Wednesday, April 18, 2007

T-N-T is Dynamite!

Tuesday night, I went to my first meeting for a community group called Ties, Needles and Threads (TNT), and I became a member. This group is for crafty women who love to work with fabric, embroidery, quilting, and so many other techniques. I had so much fun with the ladies, and I can tell I am going to learn a lot from them.

My mom taught me how to embroider when I was young, but I do not know as much as I'd like about particular stitches and want to ensure I am tying off my strings properly on the back of my projects. Right away last night, I was able to find some mentors who do such beautiful work, and they were able to provide some great tips.

I would guess that most of the membership is age 40 to age 70, and the room was full of wisdom. I cannot wait to spend one-on-one time with many of them because they are true artists. The majority of the group is extremely involved in quilting, and I want to learn all about it! Already, my vocabulary has grown by leaps and bounds, but I had to ask many questions to make sure I understood some of the terms that were mentioned. The ladies were very nice in providing those answers and welcoming me.

Last night was "President's Challenge Night". As I understand it, the new president announces a theme each spring and, the following spring at the last meeting of her presidency, the members spread out their themed projects to be judged in a fun competition. Bed quilts, lap quilts, baby quilts, wall hangings, garments, hand embroidery, machine embroidery, tatting... so many categories. So many gorgeous creations. The theme was "Fun and Games", so there were items with Carndinals baseball, island cruise scenes, Monopoly, and, most of all, Sudoku. I can't even begin to describe the beautiful patterns and fabric. And, I can't wait to find out the theme for the coming year.

I kept hearing the letters "AQS" being thrown around. Members had "AQS" on their nametags. There was an "AQS" sign-up sheet that was being passed around. Everyone kept talking about Paducah, too (which I assumed was Paducah, KY.) I should have known that AQS stands for "American Quilter's Society", and a big competition will be held in Paducah this next week. Four members from our guild have items entered in the contest, and I was sitting at a table with a new friend, Bonnie, who makes the most beautiful (PURPLE!) clothing and who plans to bring her contest clothes to the next meeting.

The meeting ended with "Show and Tell".... and I believe my mouth was gaping open in awe the entire time. I wish I had pictures to show, but my camera batteries ran out once again. Members that had something to share took turns standing up to talk about their recent projects, and I loved every one of them.

I was most interested in some of the older, vintage quilts, so I learned about some of the basic patterns:
Double Wedding Ring
Rose of Sharon
Aunt Hattie's Garden
Oh My Stars!
Bride's Bouquet
Jane Austen Quilt
Dresden Plate

My great great aunt (Aunt Bess, right, Mom?) was a very interesting woman, and she made numerous beautiful quilts. In fact, there are a few around Mom and Dad's house. Unfortunately, we've used my favorite one (which is purple) so often that it is now extremely sad looking. I doubt it can be repaired. Not good at all. But, Mom gave another one to Ketra for her heirloom wedding shower, and another one is usually spread out at the end of the bed on which I sleep at home. I believe that one is a version of the Dresden Plate. But, instead of the dark colors pictured in the example above, it has a white background and very bright, vibrant colors in the pattern. I wish I could have known Aunt Bess so that I could learn how to quilt from her and speak to her about her life experiences.

The ladies of the Ties, Needles and Threads Guild know how to have fun, and they are willing to put up with my many questions. So, I loved my time with them and cannot wait to see what everyone is working on next month.


Dani said...

Granny, my father's grandmother, quilted. I use to sleep with his quilt on my bed, in was a builtiful sailboat pattern. She intented to make each of the great granddaughters a wedding quilt, and she did for all of her granddaughters, but I was two when she died so I don't have one. I have always been curious about quilting, and have collected scraps over the years, but I don't know of anyone who does it.

Your ability to find cool people amazes me to no end.

Elizabeth said...

I think I like the Dresden Plate and the Jane Austen patterns the best - of the ones you posted, the Dutch doll pattern is a classic too.

Siren said...

That is wonderful! Maybe sometime you can help coach me on quilting once you soak in the wisdom of your fellow seamstresses!

Sandy-san said...

My favorite is the traditional double wedding rings. They are all gorgeous, though!