Our weekend in Washington state

We’ve just returned from a quick visit south of the border.  We had two shows to do – one at the Pacific West Quilt Festival (formerley known as the Association of Pacific NORTHwest Quilt show), and a full concert on Lopez Island, sponsored by our friend Mary Bywater Cross. What a great weekend we’ve had!

I hadn’t been to the PWQS before, and I understand it has relocated and reinvented itself a bit, by removing NORTH from its name and including a much larger area than before.  There are some amazing quilters in the area – the show was very, very good, and I’d recommend it to anyone.

I noticed a few trends in the quilts I saw – one, that the prize winners are heavily (and I mean HEAVILY) quilted.  Think: magnifying glass.  You sure wouldn’t want to lie under one of these quilts – they’d be as warm as sleeping under a board – but they look mahvellous. I’m not disappointed that the quilt I made for my brother didn’t make the cut – it shouldn’t have, really.  I didn’t want so much heavy quilting in it (although I could have – I guess I’m lazy).  It wouldn’t have belonged in this realm.

Another trend I noticed – there were a number of quilts there that had HOLES in them!  On purpose, of course.  I’m so inspired, I might just try this too sometime.

A huge hole in the middle of a quilt - the black is the curtain behind the quilt.

There was a wonderful star quilt made with oblong yo-yos – I think the next time I do a seascape, I’ll do the barnacles this way. Helen Remick came up with the idea, and it’s a great one.  Didn’t have a ribbon on it, though….

Barnacles, or tiny ballet slippers?

Oh, there was so much there to see!  There’s a list of the ribbon winners here, but, alas, there are no pictures.  Suffice to say, despite how impressed I was overall with the quality of the show – there was LOTS to inspire – the two Best of Show winners’ quilts were head and shoulders above most of the rest of the field, and deserved their win.

We sang on Friday afternoon to an impressive group.  There were people there who had seen us in London England, Ketchikan Alaska, the Jinny Beyer Seminar in South Carolina (2001), the Eleanor Burns quilt retreat in California, and many other places.  It was really exciting to have so many locations represented in the same room!  I even met a woman from Panguitch Utah while I was going through the show.  Everybody must go to this show!  (At least, everyone should.)

The next day we drove north and hopped on a ferry over to Lopez Island.  We could almost see home from there! We were visiting our good friend Mary Bywater Cross, who wrote the book and found the story I used in the song “A Quilt and a Kettle” about Allen and Rachel Bond and the quilt Rachel made on the Oregon Trail.  The book is called “Quilts of the Oregon Trail”. Mary, with Karen Alexander had organized us to do a concert at the local arts centre on Lopez.  We were very happy to return to the island, an idyllic spot in the Salish Sea.

It took a while to set up for the show, because there were lots of quilts to hang. Mary brought some of her wonderful woolen quilts, and another was a new signature quilt of about 500 residents of Lopez Island.  Before the show, everyone was trying to find their names on the quilt!

As we were setting up, we were quite surprised to see four good friends from home show up – they were sailing on the weekend, and saw my name on the sign outside, advertising our performance. Unfortunately they couldn’t stay for the show because the tide was turning and they had to leave at 4pm or stay overnight!  Here we are in front of the Lopez Island quilt.

Mary is on the left with our friends from Sidney.

Mary and Karen had enticed quite a few husbands to tag along to the show, as well as quilters and interested islanders.  I always love singing for husbands – they’re always so surprised at the stories!  We added a Power Point part to the show, as well as the quilts (including My Grandfather’s Brother’s quilt, on the right which hardly ever leaves my house!). It was a really lovely afternoon.

Our stage setup at Lopez

So, now we’re home for a couple of weeks before flying to FRANCE!!! We’ll be singing 2 shows a day for four days at European Patchwork in Ste Marie aux Mines, Alsace, France, before we head up to Belgium for some teaching.

Donc – maintenant, je dois parler francais!!!


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