Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Betty Pillsbury Tames More Than the Velvet Beast

Here is the quote that appears on the bottom of Betty Pillsbury's crazy quilt Perchance:

© Betty Pillsbury

I had never taken a class from Betty before and I had my first chance at the Crazy Quilt Adventure this past April in CT. I think this quote sums her up perfectly.

I think Betty is that never ending thread that weaves that cloak...

She is quick to smile and to laugh...to connect with those around her. There's a glow about her...a sense of peace and wisdom. Which, indeed, makes you feel as if a cloak of delight has wrapped around you ~

Your spirits are lifted and you're inspired to tackle any task.

© Betty Pillsbury

So, Taming the Velvet Beast was a great name for Betty's class...a class where we worked exclusively through the challenges and benefits of working with this tricky, yet sumptuous, fiber.

We embossed on velvet, learned tricks on sewing with velvet, and painted these sweet little forget-me-nots on velvet...


She brought with her many of her award-winning quilts including Crazy Diamonds which has won 13 awards including AQS and the Vermont Quilt Festival.

It's a showcase for lots of beautiful examples for using velvet...

© Betty Pillsbury

I love this velvet palette...

© Betty Pillsbury

It's an absolutely stunning quilt to see in person and I can see why it has won so many awards.

© Betty Pillsbury

And it was this center medallion of her Crazy Diamonds quilt...

© Betty Pillsbury

That we were taught how to re-create using our own color selections and velvet backgrounds.

Here Claudina Hruby finishes up a beautiful salmon-pink version of Betty's flower...


It was a great class. Betty peppers the day with lots and lots of sewing tips and information so you tend to learn way more from her than what's listed on her class syllabus.

I thoroughly enjoyed digesting her tips and her work.

Here are some highlights from another of Betty's award-winning quilts, Homage to Ardelia:

© Betty Pillsbury

I really liked this kaleidoscope effect surrounding a central motif.

And the messages she seems to tuck in here and there for the viewer's inspiration...

© Betty Pillsbury

Betty quilts from the heart and it shows.

Wouldn't I love to use this tea cozy and to have Tea with the Queens!

© Betty Pillsbury

And I love how this block is appliqued on-point onto a vintage, embroidered linen napkin...

© Betty Pillsbury

Now, as if her own work isn't enough...

Betty also has an extensive collection of amazing antique crazy quilts which she lectured about on Friday evening. Oh Mon Dieu!


It was almost too much to take in...I was bursting with inspiration. Luckily, I persevered and was able to take a few pictures even though I was hyperventilating...


Aren't those seam treatments something? Oh, and those velvet petals??? TDF!


And I was struck by the use of striped fabrics and antique woven ribbons in many of her antique examples...


And how about this spider?


And all these names and monograms...


See what I mean??

You better train up if you're going to spend time with Betty Pillsbury. She is rich in history, talent and knowledge and she's willing to share it all!!

If ever you have the chance to hear her speak or take a class, you won't be disappointed.

And here's the bottom line...she's just plain cool.

And I haven't even told you that she's an Herbalist! Or, that she lives in the Catskill Mountains, tends a five-acre herb farm and sends her herbs out into the world to help heal what ails us.

I love her Wrist Rub, her Open Sinuses oil...but most of all,

I just love her.

I hope you enjoyed meeting her today. You can visit her here at Green Spiral Herbs, or here at BettyPillsbury.com , or visit her on her blog here.

See you tomorrow.

18 comments:

Elizabeth said...

What a delight to meet Betty!!! How about we plana road trip to her Catskills home- we could schedule it around some classes and visit her fabulous gardens?/ I am serious!!! thanks so much for sharing your wonderful Adventure!!!

Cathy K said...

Great post, Susan, as usual. Your pictures are outstanding and capture the best of Betty’s work. Betty is my all-time forever CQ Idol and my only regret was that there were 60 of us women who idolize her there, all clamoring for her time and attention, LOL. Like you, I love her Wrist Rub (and have got to try the Open Sinus remedy), but it was so crazy at the Retreat that I never got to shop for that. Luckily, she is online. I have had many classes from her and always ALWAYS come away with new knowledge and uplifted spirits! Hugs, Cathy

Maureen said...

Betty should be at the top of a any crazy quilter's Hall of Fame list. She's so much fun and shows it in whatever she teaches. It makes it so much easier to learn.

Emerald Window said...

I absolutly LOVE it when you post all these yummy pictures of such fabulous works of art created by creative genius types like Betty (although with a name like Betty Pillsbury, I thought we would be cooking...).
Thanks for a stunning view of her work. I'm inspired.
Cenya

Dees said...

Oh My! What beauty. I will keep this post in my Evernote. Can't wait to see your work that you will undoubtedly make with these inspirations in mind and on hand.

Allison Ann Aller said...

She's a Goddess!!!

gracie said...

Wonderful pictures...beautiful quilts...

kaite said...

there are several lifetimes of work showing here, i need to go make another cuppa to take it all in with.

Gerry Krueger said...

I love that quote and I had missed it... thanks for posting it... My favorite hint from her was "railroading" beads.. Will always think of her when doing it.. Gerry K.

Suztats said...

Just wonderful pics of wonderful quilts!! How i wish I could see them in person. I am in awe of her skill.

Betty said...

Susan! Thank you so much for your kind words. Really made me blush. And your photography is simply stunning. Definitely, we need to collaborate on a project! Love,
Betty

Carol said...

I'm speechless, but I still wanted to tell you what a great post this is. Your photography is Aces.
xx, Carol

Createology said...

Thank you for sharing this amazing talented lady and her class you were able to take and learn from. Her work is beyond stunning. This is such a treat for those of us who aren't able to meet her in person. Marvelous May to you...

Ingrid Mida said...

I admire anyone who works with passion. And you can just tell that Betty loves what she does!!
This is totally off topic but while I was at the McQueen press preview on Monday, I kept taking photos of the exquisite embroidery thinking oh Susan will love this. I'll be posting them over the next week or so - just for you!

Queen Bee's Musings said...

Beautiful photos....took a class from her in Kansas couple years ago. Loved her instantly and felt like a true friend!
Looks like you had a wonderful class.

Thanks for sharing!

MosaicMagpie said...

Yes I did enjoy meeting Betty and I Loved seeing her work. What a delicate hand she has and all so neatly done. Thank you for sharing the photos such an inspiration!
Deb

Cheryl said...

Isn't Betty the greatest? This multi dimensional lady is so knowledgeable and so much fun...I just wish we could bottle her up like her herbal products and pull her out whenever we need her!

Rachel said...

You obviously had a wonderful time - full of lovely work to admire and new skills to learn...

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