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Saturday, March 10, 2012

Quilting with Groups

 I'm really lucky to be in an area where there's lots of quilting of all types going least I think I'm lucky...I'm not sure my house and garden agree as it always seems like I'm buzzing off to do something quilty.

My local group is the Batty Binders.  Composed mostly of traditional quilters, we do have a small contingent of art quilters in the group.  All told we have about 50 members.  The guild was started in 1995, and every year we have at least two retreats. Traditionally, our retreat is held in February at the local girlscout camp.  However, when a mouse made it's appearance one time, some members thought it was time to find another place to quilt.  But, a few of us stalwarts don't mind mice and find that the inexpensive living quarters (we all divvy up food responsibilities....and I've never known any BB'er to go hungry), and about 20 of us continue to go to this retreat in addition to a retreat at a conference center where they clean they bathrooms and make the food for us.
Deb Neff with Gwen Brown's sunburst behind her.

Although small, the group does a lot of charity work, either with the group or on their own.   The first quilt is one made by Diane Littlejohn.  Diane makes a quilt each year for  a raffle to raise funds for the EMT/Volunteer fire department in her little town.

The retreats are always times when we can lay things out to figure out the best placement, get help in finishing projects and laugh. Lots of laughing...and staying up far too late.  (This quilt is going to be a wedding present for Glenda Tron's daughter this fall).
Terri Pyle's "stack and whack" fan quilt taught by Kitty Tomsic.
 In addition to the Batty Binders, every Thursday I meet with another group and we sew together....and that too is filled with lots of laughter and support of what we are doing....quilt wise as well as family wise.  It really is a great place to be.

Then, I also belong to the Miami Valley Art Quilt Network.  We meet monthly and try to have at least one exhibition every year.  Although I often miss it, there is also a class on design once a month.  There, we can also get help with critiques of our work.  I can honestly say that the group really has improved just by working through a design book together, doing exercises together and of course talking about what makes  a good art quilt.  We started out working on techniques and concepts illustrated in either Art Quilt Masters, or 500 Art Quilts (I've forgotten which one it has been so long!) which Lori Gravely graciously led.  From there, we went into Jane Davila and Elin Waterston's "Art Quilt Workbook" and Mindy Marik led the group.  For the last bit, they've been working through Lyric Kinard's Art + Quilt, with Ann Diller keeping us in line.

I also belong to the Miami Valley Quilters Guild...who will be having a show soon...and SAQA (Studio Art Quilt Associates).

All of these groups are slightly different, and I get something different from each one...but the best thing is the laughter.....and the help.

Can you believe that these three sunburst quilts were done from the same class?  Gwen Brown's is on the end, Glenda Tron's is the little 4 block one, and then the one with the blue ground is Deb Neff's.  My snowflake quilt is the one second from the right.

Yes...I've been blathering on here...and thinking about how theraputic and enriching having quilty friends is.  I haven't been getting out much because I hurt my back, and I've been madly working on repainting the sewing room ceiling and walls....and reflooring it.  Since hubby's home, the laminate I bought three years ago is now going down....sewing rooms with wall to wall carpet don't work too well....and all of this has to be put back before next Friday.  EEEK!

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