With a whole lotta help from the terrific women in the Northern Lights Quilt Guild, we hung a show of over 40 quilts in the Cafe Gallery of the Lebanon Coop today. This is my quilt (to the right), the very first time I’ve ever hung a quilt in a show. I put my quilts in books but I’ve never hung one in a show.
(Yep, I’m shy.)
There is such a feeling of satisfied accomplishment when you get to see something like this all in place. I’ve seen all of these quilts a few times since we collected them. I brought them to the Howe Library in Hanover so that we could design the show. I took them one at a time, and photographed them for a slideshow that I hope appears on the guild’s website.
And then Jay and I packed them up to take to the Coop today.
But then the quilts go up on the walls, and you stand back to admire everyone’s color choices and styles and approaches to this incredibly versatile art, and you just have to say “Wow!”
By the way, many of the quilts in the show are challenge quilts. It’s a tradition in many guilds for a selected committee to craft a set of specs for the group, and everyone who wants to join in takes those specs to interpret in any way they choose.
This year, we had a grocery challenge. We had to select a packaged, edible item from the grocery store, choose four colors from it plus a motif, and then create a quilt. Mine was based on the packaging from Werther’s Originals, a toffee candy that my Mom loved.
There’s an oval picture on the package of an idealized village with red-roofed buildings, a brilliant blue sky, and bright greenery. Much of the rest of the package is some shade of yellow with a swoosh motif across the front. So my quilt is red, yellow, blue and green with swooshy quilting.
Below, you’ll find a small handful of some of the other quilts that are in the show, just to whet your whistle. Seriously, if you’re in the neighborhood, drop in to ooh and aah. The show is open every single day from 7 a.m. to 9 p.m. through April 29.
Years ago, I had a friend who referred to irons as “slave tools.” And back then, faced with piles of shirts, skirts, pants and blouses that wrinkled when you looked at them, that was probably an appropriate description.
But nowadays, I avoid ironing clothes as much as possible. However, my iron is one of the most important tools in my quilting arsenal. So I don’t iron any less. If anything, I iron more.
I’ve been working through my stash, washing the big pieces to get rid of the stiff sizing stuff that manufacturers put in cloth. Consequently, I’ve been ironing all of this fabric as I put it away. It’s been a long slog. But there is a silver lining here, of sorts.
Like most quilters, I often forget what I have in my stash because when you open the door to find something, you’re always seeing what you saw the last time you looked. It’s one of those familiarity-breeds-contempt things. Or, to be more accurate, it’s one of those familiarity-breeds-familiarity things. After a while, you can’t see what you have with fresh eyes.
But when you iron a piece of cloth, you have to really look at it. Consequently, my head is now buzzing with design ideas that I want to plunge into RIGHT NOW!
Who woulda ever thunk that ironing would become a meditative design tool?
Way back in the mid-1960s when I first started sewing, there wasn’t much in the way of fabric choices if you wanted to quilt.
Nowadays, there are hundreds of quilt shops all over the U.S. to serve the 21 million people who now quilt in this country. Amazing, huh?
My best guesstimate is that there are 20 to 24 quilt shops in Vermont alone, and this year, 16 of them got together to sponsor a shop hop. Every time you visit one of the participating stores during the Shop Hop week, you get entered in raffles, take advantage of sales, and if you go with friends, as I did, you get to have a wonderful time.
Of course, you also have someone to split what remains on the bolt so you don’t buy too much of one thing.
In times past,
Red was the ultimate color.
Difficult to achieve in
Glass where it required gold in
Order to glow.
But just look at this,
Luscious to the eye,
Luscious to the touch.