Monday, November 10, 2008

Phillipa Naylor, quilter

The guest speaker at the Empire Guild meeting on Sunday was Phillipa Naylor who is from England and who has won prizes for her work at the big Houston quilt show -- and deservedly so. She was able to bring only a few quilts including an amazing white whole cloth one that was machine quilted and trapunto-ed. And the only one I could get a partial photo of was the one below which I thought captured a spring-like loveliness.

I don't want to write about her quilting so much as her talk which I enjoyed very, very much although I suspect the serious quilters in the group may have been a bit P.O-ed because they couldn't see much of her work. But first a couple words of praise for Phillipa's style. I found her very chic. I'm sorry I didn't also get a portrait photo for I was intrigued with her skirt which has a bustle -- can you see? If not click on the photo and it will enlarge. Plus she had really neat shows and then the matching top and stockings and combine that with a British accent that we Yankees go ga-ga for -- I thought she was super.

Her slide slow was more travelogue than quilt talk, that's why I think some might have been disappointed. As a serious traveler with insatiable curiousity, I loved it. She showed photos of the family's move/drive from Saudi Arabia home to England -- she said they decided it was time to leave when a friend, a Christian aid worker, stopped at a stop sign and a crazed Muslin fundamentalist emptied a kalashnikove into his head. Yes, I'd decide to leave too.

Her travel pictures show how arid the Arabian dessert is, but also included ruined cities, then got in Jordan and Syria it turned greener and the wonderful Roman ruins appeared. Then there was Turkey with pictures of places I've been and so on then acoss Europe, not making a straight line but taking time to show the two sons a lot of important cities and historic sites.

Finally to England where she and her husband worked hard to fix up a house and garden, finally quite beautiful with a sewing studio to die for. Clearly she wasn't always chic, not while laying tiles on the floor or re-pointing the chimney. I found her a wonderfully real person who seems to have her life all together and who somehd swiftly she had a good sense of timing, and I enjoyed the whole presentation very much. I don't necessarily go to be inspired to quilt better but to know something about people who are producing wonderful craft and certainly she is. Plus I loved the trip and, as I've heard before, both Jordon and Syria seem like fascinating countries to visit.

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