Sunday, October 25, 2009


There are big scary monsters under the bed,
And every night they must be fed,
They love to eat fabric, its their favorite food,
It puts them in the very best mood,
So, the lesson is clear, consider your plight,
Keep buying more fabric, or be dinner tonight.

There is a saying among quilters that She Who Dies With The Most Fabric Wins. It captures the addictive nature of quilting. Your mind swirls with patterns you want to see come alive in a particular color or form. Every piece of fabric is already a work of art. Then mix it with other scraps of fabric in deliberate swirls, or bars, or stars or squares, and we all become a bit like Jackson Pollock. But quilting is so much more than artistic expression and a delightful hobby.

The Independence Hall Quilters (whose fair I attended yesterday) organized in 1976 with a push from the National and State Bicentennial Committees encouraging local communities to put together events reminiscent of Colonial times. This exceptional group has held a quilt show every year since then. They average 100 quilts per show, and no quilt can be displayed twice. Doing the numbers, that's about 3300 original quilts.

This is a close up of an old quilt. Heritage quilt entries are encouraged. Its dainty, pastel and feminine, when quilts were only made by women. Today many men engage in the craft more often called fabric art.

Quilts engage so many subjects, like the humor in the child's quilt above, reminiscent of the book Where The Wild Things Are; and the heart quilt above made of T-shirts awarded to people who give blood platelets. This quilt honors one man who donated over 500 pints of platelets at Stanford Oncology Center and others who have given 100 pints and so on. Amazing!
There were many beautiful quilts, but I'm crazy about chickens and this quilt caught my eye. Imagine my surprise when I read the label and it was made by a good friend and neighbor, Roxanne Borean.
I mentioned that quilting is addictive, but so many other adjectives come to mind when I relate to this group of quilters:
Skill, patience, friendship, charity, homely, warmth, practical, work, love, beauty, humor, neighbors, memories, talent and joy.
What more could you ask for in a hobby?

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