A day with Marie

I took the day off work to spend time with my friend Marie, and go to the Sewing & Quilt Expo in Atlanta for the first time. She was quite delighted when we first met to discover I quilted, as she has three daughters and they mostly aren't interested in her hobby. (Her daughters are all Chinese adopted--that's how I know Marie. All three are teenagers.) I was a delighted guest of hers, as we trekked over to Gwinnett County and spent a few hours fueling creativity and getting inspiration. We both had projects we were shopping for, which gave us goals. The quilt show that is also a part of the Expo was smaller than usual, Marie said. All the quilts were nicely done, but bland, generic, traditional, and in general, very ehhh. Except for one row of extraordinary mini quilts, all around 1' x 2', designed each by a member of the NYC Metro Modern Quilt Guild. (Add this exhibit to the list of additional reasons for me to live in NYC in my life. What an awesome guild.) There were panels along the bottoms of the display that told about the inspiration behind each of the mini quilts, a form that offers so much potential for creative juice, because no technique is too big to get overwhelmed by when the final product is tiny. The driving force behind these quilts was the question, "what does modern quilting mean to you?" And the results, in both work of art and words explaining, were captivating, creatively inspiring, and beautiful.

My favorites are here. My photos do them terrible justice. All the mini quilts were beautiful--you should read more about them and their meaning.

The first, Back in To-Day, features two photographs transferred onto the fabric, the first from the Library of Congress's folklife photograph collection, of a woman--in her own modern day--working on a quilt. The second is the creator of this piece, working on her own modern quilt. Quilting, she says, is modern always--for the person doing it. It is happening right now. Interesting perspective on modern quilting.

The second one is scanned images of the quilter's deceased cat, which he started playing with in ditigal form after sorting through some papers years after the cat had died and realizing that chopping the images up yielded graphic and interesting results.

The third is all creams, tiny stitches, and one patch of teal. Right up my modern quilt alley. They are all stunning in person.

I also loved the African textiles and traditional patterns and quilting motifs, but anyone who's ever heard me gush about these motifs from when I was researching them for my material culture class already knows I'm crazy for them. The things they have done with narrow woven pieces of fabric, and created so much movement and pattern... amazing.

A good day.