As you read this, I am traveling to the Skelton 4-H Center in Wirtz, VA for Celebration! with the Virginia Consortium of Quilters aka VCQ. Celebration! 2022
This is a Homecoming for me. When I was a "baby quilter" in the mid-late 1980's, VCQ was a brand-new statewide guild that held meetings around the state of Virginia a few times a year. The first Celebration was held at a 4-H Center in Front Royal, VA and I was thrilled to attend it.
It was my first "Retreat" as a quilter and it was amazing! To be enveloped in all things QUILT for several days, away from home and my two little boys, and to be FED 3 meals a day--what a huge treat! My passion for quiltmaking was firmly established by then and it was the beginning of my lifelong love affair with the art.
Sadly, I moved from Virginia to Alabama in 1988. BUT--quilters have built-in friends wherever they go and I was welcomed here to a large guild, the Heritage Quilters of Huntsville. Soon, I was teaching lots of classes at a local shop, Patches & Stitches. A new passion was born--sharing what I knew with those who wanted to learn too.
I returned to the second Celebration! after I had moved to Alabama--it was so good to see old friends again. It never occurred to me one day I would return again--as FACULTY. Of course, that was supposed to happen in 2020--but was postponed two years so it is happening NOW.
The workshops I am excited to teach are 5 Easy Pieces, based on an antique top I bought at a yard sale 5 days after arriving in Alabama. The first one I made is an exact replica of the original, with a LOT of Set-In Piecing. That was too hard for most students so I adapted the quilt pattern to a much easier project.
My replica of the original, machine pieced and hand quilted by me:
The easier adaptation, machine pieced by me, hand quilted by a friend:
The antique top. This rarely comes out of deep storage but will make this trip so the students can see all these amazing old fabrics. It was dated Circa 1875 by Merikay Waldvogel, a quilt historian/author who really knows her stuff:
As you can see, the outer border is totally shot. And there are weak spots in some of the blocks. It is hand-pieced, which makes all those set-in blocks easier to do.
Silly me, as a baby quilter I thought every top was supposed to get quilted so I bought it with the plan to hand quilt it, after replacing the outer border. When I found out how old it was I decided to replicate it and preserve it in its current condition.
There is a long, informative story about this top and the quilts it inspired. Read it HERE if you want to know the lessons we can learn from old quilts/tops.
The second workshop is Kisses + Hugs, a great scrapbuster quilt. It has the added benefit of helping quilters improve their piecing skills:
I am going to have a grand time and will have much to report, I'm sure, when I get home.
I wonder if there will be any of my first guild members there. The VA Star Quilters of Fredericksburg, VA taught me to quilt. I often say I am so fortunate that they didn't look at my early work and say "My dear, you should find another hobby." Instead, they said "Let me show you how..." And so began my Joyful Journey.