BulgingButtons

Not bad for a fat girl


Leave a comment

Quilt Show, Here I Come!

It’s been ages since I’ve been to a quilt show, which is entirely my fault.

I’m lucky to live in a state where quilt makers are doing exciting work, and quilt shows, large and small, are held regularly. The largest of these is the show put on by the state quilter’s guild, of which I used to be an active member. In fact, that guild brought me my first friends in my adopted home state.19676732-5056-a36a-09e605c3f52c90e2_0eef4bd5-5056-a36a-0955fa3b9f7b852c.jpg

Quilt groups vary in size, focus, and time commitment. I think there’s a group for everyone, from the most traditional hand piecer and quilter to the digital age modern quilter who does things without regard for “traditional” techniques or “rules.” There are those who get together for the dedicated purpose of producing quilts to be donated to charities, and there are those who are committed to recreating quilts from particular eras. Most groups, however, are simply gatherings of people who share a love of quilting and enjoy one another’s company.

I was lucky to find a group like that in the early 1990’s when I moved out west with no job and no friends. Quilting was my creative outlet, and the quilt group I found was full of interesting and innovative women, who welcomed me into their circle. It was a branch of the state guild, and through that I started traveling to other groups to teach classes. I loved it!

The more active I was with the guild and our chapter, the more fun I had. I volunteered to head up a statewide charity small quilt auction one year that raised several thousand dollars, and I spent another year as our group’s chapter chairperson. Both of these experiences were positive and rewarding, mostly because of the wonderful people I was able to work with along the way.

Time marches on, though, and motherhood took more of my psychic energy than I could have imagined. I still quilted from time to time, but scrapbooking our lives became my main creative outlet, and I let my guild membership lapse, mainly from a lack of time for meetings. Add to that some of my closest quilting buddies moving away, and, well, you know…

The good news it that they didn’t all move, and then Facebook was invented. Through it I keep in touch with some of my quilty friends, and when I needed some professional quilting done on a top I made long ago, I knew just who to call. Well, that lovely lady did the job expertly, and we had a fantastic time reconnecting in the process. We made a date for the quilt show, and here it is, quilt show day!

I’m excited to see my friend, I’m excited to see the quilts and vendors, and mostly I’m excited to go back to the show. The show where I once earned an honorable mention ribbon for a quilt that I now cherish as a memory of my dad. The show that celebrates every corner of my beautiful state and every type of creative expression that could be classified as a quilt. The show that takes me back decades, but will no doubt fire a creative spark for the future.

 


Leave a comment

The Itch to Stitch

Taking out my autumn quilts has awoken in me a desire to sew. I know, I know… I have enough going on right now, what with blogging everyday for NaBloPoMo and working on a novel for NaNoWriMo, but I really want to stitch!

The table I write at is also the table I sew at. It’s situated perfectly for both activities. I can easily see who’s coming in the room since the table sticks out from the wall. That was a requirement so the fabric has somewhere to do once it’s gone through the sewing machine. Sewing at a table pushed against a wall is impractical and frustrating.

img_0573

I made this several years ago from my fabric stash.

Behind my table is my stash of fabric. Most of it, anyway. I have  a low wall of cubbies under the window (so sunlight can’t fade the fabric) and it is full of flat-folds of fabric. They’re sorted primarily by color, but also to a smaller extent by type. The hand-dyed fabrics are together as are the plaids, for example. This colorful assortment greets me each time I enter the room, and it makes me happy.

Long ago I was a cross-stitcher. I created many lovely projects, and I had some of them professionally framed at a small cross-stitch shop that I loved dearly. Each time I was in the shop I would pick up more patterns, knowing full well that I already had more than I would ever stitch in a dozen lifetimes. I lamented this fact one day as I was paying, and the kindly woman who owned the shop said, “It’s as much about collecting as it is about stitching.” How wise she was. Permission granted to keep on collecting.

I’m a collector of fabrics, of patterns, and books. I may never use them all. In fact I’m sure I won’t, but it doesn’t matter. I enjoy my collection, and adding to it from time to time. But really, I’d like to dust off my machine and take a few stitches. Maybe come December.