November 2019: Finding your voice

Welcoming guests

We welcomed guests Hollie and her daughter Avonmare. Hollie and Avi visited our booth at the Mebane Autumn Fest, and Avi is an enthusiastic young sewer and quilter.

We also welcomed Carol and Cathy from the Greensboro Modern Quilt Guild who shared their work in progress that will be entered in the QuiltCon 2020 Charity Quilt Challenge. Entries can include only shades of black, white, and gray and must include some type of text. Words will be added to their penguin quilt. They also were displaying and selling raffle tickets for their Birch Trees quilt made by Rosemarie Ameen. The guild meets at 6:30 on third Mondays at Studio Stitch.

Nanette Zeller: An Artistic Journey: Finding Your Own Voice

Nanette Zeller

Nanette traveled from her home in Southern Pines to inspire us to be brave and find our own creative voice.  She reminded us that according to Henri Matisse, “Creativity takes courage” and that sometimes we need to get away from reality. She shared many of her beautiful works with us as you can see in photos below. You can learn more about Nanette and her journey as a textile artist from her website NanetteSewZ as well as see her gallery of even better photos of many of the pieces she showed us.

Nanette described herself as a reluctant quilter who finally joined a guild after encouragement from friends. She shared a few of her early pieces including her first quilt and a stack and whack quilt where she felt she finally mastered free motion quilting.

Nanette encouraged us to be creative, experiment and play and not be afraid to try new things – and even embrace the ugly when we fail since “The best way of learning about anything is doing” (Richard Branson) and “We don’t make mistakes, just happy little accidents” (painter, Bob Ross). She described how she began to experiment and move beyond traditional quilting by applying paint to fabric, enhancing designs with thread, and working from photographs. In the quilt showing a spigot of running water, she painted the background after quilting to emphasize the quilting lines.

Describing herself as a recovering perfectionist, Nanette encouraged us to try to let go of our need for perfection by reminding us, “You’ll never reach perfection because there’s always room for improvement.” (Hlovate, author)” and “Your inner critic is a big jerk.” (Danielle Krysa, author). She participated in several challenges including creating a wonderful thread painting rendition of her dog Storm that was featured in the 2012 issue of the Quilting Arts Calendar that featured art quilts depicting the artists’ pets. She teamed with a poet to create Hunter’s Moon from the poet’s work and learned through that experience that creating quilts depicting people is not her thing.

Nanette also encouraged us to take non-quilting classes as a way to enhance our quilting and expand our box of tools. For example,  she learned a lot from taking a colored pencil class. She created the oil cans (not plungers!) using colored pencils on paper and then had Spoonflower transfer the image to fabric after which she embellished the fabric with thread painting.

Finally Nanette explained that her academic background in biology and environmental studies has spiraled around to influence her art, and she shared several pieces inspired by nature. She shared a quilt depicting the probably extinct ivory-billed woodpecker, a piece called “Stumped” inspired by her puzzlement over trees being cut down to make way for structures, and a long-leaf pine cone native to her area.

Other nature-inspired work included trumpet pitcher plants – she described photographing the plants and the sounds of insects swarming around as she as they awaited certain death once they fell prey to the carnivorous plants. Nanette described a technique of posterizing photographs in Photoshop to reduce the number of colors before having the image printed on fabric. She also shared a quilt made from a photograph of the underside of an osprey wing and one from a photo fo a sunflower. Both were posterized before being printed.

She shared a work in progress that resulted from a grant she received that requires her to create art using material purchased with grant money, in her case a camera lens and computer software. She described her toolbox of ideas and the evolution of this piece that began with photographs of a goldfinch in California.

Additional nature-inspired pieces were a pileated woodpecker – actual size to make it clear how large a bird it is and a piece called Looking for Muir inspired by a trip to Muir Woods.

She ended with a lovely piece that was featured on the cover of Quilting Arts magazine.

