Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Quilt Show Opens the Doors to Opportunities

This weekend I took down the one-woman quilt exhibit -- Flowers in Fabric --I had the good fortune to display at the art gallery at the college where I work. Our Winter Faculty Art Show gave me the opportunity to display 70 of my quilts for more than a month. What a thrill it was, to see so many of my oh-so-special creative project all hanging together for the first time. While I have displayed quilts in shows many times, this was the first time I was responsible for an entire exhibit, and discovered the fun of creating a "display" of quilts which revealed not only the variety of pieces in the exhibit, but the play of one quilt upon the other, and the impact that had on the visitor.
For example, as a visitor entered the show, this was one of the first quilts they saw, from across the room. The movement and flow of color immediately attracted the eye and invited them into the exhibit. The walls of the gallery were lined with quits, which flowed one into the next by means of color, theme, or pattern.

Each quilt was accompanied by a label with a detailed story about the quilt, the maker(s) or the pattern, further inviting the visitor to stay and linger and enjoy. All this was a revelation to me, and part of what made creating the exhibit exciting and new. Each quilt evoked a special memory I wanted to share with the viewers, offering them a glimpse into my creative world, and a spark to ignite their own creative inspirations.
This quilt is a round robin complete by a group of quilters who participate in an online quilt group I moderate. I call it Fried Egg Flowers. I just love the whimsy, color and beautiful craftsmanship they each put into this quilt. This quilt is a tribute to our friendship, but also to the shared creative delight we generate each time we work on one another's projects.
This quilt normally hangs over my desk in my office and students come in to talk about classwork and find themselves staring into the face of a rose in full bloom. They always ask if I made it. I smile, and tell them "yes," laughing a bit to myself as it always reminds me how we under-estimate people, and it keeps me patient and humble as I work with students and answer their questions.
In additional to showcasing my own quilts and those I have shared with members of my various quilt groups, this exhibit also gave me an opportunity to showcase my original patterns. The gold and green quilt features the December flowers of the Month -- Holly and Poinsettia.

The red flowers are carnations celebrating the month of January against a snowy background. This quilt celebrates the contrast of the breath of life dormant in the long cold winters with the astonishing beauty of the January flower -- the Red Carnation.
The water lily, or lotus, the ancient flower of the month of July, floats in the turquoise pond bounded by sea blue waters. I love the play of colors in the water, random and varied, contrasted with the stylized symmetry of the lotus.
As a result of this show, I have been asked to teach quilting lessons to our students through our extension office. What fun! I have also been invited to exhibit my quilts again in April at the Public Library as well as teach several quilt classes there. It has been delightful to let my academic colleagues see a side of me they never imagined existed. . . all because of my passion for color and fabric.
You can see the whole quilt show here. I hope you enjoy the walk through the gallery, wandering through the garden paths, and strolling amid the flowers. Thanks for taking a look.

1 comment:

  1. beautiful quilts. i really like the rose and the story about your students. it also gives them another connection to understanding you.


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