Disclaimer: I swear. A lot. I haven't done so previously on this blog (I think??), but I hear there are some tender-hearted readers swimming around in blogland. Apparently, I can only go so long without writing the word fuck. And some other stuff. None of this comes as any surprise to anyone who knows me in real life. Also, this post has no pictures. June has pictures. I link to June quite a lot in this post. None of June's pictures have any swearing in them. End of disclaimer.
Last weekend I went to the Vermont Quilt Festival. It was my first quilt festival EVER, AND I went with my new friend June. I met June through the Sew, Mama, Sew Giveaway Day. I entered loads of giveaways, I won one. And the one that I won? That one was hosted by June, who unbelievably lives in the next town over from where I work. Crazy, in the really good kind of way. June dropped off my win (oh rats, I don't have a picture, because I am a lazy, lazy blogger, so here is June's picture) to me at work, with her absolutely adorable girls in tow. We didn't have very long to chat, but decided to go to VQF together. We met at her house, so I got to see a lot of her work, including this quilt, which I want to copy, and her stash (it is serious fabric geek fun to paw through someone else's stash), and the beautiful things she sells through her Etsy shop.
Then off we went, to brave the crowds and try not to knock anyone over (hips could be broken). We had a blast, and it's a huge reminder that the vast majority of the quilting world are older women. I'm younger than the crowds at the festival; from the 'lost generation of sewing'. June represents the up and coming crowd: all those hip young mamas who manage to sew and craft while raising their tots. We admired quilts, made each other laugh, ate cheeseburgers for lunch, and generally had an awesome time. It was so much more fun than if I'd gone by myself. And we even met up with another friend, a co-worker of mine. We saw my friend Jen, working her socks off at the booth for her store Stitched, we bought a little bit of fabric, and June graciously tolerated my cat quilt jokes. My favorite competition quilt was by another friend that I met at Stitched, the very talented Hope Johnson. She followed this year's theme of 'Yankee Ingenuity', and had the coolest quilt based on tangrams (pictures by June).
We also got to play on a couple of different long arm machines. I really, really need to find a place that rents long arm machines in Vermont. The HandiQuilter was our favorite. We goofed around a bit to get a bit of a feel for the machine. There were 2 arms set up on the same roller, so we could practice simultaneously. Then June drew a cat (as a rebuttal to all those cat quilt comments), and I drew a mouse. Okay, I know it sounds like we're about 6 years old, but that's how it felt! It was like discovering drawing for the first time. Fun, fun, fun. Definitely an "if money were no object" moment.
My favorite non-competition quilt had me gawking and squeaking and being a one-woman freak show. The back story is that I do believe that the technique and software used to create these embroidered blocks are new. Like within the last couple of years new, this being able to create an embroidery design from a scanned picture. The subject matter is NOT new. And it's hardly traditional. I stood and stared, torn between the competing emotions of "The Glory of This Cheese is Divine to Behold" and "What the FUCK???". Luckily, June had a camera and took pictures. You need to go here, and here, and here. Yes. That is Fabio. I can't believe it's not butter, either. In case you're wondering, that's Sean Connery hidden behind the handbag. Yup, that's crazy-ass Mel in the coveted center square. All the teeth? Who else but Tom Cruise? And Kevin Costner in his 'Water World' heyday. Tom Selleck, one of the only human beings on whom a mustache belongs, looks weird because the quilt was hung so it sort of rippled through his square. Not a good look for Magnum. Why the theme of 'mega-stars of the 80's' to show off the latest fancy sewing machine capability? Fuck if I know.