Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Nottingham, second day

On Saturday, the entire morning was dedicated to the Quilter’s Guild of the British Isles’ AGM (Annual General Meeting), during which I learned a lot about the way meetings are handled in Britain. It did come as a revelation that meetings such as these can be fun to attend (whereas in Germany they usually aren’t, and that goes for every kind of organizational meeting, definitely not restricted to the patchwork guild!). When listening to Tina McEwen, the current president of the Guild, as she talked to the members, I understood that so many more members were actually present at the meeting than usually show up on these occasions in Germany.
The afternoon was devoted to a little bit of shopping at the vendors’ stalls.After that I went into the lecture hall to listen to Gillian Clarke, a former historian, who gave a talk on how she uses illuminations of medieval books, or from other medieval sources such as choir stands decorations in churches, as the basis for her quilt designs. She has done a quilt called the “Labors of the month”,

sorry - out of focus: Gillian Clarke, Labors of the month, detail
and, upon the comment of a friend “you know, Gillian, these are all men!”, she went on to do “A Woman’s work” as a parallel.

Gillian Clarke, A Woman's Work, detail
Her wonderful wholecloth quilt in white and red (white front, red back, and all the quilting done in red) had a fateful accident while in an exhibition, where water leaked onto it from the rood – and it was the quilting thread that bled onto the quilt. 

Given my most recent experiences with bleeding red, I talked to her about what she had done about it, sharing the precious advice I had received from readers. But she said she hadn’t done anything at all about it, simply accepted it as part of the fate of the quilt. “It always makes for a good story, you know.”

In the evening, the Gala dinner took place at the East Midlands Convention Center

Only while I had been packing my suitcases had I discovered that the theme for the evening called for “Lashings of lace”. Not being a very lacey person, I had encountered a short moment of slight panic. I had never before been to a British theme party in my entire life, but read about them and their potential intensity just recently, and I was slightly scared about not really doing the right thing. In any case, I do not own a single piece of clothing that includes a piece of lace and did not want to buy any, but I did remember that I had once bought a piece of cardboard with handmade Brussels Lace (in a very simple style) on a fleemarket. I managed to find it, put it in my suitcase and figured I would find a way to set it to use when the occasion arrived.

I did, too: I wore it around my shoulders in a sort of sash-style for the gala dinner. I had also acquired another piece of narrow lace in a small “surprise bag”bought at the fundraising stall for QGBI’s region 10, which I wore wrapped around my head as a kind of lace bandana. Here I am in this extremely flattering outfit, together with Laura Wasilowski and my raffle prize, a rather pink bucket filled with rather pink quilter’s goodies that I won completely unexpectedly:

Laura Wasilowsky and I after the raffle drawing.
After the meal was over, we were treated to Laura Wasilowsky’s and Frieda Anderson’s talk on their “Chicago School of Fusing”. Laura and I had been seated next to each other during dinner and had tried to figure out where we might have met before, except for our little exchange on Friday on the occasion that our workshop rooms had been exchanged. We both had the feeling that we had, but we could not find out when that might have been. In any case, I thoroughly enjoyed their talk about their technique and processes, including Laura’s songs underlining her story of Eve and the creation of fusing, as did the rest of the hall. If you ever get a chance to hear the two of them perform, don’t miss it. It made me want to give fusing a real try...

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