Sunday, April 15, 2007

Me and Some of My Quilts

I've been modest, even retiring and generally pretty quiet, keeping a low profile -- you know, all those things -- at the Empire Quiltes Guild. I know, having chaired/president-ed volunteer organizations in another life, as I think of it, that every squeaky wheel gets noticed in such organization and will soon be asked to do some job. My feeling is mostly "been there, done that. Paid my dues." But I'm afraid some squeaks are part of my mechanism. At one of my rare show-and-tell appearances I mentioined doing series quilting and before I could get my coat on and escape down the elevator the Quilter of the Month Chairman had me by the lapels. There's a lot I can say about quilting in series, why not share some of those thoughts with others? Yesterday was the day to tell all [Really? Not by a long shot, you can bet] and show off some of what I've been doiing, lo, these very many years of quilting

Turns out I was more in the spotlight than expected -- the only "speaker" in a day of playing a Bingo derivative game after quilt show congrats and other announcements. I began with my travel memory quilts with some photo transfer. Rather than dig through the shelves and boxes of quilts, I took the Mongolian three-partr. Detail above from The Steppes, the damosielle cranes dancing and a horse.

Then I talked about the picture window series and showed my favorite -- the Tang horses. [The photo won't transfer for some reason.] The point is that the pictures turned out well partly because I did not have a whole piece of fabric, just some large scraps that Lynn sent me. If I'd had a big piece I'd have carefully cut out whole horses. But I couldn't so the piece becomes more "creative" and actually interesting because we don't have all whole horses. A lesson I didn't emphasize as forcefully as I probably should have. I admit I was nervous enough to use the actor's trick of taking a tranquilizer some time before -- unfortunately I had planned to take a bottle of water and didn't and the side effect is dry mouth. But I got through fairly well.
Finally I showed this hand quilted piece that was goiing to be part of a series but once finished I never cranked up the ambition to make the two I had planned, I wanted one to be about DNA and another about travels. I still could, of course -- the DNA one won't leave my brain. So then I went on to the year long diary quilts I knew would be the most unusual and interesting. I could have gone on and on about them but managed not to.

To my mild surprise and considerable delight, I managed to make people laugh a few times. I'm definitely not a humorous speaker but there are various things a lot of middle aged women share, like not liking themselves in bathing suits -- I remarked that this was the last such picture I planned to ever make public -- laughter and understanding. And talked about the diary piece with a sign "one mile to outlet mall' and the caption, "why I missed the plane." So, now that I've got my feet wet, I'd like talking about the series in other venues ... but I'm not going to pursue it. I'll be content with once.

Adding a note later: the Empire Guilds' wonderful web master and photographer, Cindy Russell, has already posted some of the most flattering pictures of me and the quilts from yesterday's talk on our web site. Click Empire Quilters in the sidebar and when there click "show and tell" then March or my name. Cindy and her husband are also doing a CD of all the quilts in the show we had; I can't wait to see it. When I get a link I'll post on the blog.

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