Oy-vey, what a week.
My guild’s show is next weekend. Have I mentioned that I’m the show chair? Because if I haven’t mentioned it before, let me inform you now: I am the High Point Quilt Guild’s Show Chair. This little event has been percolating in my brain kicking my butt for the last 18 months. It has taken over my kitchen, quilt studio, entry way, and back hatch of my SUV. Quilt take-in is Sunday at Karen’s house and then the show is August 12-13 at the Hartley Drive YMCA in High Point. If you’re in the area, please come by. We have 30 vendors and a boutique that is to die for.
That said, my schedule has been very busy and between the show and getting Mom better and work and having out of town company this weekend, I’ve been running on coffee and adrenalin most of the week. The past show chair, Shelle, told me it’s kind of like riding a bull. All the fuss and worry as you strap yourself onto the beast is the prep work. The day of the show, you just hang on and ride the monster.
It’s been an experience and it’s actually been fun talking with the vendors and other guild presidents who are bringing their guild’s raffle quilts in to sell tickets. And talking with our judge, Lorraine, has been a blast. In the middle of all of the hoopla and exhaustion, I got a phone call from a good quilting buddy that doesn’t live in my area. She was checking in, mainly to see how Mom was doing, and to make sure I hadn’t worked myself into the ground.
“So, how’s it going?” she asked.
“Not bad. The show is nearly all complete. Vendors seem happy, guild president is happy, guild members are volunteering…it’s all good,” I replied
“Had your judging yet?”
“Monday, August 7.”
And she snorted. I mean, my friend actually snorted. “I hope your guild’s quilts are better than my guild’s were.”
I immediately got defensive. I quilt with a great group of women and their work is awesome. “What do you mean?” I asked. I knew she could hear the suspicion in my voice.
Now keep in mind this woman is a teacher. She has taught quilting and piecing for a long, long time and when I was a beginner, she took me under her wing and really mentored me in the art. So, anything she says, I listen to with almost reverence. However, this not my first quilting rodeo. I’ve been doing this for 28 years. I’ve seen some things and made some quilts.
“What I mean was our quilts were boring,” she replied.
“I’ve seen a lot of quilts,” I replied. “I’ve made quite a few myself. I’ve never considered any quilt boring.”
Deep sigh on the other end of my iPhone 7. “What I mean is, I saw the same quilt pattern over and over again. And the same fabric lines. Doesn’t anyone have any imagination anymore? Where has all our creativity and bravery gone? I swear if I see one more pattern by _______ in a show, made with the same line of fabric from _____, I think my head will explode. What happened to making up your own pattern and being courageous enough to pick your own fabric?”
What has happened? Have we lost our imagination to Pinterest and social media?
I haven’t really thought about it before, but my friend may be right. In the last three quilt shows I’ve attended, I’ve seen the same patterns in different color ways. And while I do quilt with a several different groups, I’m not sure how many of us go off the beaten path and work from our own imagination and creativity.
May I insert at this time that our grandmothers and great grandmothers often did not use a pattern? Could we not only be losing our creativity but also sacrificing our heritage?
I want to explore this idea further in the near future, after the show. In this year of quilting fearlessly, I think we do need to ask ourselves are we dancing to the same band or are we (at times) brave enough to leave the quilting dance floor and try a little yoga? When I started quilting seriously back in the early 1980’s the rotary cutter was just being introduced in some areas. Most quilt instructions came with templates you had to trace around. There was no quarter-inch foot for sewing machines. The internet was still somewhere out there in the future. And home computers were nowhere to be found.
Yet in many ways, I feel this was when I did my best, most imaginative work. I had nothing to compare it to and no influence on style or color. The end product was really mine and not just a carbon-copy of a picture on a pattern. And while I’m more productive today, I fear I’m not turning out an art that is really my own.
It’s something to think about in the upcoming weeks.
For those of you that have inquired about Mom, we had a doctor’s appointment with the hematologist last Wednesday. He was very informative and encouraging. Despite all the tests, he’s not sure why Mom’s body isn’t absorbing iron. He said sometimes this just happens. But he did schedule her for iron infusions and the first one was today. She may not feel the results for several days or it may even take the next infusion to make some difference. I just know she’s ready to feel better. Continue to keep her in your thoughts and prayers.
Remember there will not be a blog next week as I will be in the thick of the show’s final details. I will tell you all about it soon.
Love and Stitches,
Sherri and Sam