I had a wonderful time last night giving a presentation and sharing my art quilts with the Farmington Valley Quilters Guild. Event planners Lisa Salvatore and Phyllis Small took me to a lovely dinner at the Iron Frog Tavern before the meeting - I recommend the Frog's chicken pot pie. Yum!
The guild meeting took place at Eno Memorial Hall in Simsbury, CT.
About 80 of the 150 guild members and non-members braved the impending bad weather to attend; some traveled from Massachusetts to be there! The crowd was bigger than I expected and I was pretty nervous at first. But it helped to see some familiar faces - fellow SAQA members Judy Ross and Diane Cadrain were there. Diane showed off her beautiful commissioned banners during the Members’ Show & Tell part of the meeting.
This month also happens to be the group’s 20th Anniversary as a guild, so the night included refreshments and a giant sheet cake to celebrate the occasion. After a little sugar rush it was time for my presentation as the guest speaker.
I shared all the finished and almost-finished work that I had on hand with the exception of "Dandelion" and "Ode to a Kiss". I also ran a short slideshow and described the typical life cycle of a quilt (I used my self portrait “Kate at 40” as the example). The slideshow began with the original photo that provided the inspiration, to the sketch I developed on my PC, progressive photos showing layers of fabric being added one at a time, and finally some close-ups of the quilting.
Once I get going talking about making art quilts I usually loosen up and have fun. The audience was friendly and interested, asking questions, sharing insights – they put me at ease quickly.
As I talked from a podium, guild members carried my quilts around the room so people could see them up close. Although many of the members may work in a traditional style, the Farmington Valley Quilters were open to new ideas and seemed to enjoy my out-of-the ordinary quilts. All in all, it was a fabulous night... and there was cake, too!
Thank you Lisa Salvatore, Phyllis Small and Guild President Carrie Bacewicz for inviting me to speak to the Guild, and all the fiber art enthusiasts who made last night so much fun. Hope to see you again soon!