I wrote about my dear friend Marti Plager, who died earlier this month, and promised to tell you how she singlehandedly set me on the path to quilting as art.
In the mid-90s we had both been members of a big local quilt guild, but neither of us really felt at home. It was the kind of guild where people would give show-and-tell of their latest quilt, and the first question was invariably "what pattern did you use?" Those of us who did our own designs were regarded with suspicion if not downright disapproval. Finally Marti decided she had had enough, and quit the guild. I was reaching the same conclusion.
Marti and I didn't know one another except as faces in the crowd, but she had paid particular attention when I had show-and-tell of a quilt I had made for a contest sponsored by Quilter's Newsletter Magazine. The contest was called "Rhapsody of Roses" and the rules called for at least one rose on the quilt. I figured that the vast majority of the entrants would have beautiful roses all over the place, and I couldn't compete with beauty, nor with realism. So I deliberately went in the other direction, and came up with a quilt that was almost all thorns, with one little rose in one corner.
|Rose Among Thorns
sorry for the wimpy color -- this is a digitization from an old slide; the quilt is gone now so this is the only image I have, unless I can find my copy of the QNM where they printed the contest winners
|Rose Among Thorns -- detail
Our small group only did two joint projects in two decades. Once we were asked to prepare a table setting to showcase the dinnerware made by a famous ceramist; we dyed and printed a fabulous tablecloth, napkins and placemats. Once we ordered four dozen blank silk scarves and did a round robin in which each scarf was dyed or painted or printed by four different people. The consensus was that we had fun but that wasn't what our group was about.