The wild winds blowing outside on this fall day inspired me to sit down to this blog again. It’s been an eventful year since I dipped my toe in this and then quit abruptly. I need to write again, and so here goes.
Since last October, I’ve left the Post-Dispatch and begun a part-time job doing publications for the Better Business Bureau. It’s been an eye-opening experience, seeing the media business from the side that’s trying to make news rather than cover it. I’ve learned a great deal, including the use of InDesign for designing publications as well as understanding more about the scams that the unscrupulous entrepreneurs out there continue to develop to entrap the unsuspecting public.
I’ve also become a grandmother, which is a whole other story, and I’ve had more time to devote to quilting, though I’ve not been particularly settled in terms of direction there.
A trip out to see Quilt National at the Foundry Arts Centre in St. Charles last Sunday was inspiring, though I haven’t tried any of the techniques I saw. But it’s an amazing display of the wide span of creativity that fabric can inspire.
Kathy York’s “Little Fish in a Big City” is a three-dimensional delight, with tiny worry dolls riding yellow fish through the middle of a “city” built of cubes and longer retangular columns representing buildings. Safe Connections used the quilt on the mailer for the exhibit, but I didn’t recognize it first because it was lying flat like a three-dimentional model rather than hanging on the wall.
Another ‘quilt’ just inside the display is Kathleen Loomis’ “Memorial Day,” a multitude of tiny oblongs that resemble American flags, held together by just the thread that is sewn across it, creating an effect almost like a lace curtain. It’s fascinating to look at the flags, how each seems a bit different and then to look at it from a distance as the flags almost disappear. I think it’s made by sewing the ‘flags’ to a wash-away stabilizer, which dissolves when put into water, leaving just the thread to hold it together.
I also like the winner of The People’s Choice Award, Erin Wilson’s “Miscellany.” It’s a series of tiny pieced rectangles using hand-dyed fabrics, similar to some things I’ve made for quilt greeting cards, but much smaller and presented in a much more orderly fashion. Though entirely abstract, some of the blocks suggest ships or buildings.
Others I liked included Paula Chung’s “White Rose” and a portrait made of yo-yos, which I think is Shin-hee Chin’s “(Choon San) Spring Mountain.” Unfortunately, I didn’t take notes on all the quilts I saw.
It’s refreshing to know that 51 percent of the exhibitors were in Quilt National for the first time. That gives hope to aspiring fabric artists everywhere.
All in all, Quilt National this year is well worth a visit, whether you’re a quilter, fiber artist or simply looking for an interesting side trip on a fall afternoon.