Tuesday, June 12, 2007

Returning to my roots

not these kind of roots, these were just too lovely not to post
Way back when I was lucky to meet a wonderful quilter and teacher who mentored me and gave me a start in this business of quilting. Her name is Wanda Hanson.
We met at a show, my first public display of quilts, back in the 80's. She was taking pictures of my work. Imagine that?
I was thrilled that she had singled my work out of the show to photograph. I approached her and we started chatting.
As I recall, she promised to send me prints of the photos she shot in exchange for my address.
O sure.
But you know, she did. And we began to see each other at other quilt events and soon I had a friend in the quilt world. My first.
She organized a class for me to teach at the quilting book store midway between our towns. Little did I know that I would be teaching machine embroidery and quilting skills for years after that.
At the same time I was dyeing fabric which Wanda found to be just her cup of tea. She had already been exposed to hand dyed fabrics at this summer quilt camp thingy she attended called,
Quilt Surface Design Symposium in Columbus OH. She suggested that I could possibly sell my fabrics and she would bring them with her next time.
So I produced my first stack of fabric for sale to the public and sent it along with Wanda to Ohio.
It sold! I made money from hand dyed fabrics!
It didn't take long for me to get the idea that this could work other places.
.
(I am leaving out years of business stuff here)
.
On Friday I leave to teach two sessions at QSDS. I will be bringing my fabric along again. It's just so fun to review where it all got started and how it has brought me full circle.
.
Yesterday David Walker sent me a newbie to mentor, and while I haven't seen her work just yet, I have already hooked her up with a support system of other art quilters. It's only right.

8 comments:

  1. Anonymous10:19 AM

    Melody, I had a similar experience. I went to QBU from Chicago looking for a particular book. I liked the demo quilts so much that I started taking classes from Wanda. That was maybe 14 years ago. These days, I go to Wanda's for workshops every 4 to 6 weeks with a group of friends from Chicago. Wanda is a wonderful teacher, mentor--always encouraging! And she makes wonderful quilts! She has become one of my very good friends.

    Wanda introduced me to your website some time ago--and I think that I will take a class with you sometime in an attempt to get that wonderful brilliant glow that your works have.

    Wanted you to know.

    Mary Gomberg
    Quilter--but keeping my day job

    ReplyDelete
  2. Wanda S. Hanson10:31 AM

    Melody,
    You bring tears to my eyes remembering when I first met you. I was so happy to meet someone who also LOVED COLOR and wasn't afraid to use it. We have had a lot of fun together over the years and I wish I was going to be at QSDS again with you. Thank you for the recognition for my mentoring. I enjoyed every minute of it and have enjoyed following your career and I LOVE your blog; it's like being there right with you. Love, Wanda

    ReplyDelete
  3. What a great story. I think you mentor many newbies through your classes and your blog. Thanks!!

    ReplyDelete
  4. Mel, I have two young girls downstairs planning their first fusion! We went to the library and got a couple of picture books (Eric Carle) and Laura's book, since you won't write one and we are going to start a small project today. See what you have started?

    ReplyDelete
  5. Me too, Me too! I love your blog. I feel as if your advice to a Young Artist, your fusing tutorials, your secrets about dyeing, your comments On Being a Trained Artist, were all written directly to me. Thank you, thank you for your generosity. You are such an inspiration.

    ReplyDelete
  6. susan_from-nerk8:31 PM

    You are a true inspiration! We all pay forward and reap the rewards. And I get to meet you on Monday morning!!!!! Yipee! I'm almost packed!

    ReplyDelete
  7. Funny that you described QSDS as a "summer quilt camp thingy." This was a discussion at the Friday night, post-banquet bar-fly gathering. And Sidnee said this is exactly how she refers to QSDS when asked. She said it saves long, involved explinations of QSDS and that blank look we get from people who have never been.

    Another great description (from Deb Fell) that, for us "oldbes", it's like a family reunion (where you actually have something in common with the rest of the family besides a name).

    Have fun and check out the swatch books our class donated to the silent auction. My cuticles are still turquoise from an encounter with a leaky bag.

    teri

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Hello,
So nice of you to drop by. I love your comments, and if you would really like a reply, please email me at fibermania at g mail dot com