…quilting jazz hands…
Last Wednesday I was volunteering at the Canberra Quilt and Craft Fair in the Canberra Quilt Guild Exhibition space. It was a condition of entry to the exhibition and I had a really great time doing it. (More than I thought I would!) I was part of the team responsible for hanging the quilts for display which meant that I got to lovingly caress award winning quilts for an afternoon. Who could ask for more?
It also meant that I was able to wander through the quilts uninterrupted and without the crowds for distraction. It was amazing. I was just blown away with the breadth and depth of talent. I was so honoured to be hanging in such great company. (Admittedly I did ask if I could take my quilt home with me as I didn’t feel it was worthy enough of hanging when I saw all the entries!)
I was so stoked to be able to see Buttontree Lane’s Twisted Hexies quilt hanging. It was one of the drawcard quilts (a quilt that you can see from the entry that is supposed to draw people in) according to the Guild lady I was talking to about the set up. I didn’t know it at the time but the Twisted Hexies quilt has won a Highly Commended award. I am so over-the-moon happy for Buttontree Lane. The quilt was 7 years in the making and is a mix of hand sewing and machine quilting and it’s stunning. These photos don’t do it justice.
…Buttontree Lane’s Twisted Hexies (you can see mine in the background)…
On Saturday I went to the Fair to see my quilt, meet up with Buttontree Lane and check out the sales. I had been planning on taking Sam with me so we could get a photo together in front of my quilt as he was with me (in me) when I made the quilt and I thought it would be a nice way to remember it, but alas we were worried he was getting a cough and so I left him at home. (Which worked out for the best as the place was a mad house of people!)
It was so surreal to see the quilt hanging and have complete strangers looking at it and commenting on it. I was so blown away with how well the quilt was received. While Buttontree Lane and I were standing in front of it I had the immense pleasure of overhearing some people talking about how much they loved it. (Can you say “blushed from head to toe”!) I’ve even been embarrassingly chuffed to see someone blog about seeing my quilt at the show.
My quilt is really simple and in a lot of ways I questioned whether I could really claim any credit for it as all I did was pick some fabric and sew strips together and Helen did all the work quilting it. I felt really out of my depth having it hang at the show because it is so very simple, but I take some solace in something that one of the Guild ladies said to me on the Wednesday. I’m paraphrasing…
People come to see the complex quilts but it’s the simple quilts, like yours, which will encourage them to take up the craft.
I reflected on that for awhile and it’s true. I know that for me it was a simple quilt that got me in to the craft. As much as I would love to produce something in the same league as the women that have been crafting for years, it wasn’t those quilts that made me think I could do it. (In fact, it’s those quilts that make me think I’ll never be able to do it!)
Since attending the show I’ve been really thinking hard about next years show. I feel really invigorated by the experience and would love to enter at least another quilt in next years show. I was even thinking about doing a challenge quilt! It’s even made me think about joining the Queanbeyan Quilters as well. As much as I don’t want to go to a Mother’s Group I think I would really like to expand my quilting circle.
I’m just so thankful for the experience and I have Buttontree Lane to thank for it – had she not encourage me to try the Line Strip Quilt in the first place I wouldn’t have the quilt to enter. Then she encouraged me to enter it – when I wanted to just give up because it was all too hard she kept me motivated. I can’t thank Buttontree Lane enough for believing in me and keeping the faith even when I couldn’t. She deserves a blue ribbon!
So now it’s on to trolling the internet for my next lot of inspiration, fabrics and the most important thing – it’s time to buy a new sewing machine! Wish me luck!