Every once in a while an opportunity comes up that you just don't want to miss. If you have been on one, you know that quilt retreats can be wonderful, powerful, healing pockets of time where positive energy fills the room and friendships are made or strengthened. Through shared love of fabric and creating, and an appreciation for one another's style, an atmosphere is formed that renews the soul in ways few other activities can.
You can see why I had to go. I would have loved to spend the three days, but real life has boundaries and limitations sometimes, so I told V I would only make it on Saturday. I just resolved to make the most of the time I had.
I'm sure the other retreaters will extol the wonders of the weekend, including Victoria's genuine hospitality, amazing skills in the kitchen, and generosity in the form of FABRIC SCRAPS. Believe me, I experienced and appreciated all of that as well (though I missed out on some really good cooking I hear..), but I'd like to talk about something that crossed my mind that day, totally unexpected.
A few hours into my time at V's retreat, the ladies decided to take a walk over to the American Folk Art Museum . I had never been there before and though I desperately wanted to sew as much as I could, I thought it was a more valuable opportunity to join the group and take the trip together because one of the main reasons I wanted to attend the retreat was to get to spend time with these intriguing women. As we browsed the exhibit, it was interesting to see which quilters were pulled to each quilt, and to hear their thoughts on the works of quilters that came before us.
I sat for a while on a bench in front of this quilt made by an unidentified artist in New England between 1800-1820. I found myself wondering about the maker..my questions started simply enough-- Why if the rest of the quilt was quilted with straight lines echoing the squares, did she decide to quilt the inner border with curved, radiating shapes? If this was on the bed, how was the rest of the room decorated? How dramatic would those dark border triangles have looked hanging over the edges of the bed? How did it end up in the museum in such good shape, 200 years later? Maybe her husband didn't like it.. And that's how it started. I spend the rest of the hour at the museum wondering about the women behind the quilts and if these (at the museum) were their "good" quilts, what did their other quilts look like?
This line of thinking applies to the retreat and modern-day quilters as well. I left a comment on Nifty's blog, and I'll re-write it here: "Visiting the retreaters' blogs after spending time with them in person has been really cool. All of the sudden someone's blogging style, quilting style, and IRL personality merge into a more complete picture of the quilter herself. Seeing the big picture makes me appreciate blogland and quilting so much more." We have a really awesome community here, and thanks to the internet, we are able to document it as it happens. I don't know if people will still be able to read this blog 200 years from now, but I am grateful for the many things that quilt blogs have brought to my life, this retreat included. Thanks V.
Thank you Jessica! I agree with you 100%
This great blog community has brought so many of us together...Gotta love that.
great thoughts, thanks for sharing!
Tomorrow's Guest Blogger, is Helen (no blog) or otherwise known as, HelenNoBlog