Saturday, October 06, 2012

A barnful of quilts

Today was a little thrill for me.  It was the first time a quilt I've made was displayed in a show.   And what a show it was.  Oh, my!  Why did I not know about the Barnful of Quilts show before now?  This is the tenth year.  I've lived here for ten years.  Why did I not know about this?  (Because, despite living her for nearly a decade, I am relatively new to the Charlotte and environs quilt scene, that's why!)

But I know now, and I'll be on the watch for this show again next year.  This beautiful barn which normally houses Paso Fino horses, was all cleaned and swept and turned into a stunning quilt display space.  Quilt and fiber guilds, lace makers, knitters, spinners, and fabric artists set up displays in the aisles and stalls. All around the barn, hanging from the rafters were quilts.

What a privilege to have one of mine hanging there!  It all came about so fast.  I visited the Charlotte Modern Quilt guild a little more than a week ago, heard that the CMQG was setting up a display and looking for more quilts.  I timidly offered my quilt and made arrangements to get it to the woman in charge (with special thanks to my sister who lives near her and met her to deliver the quilt!). My mom and nephew and I went to the show this morning and enjoyed it thoroughly!

There it is!

 There were quilts for sale, draped over the fence all around the area in front of the barn.

In addition to the quilts, we enjoyed watching members of the Piedmont Fiber Guild who were spinning, weaving, and knitting.  And then we saw this lovely woman who was making bobbin lace.  It looked so complicated, all those beautiful wooden bobbins, wound with fine thread.  She would pick them up, cross the bobbins back and forth, over and under, in a pattern that she understood.  We were amazed.  

This is a small piece she was working on - a lace bookmark.  So intricate.  I loved watching her hands.  Clearly, her some of her joints are swollen with arthritis.  So many of the older women that do these beautiful  handcrafts have fingers and joints that are swollen, bent, and gnarled with age and wear.  But what beauty.  I catch myself always looking at their hands.

This piece of lace, a larger and much more complicated cross design, was incredible.  Look at all those bobbins!  The bobbins alone, in different woods and shapes - from Denmark, South Africa, and Germany, she told us - were beautiful, too.

My mom and I went to another quilt show this weekend.  On Friday, we visited the Cabarrus Quilt Guild show.  It was fun, lots of variety in quilting styles, color choices, design decisions.  Some we liked, some we didn't.  This is one of the quilts I liked - thinking of using this pattern with some of my leftover sari fabric.  Love the curves and movement in this design.  It will be awhile before I get to it, but that's ok.  One of these days...


tonia said...

You're right...the hands are so compelling. I look at my own sometimes and wonder what the next 40 years will do to them. The work those women are doing is exquisite.

Bonnie said...

Wish I had known. I went to it a few years ago. Perfect day for it.