Saturday, 19 September 2009

Thames Valley Contemporary Quilt Group

Another excellent day with the ladies who came to the Thames Valley Contemporary Quilt meeting today. It is just so special to be able to meet with people and have something in common. So often, you feel like you are working in a vacuum.

There were several new ladies, and I always enjoy finding out about the interests of others. So, we did an icebreaker which involved getting yourself into groups as they were called out...categories such as favourite season, favourite colour, favourite fabric to work with, and so on.

The first major item on the agenda was a talk by Margaret Ramsay about being a Contemporary Quilt blogger. There was a lot of interest, and I think we may be seeing some new bloggers in the coming months. Margeret has found that the blog is more than just a record. She has had opportunities open up from being asked to write a lesson for Workshop on the Web to being offered Colour Catchers from the company who make them because she uses them in her work alot. She has also found the interaction and helpful critiques from followers of her blog to be useful in progressing with her work. Following on from that, we broke into small groups for informal critique sessions. Some had brought a Work in Progress and were asking advice about various issues or confirmation that they were heading in the right direction. Here Margaret Cooter is talking about a piece she is developing. After a pack lunch which included an interesting discussion about the success of the Little Gems project and the various uses the monies would be to the Quilt Museum. Everyone wanted to know what the next project would be... but I guess it is a closely guarded secret at present.

In the afternoon, Judy Fairless gave an excellent overview of the concepts of design elements and artistic principles. The examples from the art world as well as from contemporary quilt artists were great in helping to make the connections in the realm of art in which we work. The presentation alone would have given plenty of food for thought, but Judy followed it up with some very useful excercises which reinforced the ideas for each one personally. I think it would be a great workshop for her to offer to others, because she helped to make some quite abstract ideas a lot more concrete for each individual. Even those who had some knowledge of the ideas previously found it helpful because of being able to think about the concept in a fresh way.

Here is a photo of the ladies hard at work on their exercises. I combined 2 photos so you could get an idea of the whole atmosphere.
Tomorrow, I want to talk a bit more about some of my thoughts and discoveries from the workshop.

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