Monday, July 7, 2008

Memories of Quilting on the Edge (Quilt Canada 2008)

Over a month has passed since I enjoyed the delights of Quilt Canada 2008 at St. John's, NL, but the memories are still strong. Here's just a part of what made "Quilting on the Edge" such a special experience for me and I suspect, for many others.

1. Friends. Meeting some old friends, but making many more new ones. Not having a quilting "buddy" to share the experience with was a very good thing, for every time I sat next to someone I didn't know (and that was often) I had great conversations and was once again made aware of the friendliness of quilters. One conversation in particular, which began with a compliment about my book ("Crazy About Quilting"), continued on and off for several days. By the end of the week, we had not only discovered mutual friends and family connections, but exchanged invitations to visit and pursue our friendship even further.

2. Workshops. I took two from quilters at opposite ends of their teaching experience. Joan Reive was conducting her last class and Vicky-Taylor Hood her first at Quilt Canada. Both are talented quilt artists and shared their very different techniques for making landscape quilts. In both workshops there was a relaxed and friendly atmosphere and I know that I will use what I learned from them in future projects.

3. Quilts. Everywhere. Bed quilts, wall quilts, table toppers, coasters, clothing, bags, luggage tags...the list goes on and on. Wonderful quilts, large or small, all created with imagination, technical expertise and love.

4. Food. I expect that many, if not most, of us who attended the wonderful dinners at the St. John's Convention Centre or the final banquet at the Fairmont Newfoundland, left NL a few(!) pounds heavier than when we arrived. Local dishes such as fried cod with scrunchions, figgy duff, and Atlantic salmon, were just a few of the culinary delights we sampled. And the desserts! Oh, the desserts! Did we enjoy them? You bet! Did we limit our chocolate intake? Not in the least. Did we enjoy ourselves? Of course.
One chef was reputed to have said, that group of women such as we were ate more than a convention of iron-workers! With such delicious food prepared for us (and no shopping, no cooking, no cleaning up) how could we resist?

4. Scenery. In spite of one day of very foggy, wet weather, most of us were impressed by the rugged beauty of the Avalon Peninsula and many were planning to tour other parts of the province after Quilt Canada was over. For myself, born and raised in St. John's, being "home" again and staying with my brother and sister-in-law was a special treat. My brother is an avid gardener and the "scenery" that I remember was the loveliness of his garden in the spring.

Other memories? There are lots. But that's enough for now. If you have never been to a major Quilt Canada event, start saving for Calgary 2010. If St. John's was anything to go by, you won't be disappointed.