This year was different for me than QuiltCon 2013. At that time I wasn't a quilter. I had been visiting quilt shows for years as an admirer of the craft, design and history that quilting encapsulates. As a painter and collage artist, I would admire how the parts were put together to make a whole. How those parts become a object that comforts us and lives with us. Sometimes the quilts I saw returned back into my 2D paper and canvas based work. But it was a few months after the first QuiltCon, hosted by the Modern Quilt Guild, that I stepped into the realm of the quilt world, and began contributing to the movement and history. Of course I'll never look back!
Hundreds of people packed the auditorium on Saturday night to listen to the 4 women from Gee's Bend tell stories about hardship, life in rural Alabama, why they began quilting, what drives them, how thankful they are to God. They opened their talk with the Gospel song "Don't Bring Me Flowers When I'm Dead." When the singing began, these four voices filled the room with authenticity, and I couldn't hold back the tears. There was something so powerful in those strong voices that hit the center of my heart. I was witnessing a moment in time that each person in that audience will hold in their hearts forever. I was being sung to by my heroines. They, inspire me.
I love the labor she invests in her work, from dyeing her fabric naturally, to hand quilting her quilts. The process alone is admirable. She credits the past and is generous in sharing her knowledge about the alchemy natural dyeing requires. I thank you for that Maura!
Her talk was lovely and accessible and left me filled with electricity for what spring has to offer. More in the indigo dyeing department. I loved the process when I tried it in 2014 and love the results. I loved chatting with her about motherhood and what it means to be a hand quilter. I look forward to future workshops and learning more from her. And I can't wait for her Guide Books!
At the end of her talk was a lady waiting to say hello. It was Lotta Jansdotter. Did I witness the meeting of two brilliant textile artists with ideas for future collaborations? Oh we hope so.
Congratulations to everyone whose work was in the show, and to the Modern Quilt Guild for organizing a well run event that inspired so many of us. You guys, and you quilters, rock.
I leave you with a few of my favorite quilts in the show. What was your favorite thing about QuiltCon 2015?