Monday, March 30, 2009

Southern California SAQA Members Meet

On a beautiful Sunday afternoon in the hills of West Los Angeles, over 25 SAQA members finally met over lemonade, pecan tarts and lemon cupcakes at the home of Sandra Lauterbach. The meeting gathered art quilters from the far flung areas of Southern California - from Santa Barbara to Apple Valley, from Whittier to Santa Monica.

After some organizational business we went around the room introducing ourselves, our techniques and showing examples of work we had brought. Such a wealth of talent and expertise in one living room. It was truly inspiring. One member brought the original silk paintings and the first samples of her new fabric line for RJR. Truly beautiful!

It was agreed that SAQA meetings of this sort will be held initially every three months and will move around Southern California in order to make it as easy as possible for members to attend.

This was a great beginning.....

Sunday, March 29, 2009

Yesterday was a great day!

I spent most of yesterday at the Glendale Quilt show, a local southern California guild show held at the Marriott hotel at Burbank Airport. I was thrilled and amazed to realize that I had won two first place awards for the three quilts I had entered - one for traditional wall quilt (The Silk road) and another for Other Techniques (Magnolia Soulangiana). Thank you, Patt Blair and Ann Fahl , for your wonderful classes on painting wholecloth quilts with Tsukineko inks and thread painting on floral quilts! Thank you Becky McClure at Sewing Art Center for reminding me that there is nothing wrong with carefully piecing a traditional quilt now and then to take you back to the real roots of quilting.

As a new member of the Glendale Guild, I was responsible for two volunteer hours at the show and so I ended up as a "White Glove Lady" in one of the quilt exhibit aisles - a first time experience. Two hours of standing on over-50 hip joints was a trial, but I was so elated over my wins that the time actually went quickly and I only felt the pain later that night when I finally got to bed.

I was asked a load of questions and showed a load of quilt backs, but spent a lot of time just eavesdropping on the conversations between the visitors. I was really struck by how many people, obviously quilters, who were astounded at the courage to actually enter a quilt in a competition. Over and over I heard "I could never enter one of my quilts in a show like this" or
"I thought about entering one of my quilts, but I don't have the nerve " or "It must be so much work to enter a quilt..." .

I simply don't get it. I thought about why I spend a fair amount of time, energy and money preparing quilt entries. I never expect to win anything and it is a great happy surprise when occasionally I do, but I personally find it a very positive validating experience, just to have my quilt hung for the public in company with the work of so many talented quilters. I find the comments of judges invaluable - I hope my workmanship has improved because of them! I also have found great personal satisfaction in sharing my ideas and art (and that is what we do...) with a wider audience outside of my husband, son and close friends. I find it important to get my work out there - I learn something about quilting and something about myself every time...