I went to Seattle to go to the Quilter’s Anonymous show at the state fairgrounds in Monroe, WA. This is a group of quilters from the northern part of Seattle. It was a show of quilts by members, all of whom had to have volunteered time in the past year for various events. It wasn’t a juried show, but the quality of the work was high. I was with my sister-in-law LeeAnn and her friend Sally, both QA members (they belong to a subgroup called “The Rebels”), both with quilts in the show. Sally is a much more methodical and careful looker than LeeAnn and I–often finding something very interesting in a quilt we might not have looked at. We discussed how the fashion for a dark inner border often “restricts” the pattern within. We discussed fabric choice, craftsmanship, handwork, color choice, and on. The similarities to the choices painters make was interesting to me. First just a selection for the visual punch (you can click on any individual photo to enlarge it):



The secondary discussion revolved around “reuse” of fabric. Sally and LeeAnn originally bonded when both had made quilts from designer Kaffe Fasset’s richly colored fabrics. Both began to realize that using designer fabrics possibly obscured the design and construction of the quilt–made it recognizable as a certain “product” from a certain time (quilters know which fabrics came from which year of a designer’s work) . Separately and together they moved to using solids, and now they are both using “recycled” fabric. We went to Goodwill and bought a pile of shirts of a variety of colors and patterns. We cut them up and shared the fabric. Sally related the following story. She got a sweater at Goodwill and decided to use the colors in the sweater for her quilt. All the fabric in the quilt is reused:


Sally noticed that at her particular Goodwill there was a sudden influx of African clothing and has one quilt finished and another underway:


other quilts using recycled fabric included:


I thought it very fun to step into this “world,” and have been having vivid, pattern-filled dreams! Also, I’m ripping up old shirts. I guess my favorite remark was LeeAnn’s admission that she needed a certain green so she went upstairs to her closet, got out an old dress and ripped it up!! ANOTHER option for cleaning out the closets!

Post Script: The maker of the small white piece (see above) is a nurse. She was the “featured quilter” at the show and had many pieces on view. She hand-quilts all her work and does most of it on her daily bus commute.


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