Stories are full of power.
They bind us to people, places and objects in a way that few other methods do.
They inspire us to be better, they incite us to action, they compel us to give, they change our minds or they confirm our knowing.
And the re-telling of stories, calls forth the greater forces of love, mercy, generosity and strength. And through these forces, we connect.
Being the needlework junkie that I am, I like all things to do with a needle and thread. That being said, I tend to prefer needlework that tells a story...
Often, as a viewer attending a quilt or needlework show, I am left wanting more. Beyond just the name of the artist and title of the work, I want to know why they made it? For whom? What are they trying to say?
This past weekend I was lucky to spend time with two organizations who believe in the power of story.
On Saturday, I attended the one-day conference, Not Fade Away: Sharing Quilt Stories in the Digital Age. The conference was sponsored by the Alliance for American Quilts, a non-profit organization who has been documenting and saving the stories of quilts for the past 20 years. You can read more about their oral history project, Quilters' S.O.S. (Save Our Stories), here. As each quilt interview is completed, you can also read the transcript of the interviews on the website...all of the audio files as well as pictures of the quilts are being archived at the American Folklife Center at the Library of Congress.
The day was filled with interviews of quilters sharing their stories and a series of different workshops of which I took two.
One workshop was on Self-Publishing using Create Space (owned by Amazon) -- loved it! And the other workshop was a training on how to conduct my own QSOS interview. You can read how to get involved and download the Guidebook for conducting an interview here.
The conference was well-organized and I would definitely go again. Luckily for all attendees, they partnered with the Sacred Threads Quilt Exhibit so that our meeting was held in the same building as the 2013 show.
All I can say is Wow!
I haven't been to tons of quilt shows...maybe just a dozen or so...but this was the first quilt show that set my soul on fire.
The quilts on display dealt with personal and/or spiritual subject matter with categories that included Joy, Spirituality, Inspiration, Grief, Healing, and Peace. Hanging beside each quilt was a statement that described the spiritual journey the artist took in making their quilt.
It was an intimate exhibit...and the lack of ropes allowed the attendee to get up close and really see the details on each quilt. Photography was not allowed but I was able to find some (not all) of my faves online...
Change Your Mind by Karen Cunagin
Mother and Child Crazy Quilt by Debra Spincic
Memories by Jennifer Day
St. Francis Preaches to the Birds by Barbara Curiel
My Friend is Bi-Polar by Laurie Ceesay
Not Just Blue by Susan Walen
To say I was moved is an understatement. Many times I was able to empathize with the maker who expressed their joy or grief or sorrow with needle and thread. The Sacred Threads Quilt Show is held through this weekend in Herndon, VA. If you live anywhere close by, I highly recommend going.
I wouldn't have gone myself either had it not been for my blogging needle friend, Allie Aller. She was the one who invited me since she is on the Board of the Quilt Alliance and was planning to attend.
|Allie and Susan, a bit dewy from their ride on the Mount Vernon Trail|
Allie and I took advantage of being in Northern Virginia and biked along the Potomac River on the Mount Vernon Trail. We had read wonderful things about the trail ride and it did not disappoint.
On Monday, we took an emergency trip to New York City for the day. That's because Allie had found out that Tinsel Trading was moving and they were having a huge sale!
|Antique Metal Ribbon at Tinsel Trading Company, NYC|
As for Allie, we always have fun and it's easy to pick up where we last left off...laughing and sharing and dreaming.
Thanks for coming Allie. I hated to see you leave.
P.S. I found this great online resource by an Quilt Appraiser on "What to Put on a Quilt Label"...it's worth a read and much of it translates needlework as well. The only task I might add is the importance of taking a picture of yourself, the maker, while you are in the process of making the item as well as little note about your process.
P.P.S. My own life story is taking me on the trip of a lifetime to Scotland.
I'm a bit excited with all things Scotch at the moment and I'm afraid my enthusiasm will be bubbling over onto this blog in the next few days. Just preparing you...I'm leaning toward tweeds and plaids and thistles and heather...oh yeah, and scotch!
Mrs. Rose is going to hang tight until September when life settles back into a routine...roses need stability in order to bloom and I'm anything but stable at the moment!~