Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Remembering Lynn

One of the people in my piecing class at the Crow Barn last month was Betty Goodwin, whom I have known for several years.  Even if you don't know her, you may know of her as the donor of a major prize at Quilt National, the Lynn Goodwin Borgman Award for Surface Design. Lynn was Betty's daughter, an avid quilter, and the two had frequently attended workshops and quilt shows together, enjoying the opportunity to spend time together without the distractions of family and chores.

Lynn Borgman

Lynn died unexpectedly in 1999 after supposedly routine outpatient surgery and it was left to Betty to deal with her fabric stash.  A lot was given away but Betty kept some things, including many, many yards of the old Pointillist Palette fabrics in every colorway that had been produced.

She brought some of them to our workshop, wondering if maybe she could use them after all those years.  Well, why not?  What better way to remember your loved one than to  bring her into the room with you as you work with her fabric.

Betty used the pointillist fabric for this exercise in fine line piecing, and it proved to be an interesting experiment in value contrast.  Notice how the fine lines pop out in some places and disappear in others.  She also achieved a nice effect by cutting the center panel out of the piecing and flipping it around.

Before her death, Lynn had been planning to attend a workshop that required a lot of strips, so she had methodically cut them to size and packed them in storage boxes.  Betty had kept those too and brought them along.

She sliced the strips even narrower to use as fine lines in the piecing.  Here is the composition in progress; the print strips made beautiful delicate lines to set off the solid color blocks.

Here's Betty with her work for the week:

It's always energizing to have the spirit of someone else in the room while you're making art, one reason why I love to work with other people's leftovers.  Although none of the rest of us had the pleasure of knowing Lynn, we felt her presence and love with us in the room.


  1. Hi Kathy

    When I was in Houston earlier this month, I noticed that the Pointillist Palette line is available again for those that missed it the first time.

  2. I just wanted to comment since I've been lurking here for awhile. I actually bought a bag full of precut strips at the Salvation Army a few years ago-there were also triangles in there-I wasn't a quilter (just learning now actually) but the fabric fascinated me. I was trying to peice a persons life together by looking at it.

  3. There is a humming life force that still exists within fabrics owned, worn, created, chosen or abandoned by other people. I’ve always felt strongly about working with this kind of textile — the challenges are rigorous & the results are layered and surprising. The ghosts of others are always near when I sew, a challenge in itself.

  4. I have a stash of pointillist palette, too. The stuff is magic. But the new line is not the same. . .

  5. The new line is hard to find in your local quilt stores. I was privileged to create a quilt with the new line for Robert Kayfman Fabrics before it was available. They offer a pattern on their website forit. It was more challenging to work with than the original group, but the results were exciting. Keepsake Quilting offered it as a kit and it has conti usually been sold out and out of stock. This may be one of the best ways to get the fabric in 2 1/2 inch strips.

  6. What a beautiful quilt. I really love the couloirs. I will meet you in Gemany next year and I will dye my own fabrics. These couloirs are a good inspiration