Sunday, March 28, 2010

Lancaster Notes

After waking up at the very early hour of 4:15 AM I spent all day Friday going to, coming from, and soaking up all the sights to be seen at the quilt show in Lancaster, now under the auspices of the American Quilt Society. Of course, I couldn't help make comparisons with the old Lancaster show since this was under new administration and at a new venue (actually two venues).  The big hole in my experience of the day was the absence of the Quilt National traveling exhibit--a room where I always found some quilts I wanted to contemplate for a while.  This one did have a small traveling exhibit from Studio Art Quilters Association as well as a special exhibit of quilts from the Association of Pacific West Quilters whose members are playing with some innovative techniques and where I took a lot of pictures.  The new convention center was not as well lighted or as large as the Host Resort of previous years, and the shuttle to the second venue ate up our limited time, but this is the first year AQS has hosted the show so I will wait for next year to see how they settle in, and there were indeed some beautiful, inspiring quilts there.

There were certainly plenty of vendors as well, although I am now fairly well supplied with gadgets and since I am doing more dyeing, I tend to look for the unusual fabrics.  From Batik Timbal I got some beautiful cotton that looks and feels like silk, woven in Bali, and from Mekong River Textiles, I was so awed by the Sunshine Silk, handwoven in Thailand, that I had to have some, although I could only afford a half yard.

This fabric just glows in real life.  I also got a gorgeous hand-dyed cotton from Ghana at a West African fabric booth.

Of course the question on the bus was "What are you going to make with these?"  And, of course, I have no idea.  I was looking for fabrics that said something new to me so I couldn't go with any preconceived ideas.  But I am finding that letting a strong unique fabric suggest a project to me is often a good way for me to begin so we will see where these end up.  Right now they are just a joy to be around.

One of my final purchases was a 4-inch square of fabric from around 1830, reflecting my split personality when it comes to quilting.  I love the connection with the tradition of quilting, particularly with the pre-twentieth century work, and so I love being able to have my own mini-collection of old fabrics that I can touch and look at closely.

That show was certainly worth getting up before sunrise to see.  And now I'm ready to get back to my own work.

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