The support and positive energy given me by quilters from quilt guilds across the state this past Tuesday was amazing! The Quilters Consortium of NYS gathered in Cicero for its quarterly meeting, and very generously invited me to be their speaker. Being my first Consortium meeting, I didn't know what to expect, and I was blown away by their warm reception, their enthusiasm and appreciation for my fabrics, not to mention their collective talent!
The Consortium is dedicated to bringing together, inspiring and networking with all of the quilt guilds in the state (who want to participate), and promoting quilting in general. Their annual Passport can be purchased for $5.00, and not only lists every participating guild's quilt show dates and information, but affords you the chance at a fabulous raffle at each show, just remember to bring your passport and enter each raffle. The Consortium not only supports the quilt guilds, but also independent businesses. To learn more: www.qcnys.org.
Public speaking has never been my strength (despite Mrs. Hopkins's best efforts), but my confidence in bearing my soul to an audience has steadily improved over time, so as I was handed the microphone on Tuesday, I plunged in. The room full of quilters, all of whom are far more experienced than I, attentively listened to my Simple and True talk (found in Workshops). During the talk, I spoke about what motivates me as a natural dyer, and briefly shared my concerns about damage done to our soil and water by commercial dye houses and fabrics going into landfills by the tons every day. Fabrics surround us in our daily lives, and I believe that being aware that damage is being done is an important first step.
In my own quilting and garment sewing, I'm exploring using slow cloth, salvaged fabrics and commercial fabrics. When I began my dye business in 2015, I thought I'd only be using my fabrics, but I've evolved over these past two years, and I now see that I can tell an even richer story using more fabrics than just my own hand dyed. There's room for all fabrics in our stitching, so looking to the future, if we as quilters make even one quilt a year using slow cloth, salvaged fabrics or make a huge dent in our scrap bins, imagine the positive impact that would have on our environment, as well as ourselves. I will post more on this topic in the future, providing facts, stats and sources for anyone interested in learning more.
While at the Consortium's meeting, I neglected to use my camera - too caught up in meeting as many amazing, talented quilters as I could - but if I had used it, I'd show you the many smiling faces of happy quilters, stunning quilts brought in by several of the guilds, and festive decorations made by the Plank Road Quilt Guild who hosted the meeting. I also regret not having my picture taken with Ann Hawkins, QCNYS president, and Mary Jane Frind, both of whom were responsible for inviting me to speak. The quilts made by the guilds can be seen at: www.qcnys.org.
The day was brimming with the best of the season, and I was thrilled to be a part of it! I'm looking forward to seeing these quilters and visiting their quilt shows throughout the new year. Do you belong to a quilt guild or sewing group? I'd love to hear more - email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.