Sunday, December 28, 2008
It is that time of year that all the magazines and news show start making their lists...the best shows of 2008, the worst dressed, the best book, the worst movie....So I thought I'd make my list of what I am thankful for in the "Quilting World" in the past year. These are in no particular order and if you want to add to the list please do....
1. International Quilt Study Center and Museum
In March of 2008 they opened the museum and study center at the University of Nebraska, Lincoln. My goal is to get there in 2009. What is really great though is you don't have to physically visit to benefit from this great collection of quilts. They are a wonderful on-line resource. If you don't get their "Quilt of the Month" email you should sign up immediately. It is like getting a little gift in your email each month!
2. QG Newsletter
Michele@quiltinggallery.com This comes to my email each month and provides links to many interesting quilting blogs and sites. I have made several fun projects and found blog sites that I return to often.
3. Scraps and Shirttails, by Bonnie Hunter
To see a friend archive something they have wanted to do for so long is really inspiring. Bonnie is also one of the most hardworking women I know and is so generous with her time and talents that to see her name on the cover of a book was a real rush. Sometimes good things do happen to good people! (The photo below is a block I made from her Carolina Crossroads online mystery...)
4. Expansion of the Quilt Index
Before you go to this site get a really big cup of coffee, tea or heck a good red wine. The number of quilts on this site went over 18,000 this year. The index allows you to search through them quickly...ok, it finds them quickly though I guarantee you will spend hours going through the photos and reading the histories. (maybe keep the pot of coffee or bottle of wine close at hand) Even if you are not a quilt history fanatic you will find this indes useful. The other day a blogger was asking for ideas on how to finish a hexegon quilt. I typed hexegon into the index and it came back with 134 examples...that was a two cuppa visit!
5. Local Quilt Shops
I am lucky to live in an area with two very different quilt shops within a few miles of my house (with a new artsey one opening next month!) I tell my Dh it is my patriotic duty to support them! On the serious side however Jeff's fixes my 12 year old Viking and makes it run like new again. (I once got a note that read, "this is a sewing machine not a cat bed!"...Brownie would dissagree.) The shops are where I go when I need a some thread and a bit of inspiration. After a couple years of living overseas and doing the majority of my shopping online it is really nice to touch the fabric again...
6. Eco-consciousness/Quilters are going green
I got my first piece of bamboo batting this month. My first quilt, circa 1972, has a thick polyester batting that is sneaking through the seams...I worry that in a fire the quilt would melt! Natural fibers, cotton, wool, or now bamboo, have to be better for the earh and for the users! The growing number of patterns for shopping bags ment to replace your plastic is a long way from the bags we used to make to hold our plastic bags! And finely, quilters are looking at their "stashes" as things to be used and less as things to hoard. Some of my favorite antique quilts show how frugal a quilter can be when they need to be! (Scrap quilts rule!)
7. Tutorial Explosion
Between bloogers posting instructions and quilting web sites you can find directions on just about anything to do with quilting. I am amazed at the generosity of those who put their ideas out there to share with us. In some ways it is like a online quilt guild. (without all the cookies and chocolate....)
8. Reproduction Fabrics
Those of us who love the look of a vinatage quilt in our own quilts are lucky to have so many choices right now. I can remember buying my first bundle of Aunt Gracie's fabrics back in the early 1990's and being afraid to cut into them...what if they don't ever print anything like them again! (I never did use the pink rabbit flying the airplane...) It was about that time I was making my first Baltimore Album quilt and I bought a piece of every reproduction fabric that came into Seminole Sampler...Now there are dozens of collections to choose from! (If they would just reprint that madder stripe from the mid-1990's that I only have a small 10x10 piece left)
9. Quilting Bloggers
The past couple of years blogging has become a major contributor to how I look at quilting. It is not only the physical act of quilting but the talking about fabrics, about families, sharing ideas, and events in our lives. That is quilting. That is can be done with women (and a few men!) from all around the world is a bit overwhelming...but overwhelming in a good way.
10. Fill in the blank....what do you think was an important event, product or service in the world of quilting in 2008? (Allright, I couldn't think of another thing to write....help me out!)