Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Quilters Take Manhattan 2012

This past weekend was the second annual Quilters Take Manhattan event, the fundraiser for the Quilt Alliance, and Jeff and I were lucky enough to head to NYC to attend. The first part of the program was held at the Fashion Institute of Technology.

Here's Amy Milne, Executive Director of the Quilt Alliance, at the start of the program. Amy is an amazing person and the work she and the rest of the board of the Quilt Alliance do is so important, from documenting quilts and their makers, to making those quilts and their stories accessible to so many, and everything in between. I really encourage you to take some time to check out the Quilt Alliance if you're not familiar with them already.

The highlight of the day for me was listening to Meg Cox interview Denyse Schmidt for the Quilters Save Our Stories Project. It was so interesting to me to hear how Denyse got her start and what led her to the world of quilting. She seemed to arrive at it in a bit of a round about way, which is similar to my story as well. Denyse was asked to bring one of her signature quilts to speak about during the interview, and she brought this amazing one. It had a large improv log cabin block in the lower right section, floating on a bed of creamy white. Seriously amazing. I especially loved the two bars on the top and left that extend from the block into the negative space.

Here's a detail where you can see the log cabin block a bit better.

Hello, Denyse!

And a close up of the improvised log cabin. 

Denyse had brought some of her quilts from her latest book, Modern Quilts, Traditional Inspiration: 20  New Designs with Historic Roots, and it was so fun to see so many of them in person. If you're familiar with the book, which you should be, you may have seen them before, so I thought it would be fun to share some details of them with you.

Seriously stunning, right?

There was also an appearance by author Jennifer Chiaverini, but I just realized that I didn't get any photos of that. I think by that point I was still in a bit of shock because when Denyse was asked who inspires her during the interview, she mentioned Louise Bourgeois, Agnes Martin, me (woah!), and Luke Haynes, in that order. To say I was floored, and totally humbled as well, would be an understatement. I have to say though, it's really quite amazing thing when you find out that people who you admire so greatly, admire you as well.

Moving on...that evening was the second portion of the Quilters Take Manhattan, which was a cocktail party at the loft home of Victoria Findley-Wolfe. She graciously hosted us in her amazing space, and invited us to make some blocks in her studio.

Our musical entertainment was provided by Alan Jabbour on the fiddle. Alan is the former president of the Quilt Alliance and former director of the American Folklife Center of the Library of Congress. What a treasure.

 And Denyse joined in with some good old soft shoe stepping...

And these aren't the best photos, but we were all a little warm and sleepy at this point (or at least I was), but here is Denyse and I, and below I'm with Liesl Gibson of Oliver + S and I.

All in all, it was an amazing weekend. I can't thank Denyse and Liesl enough for their kind words, encouragement, and advice. I have more to share from my time in NYC, and I'll do that soon.

And in other news, thank you again to all who have voted for me as a finalist in the Martha Stewart American Made Contest. Please continue to vote once a day, through September 24. To be a finalist is an incredible honor but to win would truly be life changing. Here's a link to my profile where you can cast your vote. Every vote counts and I could really use your help and support! Thanks again.


Bridget said...

I wondered if Denyse Schmidt ever mentions Gwen Marston as an influence on her quilts. Many of her improvised log cabins are reminiscent of Gwen'sliberated log cabins.

Jean(ie) said...

That sounded like a fun night. As I was reading Victoria's blog about the plans, it made me want to go.

Yay for fun!

Esch House Quilts said...

Wow! What an amazing weekend - I can't wait to hear more about it.

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