Monday, November 1, 2010

Chelmsford Quilt Guild - Quilting Guilt free since 10/25/10

As you may have heard, I love to talk. Unfortunately my daughters have inherited this skill from me, and sometimes I have to escape from them so I can stop the ringing in my ears for a moment. At those times I love to be able to head to a guild meeting for one of the thousands upon thousands of guilds in America and listen to myself talk for an hour or so. Most of the time I wait until I am invited to do so, but give me time and I might start just showing up.

Last week I was the guest lecturer at Chelmsford Quilt Guild in nearby Chelmsford MA. I must be honest in saying I was a little stressed out about this booking, so much so that I almost showed up 3 days late! I can admit that now, but wooo! That would have sucked. Let this be a lesson to all guild program bookers - always follow up with your lecturers, because they sometimes put things in the calendar incorrectly. Rarely, but it happens. But why was I stressed out, you ask? Anyone ever heard the saying "You are never appreciated in your own backyard"? Or did I make that up? In any case, this particular guild has a lot of overlap between its members and those of my own guild, Squanicook Colonial Quilt Guild (aka The Squanicookies), and I just wasn't sure how many of them would truly be interested in my lecture. Don't get me wrong, it isn't that they don't support me and enjoy my stuff, but I guess I was worried they didn't need THAT much of me. Half the time I don't need that much of me either. Plus being a local guild, lots of them had seen my song and dance already at other bookings. But thankfully, I was very wrong about the enthusiasm. Together we all rocked the house. Or the casbah. Whichever you prefer.

Jeff Lomicka was seated in the front row and snapped a few photos for me. Mr. Shutterfly would have liked to share with the group some of my more horrific first quilts, but I managed to have him hold his fire until some of the more attractive ones came out. In all he managed to capture the essence of the trunk show and I thank him. Unfortunately they will be discussed in a very bizarre order (to me, at least - most of you probably don't care what order you see them in!) because blogger strikes again with some odd formatting.

This little quilt is always quite popular, and was actually the inspiration for my latest pattern (see "Please think 50's music" post). I call it "Ode to Imelda" and in its 1 year existence I have only once been asked to explain that name, so don't make me do it again. Allow me instead to believe that I have hit the motherload of quilt naming skill, because I do love this name. The quilt is from my book and is an example of using just one size and one applique block in various ways, with the applique bias strip border option. I just adore it. Another noteworthy thing about this photo is that "Ode to Imelda" is being held by Jenny Day, a fabulous woman who really does have a head, and is a Quilting Hottie extraordinaire who has seen Perfection is Overrated at least 4 times and always brings a friend. It is awesome to have a groupie.

Now before we go any further, we have to address the elephant in the room. Just how fabulous is that hunk o' rock around my neck in the next photo? Pretty darn fabulous, I know. I'll have you know it weighs about 5 pounds and I think my neck muscles are going to look like a linebacker's if I wear it very often, but I love it. I also love and adore this quilt, Syncopated Ribbons. I do believe it is my favorite design of all time and this particular version my very favorite version of all time. The quilt is made with strips and squares of all sizes and is put together in a very freeing and funky manner, making it ideal for free-quilting spirits like me, and, let's face it, a bitch for the Quilt Police to wrap their heads around. If you want/need/obsess about every seam being exactly 1/4", every point matching, every strip the same, etc, do us both a favor and do not make this quilt. You will hate me by the end of the first page of the instructions, and I want to be liked. But if you are ready to have some pure unadulterated fun and work down some serious scrappage, run to your favorite quilt shop and ask for this pattern. The necklace came from Nordstroms if you need that too.

Here we have two tall members of CQG holding up my star version of Feelin' Hot Hot Pink, which proves you don't have to have hot pink in the quilt just because the title says so, nor do you have to bind a quilt to show it in a trunk show. Perfection is Overrated, peeps. I love that the Quilting Hottie on the left appears to be saluting me (my fabulous necklace and I are off camera to the right). Right back at you, sister!

I didn't used to show this quilt in trunk shows because the quilting on it is, in a word, atrocious. But then I realized the whole point of my trunk show is to show that your quilts are gorgeous even with their little problems, and I got over myself. The colors are so pretty they make up for the big quilting issues. And it's still not hot pink!

Ah, the piece-de-resistance. The quilt I thought might kill me. I call it Scrapapalooza 2003-2005, and at risk of ruining the entire trunk show for you should you ever see me live, I will share here that when I first saw the pattern in a Quilters Newsletter magazine in Feb 2003 (Starry Nine Patch) I swear on the Bible and my mother's memory that I said to myself "What a fantastic weekend project that will be!" I know, stop the laughing. I was young, naive, and way sleep deprived from having birthed twins 5 weeks prior. But the point is I eventually, 176 weekends later, finished it. And it is gorgeous, if I do say so. I will also point out that there are no more than 14 or 15 actual star points on this quilt - the rest have been lost to eternity through what one might call careless piecing. But do you care? No. Well, maybe you do. The better question is, do I care? And here the answer is a resounding no. I love this quilt, I think it is gorgeous, and from the reaction it gets when it is unfurled at every trunk show I give, I think I'm not alone in my love for it.

As far as what number exactly I am singing for the audience in this photo, that I have no idea. And I'm covering up the fabulous hunk of rock. What is that about?

Thank you to CQG for having me! It was a fantastic group and I had nothing to fear but showing up the wrong day.


Barbara Chojnacki said...

Beth, I am laughing so hard at this! But I thought when I clicked on that second photo I'd see an enlarged version with the rock.

Beth at Quilting Hottie Haven said...

Barbara - I LOVE knowing I made you laugh. I hope most people are having the same reaction. Quilting is fun, why shouldn't talking about it be fun too? Anyway, I too was not happy with the tininess of that photo, so I fixed it. Now you can see the necklace in all it's glory!

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