the photographs at the meetings and posts them PDQ. By the way this website is more than about the guild, it has a large list of links to other organizations and quilt related sites.

The speaker was CasandaraThorenson who is a collector of Welsh whole cloth quilts -- also a quilter and teacher. What was refreshing about her presentation, along with showing us some gorgeous quilts with wonderful colors and quilting, was that she emphasized the ad lib quality of the quilting. Because wool filling was used, the stitches were, necessarily, not close and even, but the attractive effect came through nevertheless. Also the patterns of quilting had a wonderful uneveness -- very personal, nothing perfect about them. None of the fussy-fussy perfection people strive for in order to please the quilt police [i.e., appraisers and judges]. She also pointed out that none of the Welsh quilts had binding, all simply had turned end edges which were not even whipped closed but simply held with two rows of quilting -- something I've thought of doing but never did because it's just "not done." Will be done sometimes in the near future. It was a pleasure to hear a speaker who knew her subject well and showed us a group of quilts she had collected the likes of which most of us had never seen before.

The quilter of the month was a long, long time Empire Guild member, Sylvia Zeveloff, who is also a painter. She showed many of the quilts she has designed herself, some pictorial, most abstract, some almost traditional, using many different techniques. She explained that she had made a serious study of color in her art training but when she sits down to quilt her choices are spontaneous and very rarely follow "rules" of any sort whether about what colors go together or how to create pattern and rhythm and design. She can be called a "free spirit." Her quilts have wonderful vivacity and excitement. It was a pleasure to she what she has created.

I must say I get very impatient with the speakers who tell us how they created prize winning quilts, all according to the current rules. Sometimes they are very beautiful quilts, but often there the quilts seem to me precious and static and the maker seem like engineers, not women creating beauty. Let's hear it for rule breaking and personal expression!!!!

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