Sunday, 28 May 2017

Talented Artists

Well, my concept of what a quilt is has altered. There were some traditional, beautifully pieced quilts at the Quilt Show, and I'm in awe of someone who could imagine such beauty and then actually pull it off. But there were also fibre arts there that I had never seen before and couldn't have imagined. Three-dimensional portraits. Needle-felted landscapes. "Starry Starry Night" recreated in dyed dryer lint (not kidding). Thread painting. Needlework like I've never seen before. And one woman created the most amazing, detailed pictures that looked like photographs -- forests and waterfalls and rivers -- out of thousands of tiny, intricately-cut pieces of fabric, layer upon layer.

I walked through all the venues and displays with my mouth hanging open and knew myself to be among masters. I marvelled that someone could put together a quilt (that would have taken me three lifetimes to create) and then donated it to the auction to raise money for Mennonite relief. And there were dozens of them donated. I especially enjoyed the display in the Mennonite church, where they had spread the quilts out over the pews, and it felt like a giant slumber party.

Two quilts were special favourites of mine -- one was a zany, cheerful montage of brightly-coloured houses representing Newfoundland, and one was done mostly in whites, with a snowy owl and the quilted outline of a Native-art bird in the moon overhead. Almost haunting in its beauty.

The friend I went with is an amazing quilter herself, and she went home with lots of ideas for new projects and the contact info of two women she wants to take classes from. While I was viewing everything as if it were in a museum, she was viewing it all as inspiration she could take home and act upon.

We also checked out a pottery display, weaving display, and an antique shop or two, and stopped for lunch in a little place where we sat in a garden while the Hungarian owner fired up our meals on an outdoor grill (hamburger for her, sausage on a bun with sauerkraut for me). We toured a little "pioneer" type museum and admired their herb garden. (I love the smell of old wood and dust and stone you get in old houses.) We stopped for cookies and tea in the basement of a church, where they served the tiny cookies on little serving trays cleverly made from saucers glued on top of upside-down tea cups. And my friend bought four slabs of pine she's going to take home and turn into some sort of Christmas project.

I look at cloth and fibre differently now that the world of weaving is opening up to me. I understand and have new appreciation for the amount of work that goes into the kinds of projects we saw this week. I enjoy talking with the artists, and find kindred spirits all around me, eager to talk about their passions. We met such interesting, talented, and accomplished women! And I include my friend in that group.

A delightful day out.

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