Saturday, June 2, 2012

Art Quilt Explorers

I started attending a group in the nearby city for those interested in surface design and art quilting. It's an off-shoot of the guild there and since it's all about learning and exploring new techniques, it's called the Explorers.

It's a bit difficult for me to make the meetings since it requires a day time babysitter. I have had two friends tell me that after seeing my work on "Poured Out" that I need to pursue my quilting and they are interested in helping me do that by watching the kids sometimes for these meetings. Love my friends!

The small local group that I am a part of is very traditional and it seems that many are at a  beginner to intermediate skill level, so I am not able to find too much instruction or mentoring there, not because I am so advanced (I'm not), but because I am a bit "out of the box". They are however a friendly group and I hate that I can't attend more of the meetings. I have talked to the owner of the quilt shop who is the group's leader and we are beginning a new offshoot group that will meet at night. I'll be the main leader of this group, and while it won't be an art quilters group, we will be trying some new techniques and trying to appeal to the more adventurous and hopefully, some younger quilters.

But the Explorers group is quite fun! Last time we met, we decided on a challenge, to make a quilt inspired by a single photo and then we did some playing with fabric paint and stamping. And I really played! I've had a collection of paints for a while, Setacolor and Lumiere, but hadn't really played with them. There's a line from one of the homeschooling methods that I employ, which is, "Let the mother come out to play!" That line was in my head as I painted and stamped, ran my fingers across my painted work surface to make a design and printed it. Fun!

I haven't officially joined the  Explorers group as I need to attend a meeting of the main guild and pay dues. Something I'm willing to do, but just haven't arranged for yet. That group is larger and has more talented quilters in it, still nobody my age, and when a group leader asked if anyone was interested in Modern Quilting, the consensus was, "What's that?"

My point of all this? If most of your quilting interaction is via internet or magazines, get out and try to find a guild! There may not be a perfect fit, but it will stretch you as a quilter and it can be a lot of fun!

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