Tuesday, June 06, 2006

Weekend Get Away

Friday I cut outa work early and headed to Sebastopol and a visit with my quilty friend Karen. We’ve known each other for 18 years, been members of the Santa Rosa Quilt Guild together, made Friendship blocks for each other, raised our kids together, shared through all the graduations, a wedding, growing pains and the changes that life brings our way. We only live an hour and a half away from each another, but we only seem to manage to get together two or three times a year. Not NEARLY enough! But one of the wonderful things about visiting together, is that we always pick right up where we left off as if no time has passed. We sat and talked about family news before dinner. After dinner we had a lengthy show and tell. I could see how my tastes have changed over the years as I showed Karen the projects I’m working on now and the methods I’ve chosen to use. We talked about the evolution of quilt-making that we’ve noticed during the past two decades; how you can now buy every fabric type, style or theme imaginable. “Whatever happened to making a quilt because you wanted to use what you had? Or you worked with the colors you did because they said what you wanted to? Now the books and magazines show you a quilt and promote the theme fabric to make it. Where’s the fun in that?”
Saturday we attended the Moonlight Quilters of Sonoma County annual quilt show. Always a feast for the eyes! Sometimes the quilts, colors and vendors can be a bit overwhelming, if you don’t break up the browsing. Once we paid our admission fee we put our blinders on and made a dash to the back of the hall to visit Vivica’s Things vendor booth and transact a little business. I sold Vivica 40 four inch strip pieced blocks that were hand stitched down to newspaper dated 1931. She sold me some prime quilt-able cotton for my stash – in a color I don’t usually collect – and we about broke even. The best way to shop, don’t you think? The Moonlight Quilters show is always fun for me because I get to run into so many people I knew when I lived in Santa Rosa. It’s been thirteen years since I lived and quilted in Sonoma County, but I am fondly remembered it seems. It never hurts anyone’s feelings to hear, “Leslie! Why you look great. You haven’t changed a bit!” We swap news, talk about the children – or grandchildren and what project we’re working on now. Quilters as a rule seem to be really warm, friendly people. And I don’t just say that because I’m a quilter.
The featured artist was Nancy Brown from Oakland, CA and MAN what eye popping stuff! She machine pieces her backgrounds, hand applique’s and hand quilts her quilts. When I looked at any ONE quilt I was overwhelmed by the time investment I saw. The three dimensional look she achieves with her reverse applique’ and multi-layering technique is awe-some, in the true sense of the word.
 Karen and I broke for lunch at the Great China restaurant on Farmer’s Lane, then tooled north to Teddy Bear Quilts for another ‘hearty browse’. While I was in the back of the store I heard this full-bodied, boisterous laugh and thought, “That sounds familiar.” As I worked my way to the front of the store I glanced at the woman with the notable laugh; didn’t recognize her. But as she talked and laughed again… it was unmistakable. I turned and said, “Sue Gowan??” “Yeah? Oh, I KNOW you!” Sue lives in Ft. Bragg and we’d met last year at a Quilt Retreat on the coast. I told her I recognized her because of her laugh… which caused her to laugh again… and tell me she’s been told that many time. Even though Santa Rosa is well on it’s way to being considered a city, especially compared to the small town I live in, it’s wonderful to visit there and still find friends and quilters along the way.

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