The Great Lady speaks

One of the things she said last night was that she didn’t own enough rights to her name to sign a check anymore.  I’m wondering if I should call her “she who dare not speak her name”. 

I got there early so I could get a good seat.  Later, when they’d brought in extra chairs and they were all filled and people were standing in the back, I didn’t look over my shoulder because my southern gentleman-junk would have kicked in and I would have lost my seat.  So, I kept my eyes on my hexagons.  At some point, I felt someone around me and looked up into her eyes as she was looking at my hands, basting hexies.  Our eyes met and I said a very reverential hello.  Her Hello was very friendly and then she was off to the next person. 

Liz Porter spoke at guild meeting last night.  She brought in a large stack of quilts and did a trunk show where she just talked and answered questions.  She told us up front that everything she brought had been published and we  were welcome to go look up the patterns, but she couldn’t help and we couldn’t post pictures on the internet because THERE ARE ACTUAL QUILT POLICE.  It’s copyright material and while it would likely be okay here, I’m not taking the chance. 

She told lots of stories.  She and Marianne met at a workshop in the late 70’s when everyone was making quilts again.  And, they did good public relations and made a business.  They took their magazine from 40,000 issues per month to 300,000.  And, when she got tired of all the doing that it required, she retired and they sold the business, split the quilts and Liz moved to the Austin area. 

As she showed her quilts and talked about them, the thing I was most struck with was her emphasis not to follow the latest trend.  Stick with the basics and your quilts will never go out of style.  And she told stories about quilts that had.  One of the funniest pieces of advice she gave was not to get involved in finishing the dearly departed Aunt Susie’s quilt tops and if you do, and you manage to finish one, don’t give it away; keep it for yourself!

Orvis soap.  She highly recommended that and shared that if we’d go to the local feed store, we could pick it up by the gallon in the animal shampoo section for about the price of two tiny jars in a quilt shop.  She said she’d washed cows in it and pigs and horses and fortunately her kids had never raised sheep to show, so she hadn’t had to wash a sheep.  She uses it to wash all the quilts she washes. 

I was touched by how you can tell that she’s done with celebrity.  She just wants to be quiet and make some quilts.  I can only imagine how that must feel after being in the spotlight so long.

I found a link to some terrible photos of some of the quilts we saw.  This appears to be a Fons and Porter site, so you’d think the pictures would be better, but you get the idea.  I remember that we saw 7, 9, 11, 12, 16, 19, 20 and 21 on that site.  There was another one that really grabbed me and I found a link.  This is an irish chain with a blue background and that just really caught my eye and my mind…and reminded me I have a jillion little nine patches tucked away from leaders and enders and wondering if there’s a way to make this work…and I think there is.

Anyway, soon enough, she declared that she’d talked enough and answered some questions, mostly about which batting she prefers (the free box someone gave her), whether she pre-washes (used to, not so much anymore), what kind of machine she sews on (bernina)…

I had a wonderful time.  She was a delightful speaker and while I don’t know how much she’ll speak in the future, if you get a chance, go listen to her.  She told us last night that the guild had approached her about speaking and she’d said a flat no, but compromised that if a speaker ever cancelled at the last minute, she’d fill in, and one did and she did and I had a delightful time.  She also shared that she’ll be on an episode of the show in the fall.

Everybody have a great Tuesday.  My project elevated on Friday.  Yesterday, we found a terrible flaw.

Ommmmmmm.  Ommmmmmmm.  Ommmmmmmm.

Relax, dammit, relax!



Anonymous said...

Lane, it is not a flaw, it's a learning experince... though I would say you are an ace one cope-r with a teen girl in the house.


Andra Gayle said...

oooh, I wish I had been there!!!!

Rebecca Grace said...

Hmmm... I am compelled to utter blasphemy, and must ask your forgiveness in advance: I just clicked the link to the F&P web site with the quilt photos, and as I scrolled through them all, I couldn't help but noticing that all but two of them -- the one with the barns and a log cabin -- credited someone else with the actual quilting. I know some people prefer the quilting part, others prefer piecing or applique, and that some of the most gorgeous finished quilts are collaborations between several people. I'm not criticizing anyone who likes to make quilt tops and send them out for someone else to quilt them. But... I have seen some of the most boring quilt tops turned into absolute masterpieces by highly talented, creative professional quilters, and I have seen some beautifully pieced tops turn into only so-so quilts due to unimaginative or poorly executed quilting. Having tried both machine and hand quilting myself (and mastered neither, unfortunately!), I can attest that the quilting part is at least as difficult and challenging as putting the top together. So I don't understand why we are glorifying celebrity "quilters" who don't actually quilt their own quilts, putting the top-maker's names in all caps: "Made by Liz Porter" and then in smaller print, as an afterthought, "hand quilted by Iowa Amish women" or "quilted by so-and-so." I think the quilters should get equal billing with the top-makers, because if it wasn't for the quilters, there wouldn't be any quilts at all!

So there. Now you can feed me to the lions! ;-)

Becky said...

Sounds like a delightful evening! I love folks that don't get caught up in the "celebrity" of it all.

LuAnn said...

I agree with you...that Irish Chain quilt with the blue is gorgeous. Your account of the evening was wonderful, and. I felt as if I were there.