She left us with a quote from Sheryl Sandberg, Facebook CEO: “What would you do if you weren’t afraid?” and offered us a permission slip that encouraged us to explore our own unique creative style, allow time to create, experiment and play, accept mistakes as learning opportunities, and when complimented on our work by others, instead of pointing out issues in our art, to just say “thank you.”

A few members had questions about technique and we learned that Nanette is a fan of Aurifil thread and size 80 topstitching needles – the larger eye results in less thread breakage.

Taking care of business

  • Miranda reminded everyone that as per our agreement with Merry Mayhem, all monthly clues for our 2019 mystery quilt will be removed from the members-only area at the end of this year, so if you want to download copies of the clues, you should do it before the first of January.
  • Sylvia, VP and chair of nominating committee, presented a slate of board members for 2020 – officers and committee chairs. All were elected by voice vote. All current and  new board members are reminded to meet at the church November 21st at 6pm for our final board meeting of the year.
  • Amy presented ballots for members to use to rank charities to support for 2020.
  • Sylvia and Lisa J won name tag drawings.
  • Debbie explained new forms members should give to the treasurer when they request money for reimbursement (attach receipts) or turning in money for deposit into guild account.
  • Members were reminded to bring something made from charm packs taken home in July to have names entered in a drawing for a prize.

Show and Tell

antique quilts in framesSheila has been busy creating for our boutique sales. While moving quilting frames out of Lisa R.’s garage to relocate them to our new storage room, Sheila took  home two glass-front cabinet doors and some old Alamance plaids quilts that were falling apart. Using these finds and her incredible appliqué skills, and with assembly help from hubby Frank, Sheila created these two amazing pieces which members purchased before the  night was out!

She also shared a craft-inspired apron, nativity wall hanging, and a table runner.

Amy a.k.a. scrap queen adapted a crow design she saw on Pinterest to create a cute wallhanging and used up holiday scraps to make two winter wall hangings, one of which she donated to boutique.

Ann A. continues to romp in the UFO challenge. She shared a coiled rope rug she worked on at our recent fall retreat. We were surprised to see how flat it was given how curly it was when she finished it at the retreat. Turns out she took out the stitching and redid it with less easing on the straight edges – live and learn! She also shared a couple of bench covers – one with flower pots and one welcoming autumn.

Enola shared a winter-themed panel and a baby quilt for her great niece that was quilted by Gail.

Ann L. shared a lovely nativity wall hanging and a colorful quilt she made in one of Helen’s classes using fabric from her stash backed with great complimentary fabric she found.

Sylvia aimed to provide proof she attended the retreat and shared some of her accomplishments. Her granddaughter who loves scrunchies sewed the tubes for some herself, and Sylvia sewed the elastic. Sylvia felt fortunate that she had some to share at the meeting since her granddaughter is already wearing others. Sylvia also shared pillow covers she made for a family that went on a mission trip to Guatemala and returned with these embroidered panels. The family will share the pillows as gifts for relatives who helped support their trip – once Sylvia makes all the pillow forms since every panel was a different size. Finally she shared a snowflake table topper she made using a pre-cut fusible – she loves creative iron products and says they stay fused with no stitching.

Teresa shared a baby quilt for boutique and raved about the flickr group devoted to  half square triangles. She also shared an adorable bunny wall hanging.

MJ showed off a couple of wall hangings she made for boutique by adding borders to orphaned blocks from our storage room. For one she tried decorative stitching on the binding. She also shared an advent calendar she made from a panel – her husband is glad this one stays at home.

Janet who is known for bright colors raided a cedar chest and shared some finds she claimed to be from her dark period. She also shared an Amish Roman stripes quilt that she completed after acquiring the top from a donation to Hospice. Finally she shared the top she completed at our recent retreat – a patriotic quilt made for a woman veteran.

Helen D. has sewn several sizes of bowl koozies for our boutique and shared two other quilts, one made by her students and one using up Kaffe Fassett scraps.

Catherine shared a multiplication table panel for which she pieced the back and had Gail quilt it. Barbara T. shared a quilt she pieced at the retreat and finished up at home. Fabric was a gift from a dear friend whose sister owns a fabric shop.

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