Wednesday, 16 January 2008
quilting with friends
These are my friends (from left to right) Liz, Gayle and Elaine, working on the beginnings of a group quilt for our quilt group Leeds Night Owls (so called because the emblem of Leeds includes two owls) as our contribution to a challenge from The Quilters Guild of the British Isles to produce a maximum one metre square hanging which can be buttoned onto other hangings on two sides. The top and side edges need to be square to fit the format, but the bottom edge can be irregular. Without giving too much away at this stage I can tell you that our will be - irregular that is. This is just the first stage - a strip-pieced background - and there will be a lot more people involved than the four of us!
It's been some time since I've worked on a group quilt, and it's been a really fascinating experience learning to shift my own ideas around to allow for the ideas of others and a real learning curve for the four of us working together, each with our own strengths and ways of working. Though I was taught by Elaine and have worked closely with her on one other project she is still able to come up with ways of solving problems I hadn't thought of (she really is an expert on how to do things perfectly!); and though I've known Gayle and Liz for years and thought I knew their work pretty well too I've discovered new things about their ways of working too. All of which has been an enormous learning curve - for all of us apparently. In my case it's certainly been a freeing up process - learning to share again after working so long on my own is really good for me and brings new ideas to my own work as well.
What's been amazing - and amusing - is the way usual roles have changed: Elaine the exact (so-called because normally everything she does is technically perfect) has been heard to say on several occasions "nobody'll notice that", "it's only the background so that bit can be covered up" and so on. Whereas Gayle who's normally very laid-back had to be almost physically restrained from pulling out and redoing work that looked fine to the rest of us.
All in all a nighly enjoyable experience and one we hope to repeat on a regular basis!