Sunday, September 09, 2012

Right in my Backyard...

I haven't mentioned this before, but there has been a sign at the end of our road (just 8 miles from my house) at the Cagle Community building which said: Quilting every Thursday 9-12, Everyone welcome, Learn to Quilt.
It has been there all summer and I have never stopped in. Shame on me. I sent my husband instead, and he reported that it was a bunch of old ladies (of which I am ONE!) who were doing hand quilting. So I knew it was not for me. But, get this, he told them about me and gave them my website and padded my resume. Oy.
I dismissed the idea of ever showing up to really find out what goes on there.
 Until...the new sign read: Quilt Show Sept 7&8, 9-4.
I thought we could stop in and sneak a look without being noticed. ha! If you have seen my darling Dave, you know his bald head is a beacon and they immediately recognized him and welcomed us both in. I immediately turned shy, not kidding, and mumbled "I can't live up to his hype". ( I usually never shy away from being Mrs Quilt Star, but I did here.)
We were right on time and there were just the quilt show workers in attendance and they were my age or younger. So there.
Why would I have any misgivings about hanging out with these gals?
I have had a history of joining quilt groups and have always been a one person minority. I don't do traditional quilts, mostly. And when I show my fused work I have gotten some off-putting responses from the diehard traditionalists. (What are you going to do with THAT?)
How does one explain art quilts to quilters who think I am wacko?
It has been made clear that I am not what they think a quilter should be.
1. not a pattern in sight
2. fused not sewn
3. hand dyed fabrics, not prints
4. machine everything
5. not a bed quilt
6. a hang it on the wall quilt.

But here's the thing...lately I have been making real bed quilts. QAYG has gotten me turned in that direction as you know, Faithful Reader. And I have gone so far as to propose a lecture demo at the yarn shop to share this wonderful technique and as an aside, to try and find at least ONE person who wants to play QAYG with me. I want a quilting girlfriend. Or two. Or to be greedy, three. Someone who gets it when I have a FO to share. I miss my big group of quilt artists from IL and all the fun we had together, wowing each other with our new works. Being inspired to be more clever and make Kool stuff.
I have even prayed about it. Seriously. I have asked to meet a quilting girlfriend.
Could this local group be answered prayer, be IT? Gulp.

I thought lots of the quilts at this small, no, tiny show were really nice. How's this one for yummy colors? Batik rainbow pieced by hand and machine. I was disappointed that so many were sent to a machine quilter who squiggled over everything, a pet peeve. But who am I to quibble since now I am straightline quilting over everything.
Can you tell I am still hesitant and sitting on the fence?

There were a few really nice tops for sale and I thought about buying them up, as the price was a steal, but then Do I NEED MORE TOPS to quilt? NO.
But I'll say it got my juices flowing and I do have tops in the closet waiting to be quilted. Perhaps not just straight lines this time? Hmmm.

Later in the day we stopped at an antique store in Chattanooga, looking for a dining room piece, and of course they had lots of old tattered and stained quilts for sale. What a contrast. But I am reminded that quilts outlive their makers, and I can have that kind of legacy, if I want it.
I really liked this top with inset praire points along the border. I am assuming the quilter was stuck with how to quilt it, (try straight lines, I wanted to suggest!) and so had it for sale. I may have to include this in my next new piece.
I am thinking maybe I might stop in next week, and bring the three QAYG quilts I have at home (the others are at the yarn shop on display). Maybe I'll find a friend, one that lives right here on my mountain.

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  1. They'll love your work, and if they don't, well, then, Piffle upon them. go for it. You may just inspire them.

  2. YES, jump off the fence and go for it!

  3. Those ladies are not going to vote you in based on auditioning your work, they will accept you because you love fabric and are a nice person...remember, that's how quilters are!! Good cooks, nice people and love to touch fabric. Groups that aren't set up for competition are a safe place to join, jump in unless the dues are too much money....time is cheap! Marybeth

  4. What a lovely display! I can't help but recall the lesson that Dorothy learned at the end of The Wizard of Oz..."if I ever go looking for my heart's desire again, I won't look any further than my own back yard. Because if it isn't there, I never really lost it to begin with!"

  5. I actually took up quilting again when a group invited me to come to their lunch. I thought if I want to have lunch with these great ladies, I'd better make a quilt!I have learned so much from them, and not just about quilting! When I moved across town and didn't have my neighborhood friends I still had these ladies.
    A recent article from Harvard says that One of the most healthy things for a man is to be married to a women and one of the most healthy things for women is to have some girlfriends!

  6. I agree, go for it. I joined a weekly group near my second home. Most of their quilts aren't my style, but they've become wonderful friends. And I've learned from them and taught them.

  7. Anonymous1:20 PM

    If I lived anywhere near you I'd be your quilting buddy. I am also outta the norm - on most levels, but especially with quilting. No patterns and the only "real" quilts are for babies and family. I've spoken and showed my stuff a few times and have have mostly positive responses, although one lady that told me I really waste a lot of thread!
    Good luck with your quest.

  8. I understand your dilemma. My quilting friends are gems. I don't know what I'd do without them. I see a lot of similarities in the way you speak of your IL gang. I'd say check out the local group. It may not be all you are looking for but it isn't going to change who you are or diminish your confidence in your path. Good luck!

  9. Who knows, Melody, you might be the one that is inspired...
    The wise man can learn from anyone, the fool from no one.
    I see that you were influenced by one or some of the show quilts, and by the prairie points. Going there may be your calling in life. You know there may be a bunch of those old ladies looking to break free of patterns... you'll never know if you don't go.

  10. I don't make anything that goes on a bed. However, I belong to a group of 5 that meet once a month. They want to learn to be art quilters. I have become the unofficial leader. We all have our special talents and study as a group. They are all traditional quilters. They teach me patience and professionalism.

  11. Melody, I'm so sorry that you've had some negative responses from traditional quilters. I'm SO thankful that my traditional quilt guild has never treated me in that fashion.
    I hope you'll find a like-minded and inclusive group. Whether this group or another one.

  12. Try the group out, maybe you all won't agree on your favorite kind of quilts, but you could still be friends. Not quite as inspiring as your art group, but fun, none the less. Good luck making friends, I'll be rooting for you. Lois

  13. Прекрасные одеяла. Каждое сшито с любовью и выдумкой. Интересно посмотреть. Спасибо!

  14. I like that last quilt with the prairie points.
    Show your quilts. Maybe you will find a friend.
    I know some of what you may feel. While I'm no expert, I'm definitely the odd one out at our guild. I go because I love the companionship of the UFO days and the retreats, but I would live to find someone local who does what I do. No luck yet.
    At least I have on line friends.

  15. Tradional quilting is usually where most people start to learn. And then they explode into new realms. You might be the TNT that gets them going! They are quilters and they soak up ideas. Where was this quilt show? Close enough I would have gone if I had known about it!!!

  16. Anonymous1:45 PM

    We are glad you came today and quilted with us. And yes we would love to see your quilts just the pictures are wonderful. Yesteryears Quilters


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