Saturday, September 08, 2007

Empire Quilt Guild meeting

I was looking forward to the Empire Quilt Guild meeting today, partly for inspiratioin and partly for the sense of belonging. I was not greatly interested in the speaker. But as often happens, I found I was wrong to think "Jacobean style applique, ho-hum." Jo Coon, the speaker, who has been a quilt teacher for some years, spoke very well and showed a varied selection of her quilts, many inspired by Jacobean crewel work but all of her own design, some inspired by William Morris and others purely products of her own creativity. I managed to take pictures of two of the largest ones, but many others were taking pictures and often getting in my way so I didn't get the brighter colored ones. The one above is her version of "cut work", very painstaking and fascinating.
She does not liken the second one to Baltimore Albums quilts although that's what I thought of immediately. The creativity and time involved are somewhat staggering. "How long does it take?" someone asked. "As long as it takes," she said. Then explained, "I don't calculate that way, I work for the pleasure of the project. I don't let anything interfere with my enjoyment of quilting." And that included various rules she has heard others espouse. "Those rules weren't made for me," she said. A lady after my own heart.

I noticed too that in some cases she used simple quarter inch rows of quilting instead of more complex designs. "Because the design is complicated enough already," she said. In other cases the quilting is more showy but always with the idea of enhancing the overall design. No quilting is done for the sake of using a long arm. Jo Coon's website is Some of her quilts as well as the quilts of Janet Randolph, the Quilter of the Month, and also a long time quilt teacher who showed a variety of bright and wondeful quilts, will be on in a day or two and well worth looking at. Go to Show & Tell for the Quilter of the Month listing. Seeiing so many quilts is one off the great pleasures of guld meetings. I truly love looking at quilts of all sorts, traditional, contemporary, art quilts, everything.

The real treat of the meeting was the members' flea market before and after the meeting. Many members who had collections of "stuff", mostly fabric but also books and other quilt related things, had tables. I knew I would find inexpensive fabric. One woman who, at such events, always has lots of offerings at good prices {I'm sure she works in what New Yorkers call "the rag trade" - garments/imports/textiles] had bags of sample cuts and collections of pieces, mostly eighths, of wonderful batik fabrics. I have considered ordering collections of batiks from some catalogs I receive in the mail and so I know the prices. I can unhesitatingly say that, from this woman and other venders, I purchased less than $50 of fabric -- and I bought a one dollar raffle ticket and won a half dezen fat quarters of wonderful fabric -- so I came home with between $200 and $250 worth of fabric. And so much inspiration for what i'd like to do with it, my brain simply seems unable to comprehend that it will take A LOT of time to do the projects it conjured on the subway home and later as I sorted, folded and stashed my haul. This, in rural parlance, is called being in hog heaven. Oink, oink!!

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