This past Fall I was contacted by a local quilting group (Everybody’s Quilt Guild) to speak at a July meeting about my art quilts. At the time of the booking, I had returned to school and didn’t yet know where my education would take me. But I knew that whatever path I ended up on would include sewing, so I gratefully accepted. When I started back to full time work in mid-May I lost some of my drive to work on my art. The last big piece I had done, The Wage Earner, hadn’t gain much traction out of the blog-o-sphere and I was feeling a bit discouraged. But in the process of preparing for my talk, I reviewed all the pieces I had done and put them in chronological order. I have to admit I was astounded at the amount of work I had produced in such a brief period of time. My first quilted portrait was completed in the Fall of 2012 — that’s not quite 2 years ago. And despite the part time work, then education schedule, I’ve made 27 quilted portraits, got 12 pieces into shows, and sold 7 of them! Not bad.
The show went wonderfully, by the way. Now I’m not saying it went off without a hitch. The projector we brought refused to communicate with our computer (which is where my power point was stored). My poor husband rushed to the store, twice. First to get a replacement cord, then for a replacement projector. The ladies who ran the meeting were gracious and kept things going until I had all my ducks in a row. The entire time I was surprised at how calm I felt. Terry said it was because I was “talking to my people” :) There must be something to that because in the first 15 seconds I completely discarded my carefully crafted notes. I had everything written down — I even highlighted the words which led up to the change of slide so my husband would know when to switch frames. That all fell apart and I had to tap him with my toe (read: give him a slight kick) to get him to switch slides. It all led to some laughs, which really broke the ice for me.
In order to better explain my process, I created two new picture quilts for the talk. One quilted, and the other just pieced. At the end of my talk I demonstrated my process. It starts with the numbering of my color values….the picking of and labeling corresponding colors …. then the cutting and pasting…. Finally all that work (and a bit of sewing) will result in the final piece…..
A final thank you to the ladies at the Everybody’s Quilt Guild — thanks for listening and being so gracious with your comments and encouragement. I look forward to working with you in the future. :)