I know it's tradition to take a look at the year that's just passed. I'm not usually disciplined enough to do that, but I've had a good year, so I thought it would be fun to look back at it. Looking it over, I was surprised to see that I didn't leave the country last year. I feel like I've been traveling alot. I have, but all in the US it appears. I didn't even make it to Canada or Mexico! I have at least two international trips planned for 2012 though; the first is coming up soon!
In January, 2011, some very gracious friends delivered the first of the quilts to the Guadelupe Homes Orphanage in Santa Apolonia, Guatemala. To round out the year, 78 quilts that were shipped in September reached the orphanage on December 6, bringing the total delivered to 92! I will deliver the last 8 (of the first round) when I travel to Guatemala later this month. A big thanks to all who contributed fabric, their sewing talents, and time.
March was a milestone month: I turned 60 (yikes!), and Color Improvisations showed at Museum of Modern Art in Verona, Italy! My friend Pat from Anchorage visited. We had a great week sight-seeing and sewing. I also spent a few days in the Pallm Springs area with my sister. We made a day trip down to Oceanside and San Diego and were able to see the Visions show and gallery.
May had to be the highlight of the year (and more!). I traveled to Ohio to take a Dorothy Caldwell class at Nancy Crow's Barn. I went with two Vancouver/Portland friends and met Deb, my good friend from the old days in Alaska, there. We had a an incredible week. From Columbus, I flew to Chicago to meet two more Alaskan friends, Nelda and Linda. We had a great three days taking in the art of the city. Then the three of us traveled to Athens, Ohio for the opening of Quilt National. To my surprise, when I arrived there I learned I had won Best of Show! That was this quilter's lifelong dream come true. It's still sinking in.
In June I drove to Callistoga, California for a reunion of some high school women friends. We're all turning 60 this year, but we're all still the same!
Here are some highlights of more quilt-related accomplishments. In June and July, I had three pieces in the Rio Patchwork Design show in Rio de Janiero and Sao Paulo, Brazil. I won the Viewers' Choice award - which is a trip to Rio in 2012! My sister came for a visit in June, and we went to the Sisters Outdoor Quilt Show. Linda had been to the event once before, but it was my first time there. Beautiful weather and quilts galore! In August I had two pieces in the American Art Company's Northwest Fiber Invitational exhibit in Tacoma. In September my quilt Reflection was part of the Quilt National 2009 show that traveled to France for the big European Patchwork show. That month I also spent five days in Puyallup in a dye class taught by Judy Robertson. What fun that was. In November I received a Juror's Choice award at Quilts = Art = Quilts in New York. My work was shown in three High Fiber Diet/Columbia FiberArts Guild shows: Back to Nature in Portland Oregon, NW Vibes at several Oregon venues, and Earth & Fire at the Museum of Contemporary Craft in Portland. I also participated in two shows through the Contemporary QuiltArt Association: a show at the Blue Heron Gallery on Vashon Island, and an exhibit, Chance Encounters, at the Lynnwood Convention Center. And we completed 35 quilts for Guatemala this year, plus I finished two pieces of my own artwork. What a productive year!
Forgive me for tooting my horn again about the prizes, but I've been making quilts for 42 years and have received very few accolades in all that time - until now. In fact, I can remember only one previous nod - a 3rd place in contemporary pieced wall quilt at Paducah sometime in the 80's or early 90's, I think. It seems persistence pays.
In addition, I took a painting class most of the year from Susan Cowen at Clark College in Vancouver. Susan has been an inspiration. My book club, besides meeting monthly and talking about books, briefly, while enjoying some of Portland's fine restaurants, had two weekend retreats to Coast Inn B&B in Lincoln City, Oregon. My younger son moved home this year, so now both my boys are with me. Eric's girlfriend is here visiting from Australia, so we have a full house and lots of activity. My nephew Phillip and his wife had their first child in May. So it's been a full year, lots of adventure and fullfillment!
I'm looking forward to a creative and adventure-filled 2012!