I ran across some quilt baby pictures the other day.
And a tangent: Chaucer was on to something when he wrote “The life so short, the craft so long to learn.” I’ll explain, but first you should know that we’re cleaning out, preparing for some home renovation. Or as I like to call it, #kitcheneggedon, where we are moving our entire kitchen into boxes or onto shelves, and our refrigerator out into the garage, which meant that two of our four file cabinets had to go. It was time, really, to figure out what we’d crammed into those moving metal drawers so long ago. We filled one giant curb-side recycle bin, borrowed our neighbor’s and filled his, and I was still going strong. Glance, toss, glance, toss, glance….Whoa.
Several files stopped me dead in my tracks, as they were from the first series of classes I ever took, a veritable record of my how some of my quilts were hatched (hence, Quilt Baby Pictures for the title of this post).
• An embellishment class which sample I promptly tossed. The redeeming factor were finding two beading needles in the class kit, which I needed.
• Two Laura Wasilowski classes: one on fusing, where we learned the Chicago School of Fusing fight song and that her first iron lasted 25 years, and a second where I made a reversible jacket (which I wore for years).
• Debbie Caffrey Mystery Class in which I had fun, but when I took another Mystery Class some years later (teacher shall remain anonymous) it put me off that format forever.
• A two-day Jane Sassaman class through Orange County Quilt Guild’s summer Camp Watch-A-Patcher, where she kept encouraging me to go wilder, bigger, more colorful. She’s genius.
• And a Hollis Chatelein class about close quilting in quilts, a vanguard in that style of quilting.
• I found three classes in my files from Roberta Horton, a personal quilting hero of mine. I did what she called an African-American quilt (or Utility Quilt), a Japanese Quilt, and a Plaid quilt.
• I also took a class from Mary Lou Weidman, where I designed a quilt in honor of my last child leaving home, in honor of our empty nest. The blob on the right is the full-size sketch of the quilt:
This is the quilt made with the Japanese yukata fabrics; we were encouraged to take our smallish square of yukata fabric, design a shape and assemble it, while merging and borrowing it, and extending the design through sashiko or embroidery. Roberta’s classes always gave me more than I expected.
This is the quilt I made in that other class of hers, and I wrote about this method, plus the idea when I discussed the short story I was teaching in my English Class, “Everyday Use.”
This is from a class by Jan Krentz, because I so wanted to make a Lone Star Quilt, and she knew how. I used fabric my husband had brought me from Zimbabwe (yes, he’s a keeper) and I’ve not written about it on this blog. It was named Fiat Lux, because I finished it about the time I earned my undergraduate degree after 28 years of slogging. The motto of the University of California is “Fiat Lux,” so I adopted that for the title.
I found file folders for the Joen Wolfrom class I mentioned in the last post, as well as a few others, but the file that amazed me most of all was the one that held the papers from a class with Jean Ray Laury, the grandmother of the graphic arts quilts (in my mind).
I even saved a letter she’d written to me, returning the dollar I paid for some class supplies that she ended up giving out for free. Now that she is gone, it’s a treasure newly re-discovered, once long-lost in some random file cabinet (now gone) in my garage.
While it was a treat to find all these “baby quilt photos” I’m more than happy that I actually “raised the baby” and got it launched into the world. No, there will probably never be an embellished quilt — the interest just isn’t there to place sparklies and sequins all over a quilt. But those needles will come in handy when I have to restore the beads Carol put on her block for my Ladies quilt. Yes, I’m a fan of taking quilt classes. Only once have I come out of a class feeling like it was a waste of time (and I’ll never reveal which class it was).