Wednesday, May 16

Almost a Quilty Post.

This is a pic of the poor little confused bulb flowering in my garden. It must think it is Spring, but of course it is May here, & Autumn. The lack of clarity is due to the photographer's poor shot. The Camellia is the last on that little shrub.

The beautiful large ones are 'share' blooms from our neighbour's tree, which hangs over into our garden. It has full rich blooms & many of them have white ripples on the petals. Yesterday's pic was one of the neighbour Camellias.

This is almost a quilt post. I am suffering from a serious lack of quilt drive. I have too many projects sitting about dejectedly. No desire to pick them up, either. I am not letting it stress me, just wonder why.

When my Daughter J first introduced me to quilting, she was living with us for a time. I watched her doing her neat little handstitches as she patched her huge Queen size hand pieced quilt. I know I am far too impatient for hand piecing to suit me, but I have actually done a hand pieced one.. well the top of it is done.

We had a wonderful local quilt shop way back then. I used to go with DJ to look at all the luscious fabrics, then the magazines. Australian Patchwork & Quilting was a favourite. Then I decided to get into this & try it for myself. My children gave me a lovely charm pack of pretty fabrics, & I made myself a very basic charm square quilt. I was very happy with that, but of course I then realised I had caught the 'bug.'

I wasnt going to be able to stop at one. My next quilt was one of June Gilchrist's patterns, Home is Where the Heart is. I understand this has always been a very poplular pattern, & I certainly enjoyed making it. DJ & I would haunt the LQS's in search of the perfect piece of fabric. I discovered I love applique, & did a lot of it on my machine, but also grew to love hand applique.

One day, in our travels looking for Quilt shops, we happened upon a shop near the sea. Before I knew what was happening the woman who ran the shop had talked us into taking classes at her shop. She had lots of nice quilts on display. She had a class in progress. Everyone seemed to be head down, & working away.

So off we went next week, on a Wednesday. Chose our quilts to make. I chose one of a garden, with machine applique for a technique, along with lots of other blocks using various techniques, thinking I may as well learn 'properly'. DJ chose a mostly hand pieced country quilt. And we started to sew, & expected to have fun, & laughs & enjoy ourselves.

WRONG!! We were not there to enjoy ourselves, we soon discovered. We were there to do as we were told. We were not encouraged to laugh, talk, or have any fun at all. Misery could be seen etched on some faces, & apart from hastily secret mutters to each other talking was considered rebellion. Or betrayal. Or something... perhaps something 'free'.

One day we went to find another class had run over into our time. The lovely lighthearted tutor began chatting to me, & showing me 'how to'... quickly pounced upon, & removed from my earshot & vision. Perish the thought we might learn something free!! The tutor was left with her mouth open, mid laugh. I quickly put my head down again, & wiped the smile off my face!

As we slunk miserably out of the 3rd class we vowed not to return. But DJ had paid for her fabrics. I had no idea where to go from where I was. So we went back. And suffered again. Once I got shrieked at "WHAT are you doing!!?" I cant remember the 'crime', but we all jumped. What a strange, uptight, woman she was.

DJ being much like me, was given to laughter, & tom foolery, & irreverance, we couldnt understand why things had to be so buttoned down. As we silently lugged our machines out to our car, we sneaked secret looks at some of the other students. And gradually we made the discovery that we all felt the same way. One woman told us she used to walk along the beach to the classes, & lecture herself on her gutlessness. "Today I will stand up to her" she would promise herself. Then, she told us, she would cry all the way home along the beach mentally flogging herself for being gutless! She was doing the hand sewn country quilt the same as DJ. They even dared to secretly swap some patterns.

Of course in the end we just left. We couldnt stand it any longer, & couldnt see the point of having no fun. And just as we had decided to go to classes at another, closer, Quilt Shop, it closed, so we were on our own again. It is a wonder I kept on quilting, but I found I could enjoy myself doing my own thing, & never mind if it is the 'right' way or not. Whatever works for me.

And the shop where we took the lessons, closed too...which was no surprise at all.


Birdydownunder said...

oh Meggie how sad your first introduction to quilting. I used to teach at a Neighbourhood House and 90% of the ladies admitted, they came for the friendship the patchwork was just a bonus. Do keep patching...Love your quilt. aubirdwoman

Lisa said...

Meggie, I can really empathise, as I often say I quilt "in spite" of my first quilt class, not because of it. I remember being made to feel stupid because I didn't know how big a quarter inch was, didn't know how to use a rotary cutter, and didn't understand what "different value fabrics" meant. And all that in a beginners class. It's so sad that some quilt shops seem to find beginners a nuisance, because really they are future business! Lucky we stuck with it :o)

Pam said...

Just catching up with favourite blogs - several of your posts, all up to your usual high standards - interesting and touching. Love the picture of little Meggie and Mum and also your beautiful (and stylish!) grandson.

Alison said...

As a quilt shop owner I found it very very sad to read this post. I was actually thinking for a while it was a joke and waiting for the punch line. But it was no joke!!
If ever my teachers should be like this and my students feel as you did then I deserve to close also.
Happily it is something I need not worry about. I can brag about the teachers and the students who keep coming back year after year. So feel free to drop in and introduce yourselves and any Tuesday morning we have the noisiest class around.The others a bit quiter.
Just letting you know that it is fun!!

riseoutofme said...

Love the quilt! Home is where the Heart is ...How true!

As for the teacher, lessons debacle ... sad what a little bit of power does to some people.

Joyce said...

I am not surprised that the quilt shop closed. People quilt to have fun and that doesn't sound like fun at all. You must have caught the bug for sure to keep quilting after an experience like that.

Lily said...

Oh what a funny story it makes now though -- despite the misery she caused. At least she didn't deter you from quilting altogether.

Mrs. Goodneedle said...

It's amazing to see how many quilters are still at it despite similar class nightmares. It just shows how enjoyable we really, truly find our art-work/hobby/passion to be and what we'll endure for our hearts desire.

Pear tree cottage! said...

classes that aren't fun are not classes to me! I hope the results you took home from the class give you a real laugh now when you think about it.

I know quilting will be a joy to you, it gets in the blood I think.

I love the music you hve playing today.

see you again soon Lee-ann

Fiona said...

Reminds me of sewing lessons at school. I've sewn all my life but those classes were the worst - talk about doing things the long winded way. Luckily i didn't let it put me off and neither did you!

fifi said...

what a horrid mean lady.

Tis an honour to teah peole something, no wonder they shut down.

Quilting plaes are everywhere..I even saw one in Ulladulla!

There must be somewhere nice to go!

molly said...

I didn't know there were quilt nazis! Thought quilting attracted only friendly laid back souls who love to share and chat....