Today, I finally had the chance to view the Threads of Resistance exhibit at the New England Quilt Museum. I was at the museum when it opened so for a while, I had the room to myself. Soon however, I was joined by a group tour. Rather than detracting from my experience, viewing the exhibit with a racially diverse group of young women and men from UTEC who found pieces that spoke to them increased the power of the exhibit. Hearing one young woman say “This is me” about a piece depicting Justice carrying a sword with the phrase “Come At Me Bro” on it, well, that’s the point, right? That’s exactly why we as artists created these statements in cloth, to convey our feelings through our art and to have them resonate with others.
The Threads of Resistance organizers had a flood of entries from which to select the exhibit pieces (including a few from me). Each one they selected is powerful on its own, but to be in the room with all of the pieces together is almost overwhelming. I highly encourage you to see it if it travels near you. And, if you can get to Lowell tomorrow, one of the curators Sue Bleiweiss will be presenting a gallery talk at 11 AM.
I’ve seen a few “Year in Review” blog posts lately and decided that it is a great idea. I have long done that in my personal life and it seems like a good practice for my quilting work too so here goes:
- One of my biggest quilting accomplishments this year has to be publishing “Ravaging Rio and the Ghost in the Library.” This project had been on my mind for years and this year, I finally finished all of the quilts for the pages, photographed them (learning how to take good photos of quilts in the process), and self-published the book. While a graphic designer and professional book publisher could have done more with it, there is nothing like having a book that you created in your hands and it was great to bring it to fruition.
- I made 10 other quilts this year, in addition to the Rio ones. Most of them were wall hangings and many were created as small projects for the monthly BirdZeed challenges, but 10 completed projects is pretty exciting.
- I also began publishing my Creative Play Newsletter this year, which has legitimized all of the time that I spend reading and thinking about creativity and has given me a good excuse to buy more books on the topic.
- Lastly, I re-energized my teaching by participating in the New England Quilt Museum’s Meet the Teachers day in October. Self-promotion is not my strong suit, but I had a wonderful day meeting with guild reps and talking about the workshops that I offer. Actually enjoying that day reinforced for me that a quilting career is indeed the right path because I’ve never had that much fun talking about consulting.
So, what’s up for 2017? Well, 2017 represents my 20th year of quilting. I feel like I should have a celebration. I don’t know what that will be yet, but it gives me something to think about. Otherwise, here are my goals for the year:
- I’m hoping that my sister finishes another Rio book and I can start working on some new illustrations.
- I have several Arabesques quilts in mind so I would like to continue work on that series.
- I would like to teach more locally and get back into teaching online. If you know of anyone looking for a quilting workshop, send them my way!
This time next week, I’ll be on my way to the New England Quilt Museum in Lowell, MA for their annual Meet the Teachers day. It’s a day for local quilt teachers to promote their lectures and workshops and for guild programming chairs to learn about the teachers located nearby. I’ve been busily finishing a class sample and preparing my introduction and am looking forward to talking about “Creating Your Story in Cloth,” Extreme Piecing,” “Creative Play,” “Finding My Voice,” and “Quilts in U.S. History.” I hope to meet you there!