Saturday, March 3, 2012

“Quilting Bee”

Last weekend I left town with a package of three rolled up quilts-in-progress under my arm and a quilting hoop dangling from my carry-on. I went to Fulda, where a private meeting of the regional representatives of the German Patchwork Guild took place. I used to be a regional representative for  a couple of years, but that was a couple of years ago already. However, ‘former’ representatives are also welcome, and as the group that gets together for a weekend of working and chatting is such a nice and pleasant group I had quickly said that I would come once again after the last meeting last year. When I had my panic attack  after that planning meeting with my husband  I had seriously debated with myself whether I should cancel. But I had already bought a non-refundable train ticket, my husband had gone through a number of organizational adjustments to make this weekend possible for me, and so I decided that I did not want all of these preparations to be for naught.
Several quilts I am currently working on were in stages where a lot of work by hand was necessary, such as sinking threads and other pleasant jobs like that. So I rolled those up, packed my stuff and set off.
We met in a Franciscan monastry in Fulda, a city which is also the place of the most gorgeous button shop I have everseen. Because I was the first one to arrive and did not know whether the others would want to go there again after we had been there last year already, I went down-town immediately after my arrival to revisit.

Window display at the "Button Paradise"

In the afternoon our group received a guided tour through the monastry’s tailor shop, which was highly interesting. Of course, the group of ten women went wild with delight when Brother Gerhard mentioned that he had no use for the swatch books of the last season, and one of us had the courage to ask whether we could have them.

None of them was left behind!

The remainder of the weekend was spent working. Those interested were given an introductory demonstration of the quilting design software EQ.

None of us brought a sewing machine, as that is the agreed upon format of the weekend: bring work that can be done by hand. So while most of the others were trying out little surprise projects that had been prepared in advance, I took the liberty to stick mostly with my three quilts in the making. I sank about a zillion thready on “Shapes II” and “Shapes III”, and started some surface work – a combination of embroidery/stitching and hand quilting, besides the machine quilting that I had already done earlier.

Hand-stitching on Play of Lines XXVII

Combination of hand and machine quilting on Shapes III

So I was basically the only one of us actually quilting, but it very much felt like a quilting bee nevertheless. I got a lot of stuff done: concentrated work on little stuff is done much more quickly when you don’t have to think about what you are going to cook for dinner today. And sinking threads does need a lot of concentration, otherwise I tend to put if off for much too long to ever get a possibility to feel good about it again.
So it was very well worth the time and money to have gone out of town to work - productivity and focus get a boost in surroundings like this!

Light art on the way to the downstairs facilities

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