On October 18 the SMQG and the Boston Modern Quilt Guild were proud to co-host a lecture by Victoria Findlay Wolfe. This rare Friday-evening event gave many of us a chance to dress up a little, enjoy some evening fall-themed snacks, and soak in the inspiration provided by the talented Victoria.
Victoria spoke for about an hour, and showed eight or ten quilts in person (many more in her slide show). The quilt pictured above is one of her "kitchen sink" quilts. She mentioned that she tries to do a kitchen sink quilt every year from a variety of leftover blocks, found vintage blocks, and scraps.
Victoria's signature quilt style incorporates a lot of "made fabric"--scraps that she sews together into slabs, that she then treats exactly like yardage, cutting and re-piecing them as needed. She began her lecture by showing photographs of her grandmother's 1970s double-knit crazy quilts, and her quilts continue to show that crazy quilt influence.
"Make the quilt you said you'd never make," she urged us, showing us her cow mini quilt. Her Double Edged Love quilt, which won Best in Show at QuiltCon in 2013 (read the MQG's blog post here to see a photo) is a modern re-make of a traditional double wedding ring quilt pattern. Victoria also showed us her take on a grandmother's flower garden quilt:
She showed a slide of this quilt, and then unfolded it--I think the entire audience was stunned to see a king-sized quilt!
Victoria also spoke about the challenges of ugly fabrics, or fabrics outside your comfort zone. She showed quilts that mixed vintage fabrics with all kinds of batiks and modern fabrics. Try going to the area of the quilt shop you never visit, she encouraged us, and push your quilts a little further with unfamiliar fabrics or fabrics you dislike. She also spoke about never making quite the same quilt twice, and always trying to incorporate a new challenge or skill with each quilt.
Many people were able to purchase a copy of Victoria's book, 15 Minutes of Play. At one point Victoria even sent her quilts crowd-surfing!
I left the lecture ready to dump my (shameful, stuffed-to-bursting) bag of oddball scraps and sew them into made fabric! Thanks to all who joined us for this special, inspiring event, and to Victoria, for generously letting us see and touch her lovely work and for giving such an entertaining, inspiring talk.