Monday, November 4, 2013

Quilt Guild Meeting

I went to the monthly meeting this morning with Jer's Night Sky in hand for the show and tell. It needs the last going-over to pull loose threads and then will ship out tomorrow.

Its been an interesting journey to work on that started by finding the free pattern online from Hoffman California Fabrics called "Punch Street", and converting the colors to the holiday scraps I had on hand. I found a black sky print with crescent moons for the background. 

Then I experimented with free motion patterns on each of the houses, not following any sort of system. I wish I had done an overall stipple, but don't feel confident with it.

The group of 100 women, more or less, applauded and some even commented to me after the meeting how beautiful it is.

Speaker Lolita Newman brought quilts she makes that focus on the Civil War. As her quilts were passed around, I admit to comparing what I do to hers. Guess its how we grow. She shared the origin of the Black Eye Peas, which is the name of this quilt. She embroidered the BEP's in the gold center blocks. This bean or pea was the only thing left in the fields for the Southern Slaves to eat after the Northern Army came through in the dead of winter. The Slaves thought themselves mighty lucky to be alive and to have food to eat. And this is how the tradition of eating them on New Year's Eve came to be.

It made me realize that my quilts are all over the board in design and theme, and I think I am ok with this. 

I love that Lolita has taken it upon herself to look at the Civil War era and design quilts with specific blocks that legend says helped Slaves find freedom. There is power in seeing what needs to be done, and doing it in the moment. She shared that some folks dismiss the legend and say there never was an Underground Railroad.

Some say there never was a Holocaust, or never was the burning of millions of women accused of Witchcraft.

It made me wonder what 'some say' about me, or what I say about myself. All the way home I thought about the power of seeing what needs to be done and doing it no matter what is being said against that.

The Night Sky quilt was one such experience of doubt for me. If it was too advanced, so what? Its done and beautiful. If the free motion quilting was too putzy and should have been an overall stipple, so what? It was good practice. 

My day is going forward. In thinking about the people in the world over time who have been frightened, homeless, hungry, persecuted, and imprisoned, I can say that I am free, have a home, food to eat, and am safe.

It is a good day to quilt.