I joined a Quilt Guild.
The Clamshell Quilt Guild in Waterford, CT.
A friend I met last year at our town playgroup, Karyn, is into quilting. When she found out that I was interested in it too, she told me about her Quilt Guild. She had only just joined last year, and is very new to the group. This summer when the guild held a yard sale, Karyn invited me to attend with her. Standing under pop-up tents in the pouring down rain, we spent over an hours visiting with the ladies running the sale, and drooling over the extensive choices of fabrics. I purchased nearly 50 fat quarters, a one yard cut, a preschool knit, and a funky knit for around $25.
This stash is the beginning of a quilt I plan to make for my mother over the winter. boys jammie pants, and a funky dress for my 8 year old daughter.
One of the Clamshell Quilt Guilds beloved members, Delores Fox, passed away last year, and left behind a great deal of fabrics, books, patterns, etc. Their summer yard sale included fat quarters and bolts of fabrics, pattern books, and supplies from Delores estate. There were hundreds of beautiful fabrics there. I made out so well at the yard sale, that when Karyn told me there would be a silent auction at the guild meeting last week, $5 to attend as a guest, or $30 to join for the year. I decided I would just go ahead and jump on board and join the guild.
The silent auction was absolutely fabulous. I wish I had remembered to whip out my camera and take pictures of all the goodies. The great amount of fabrics that Delores owned was astonishing!!! And when I say a great amount, I mean enough to fill my entire sewing room, and then some!
There had to have been over 200 items in the auction, and each plastic bag containing various large, neatly folded pieces of fabric. Some of them contained work already in progress. In addition to the auction, there was a box of patterns for purchase. Plenty of items for all of the members to get something that they would want.
Two of the purchases from that night.
Delores had a love for quilting and handbags. From this auction and from the comments of the women at the guild, one could see that Delores was a very organized crafter, and that she put her whole heart into her work. The fabrics were neatly organized, coordinated in groups, and beautiful!!!! Batiks, silks, and quality quilting cottons were abundant. Designers like Kafe Fasset, Amy Butler, Michael Miller, Heather Bailey, Joel Dewberry, Tula Pink and Dena Designs were among the designer fabrics that I recognized. Looking at the items, you could almost imagine what her project in mind was when she joined those fabrics together.
Designer fabrics from Delores auction.
In addition to a gift that was presented to new crafters at the beginning of the meeting, I also purchased 4 groups of fabrics. The gift, from items donated by Delores' family, included a quilting ruler, rotary cutter, helpful instructions for new quilters, a purse pattern, and a few quilting magazines, as well as a letter explaining the gift. I didn't know Delores, but could almost feel her in the room, as I looked around and could see the love in the eyes of those members who knew her well. I was very touched to have owned something that belonged to such a marvelous woman.
In a way, I feel that she is and will always be my first quilting teacher, not only because of that gift, but also because of one of the items that I purchased that evening. It was a UFO of a octagon stack and whack that Delores had started, but never finished. For those of you who do not know, UFO stands for unfinished object. The Stack and Whack was a quilt style I had not seen yet, and I was very intrigued to learn the skill, and since the lot came with an instructional book from Bethany Reynolds, the creator of Stack and Whack, I was sure to learn this design, and get a great head start from a woman whose last years were spent starting this quilt.
For those of you who have a loved one that has passed away, receiving something belonging to them is especially exciting, and stirs up emotions of longing and nostalgia. Here I stand, holding a beautiful work in progress, from a woman I did not know. While looking at her notes in her own handwriting, her meticulous seams, and cut pieces, I feel a connection with her that words cannot describe. I feel so overwhelmed. I am excited to hold something that belonged to her, and feel like I have known her for years and I sadly miss her. I am honored to know that someday, I will complete a quilt that will have her love and dedication included in it.
I hope when I finish this quilt, it is worthy of the woman that Delores was. I hope for it to hang in a Clamshell Quilt Show, as a work dedicated to Delores Fox, a wonderful quilter, inspiration and teacher!!!! Rest in peace, Delores, knowing that you passed on your love to another generation of quilters!!