Friday, January 13, 2006

Janet's Quilting Life

Today, I went to help my friend Janet Shore show her quilts to an art group in her local community. I've mentioned Janet before...she's an amazing woman and I aim to be like her when I'm her age! She's in her early 80's, although you'd never know it to look at her. She's energetic and interested in everything and she's very active. She started quilting back in the late 70's, I think, taking her first class with the famed Roberta Horton. She was hooked right away, and with other northern California quilters founded the East Bay Heritage Quilters, one of the biggest and best quilt guilds anywhere. She's had work published all over the place, and her quilting friends are a veritable list of who's who in the quilting world. She counts Michael James, Roberta Horton, Mary Mashuta, Alex Anderson, Diana McClun and other luminaries among her long-time friends.

Janet lives in a lovely older-folks community, one of those areas where everyone is healthy and living on their own in beautiful homes, but all the residents are over 55 or something....It's called Oakmont. When the Oakmont Art Association asked Janet to do a talk about her quilts, she demurred and suggested another local friend and luminary, Judy Mathieson. Judy did a great presentation, but the fellow who'd seen and fallen in love with Janet's quilts persisted, and today was the day.

So, Janet enlisted me and fellow AQ blogger Gerrie and our friends Pat, Pam and Rita to help, and we all went along to hold quilts while she talked about them.

(I would have taken pictures, but I was standing up front holding quilts the whole time! Check out Gerrie's blog, she'll probably have pictures soon.)

Now, there's something wonderful about seeing someone you care about being so happy and enthusiastic. And to see all of Janet's quilts in one swell foop was really fun, too. She brought about 35 quilts spanning the early 80's to the present...a few traditional, many from classes, and many original designs.

But the best part was seeing a hall full of traditional artists have their eyes opened to what a talented artist can do with fabric and batting and thread. Clearly, they were expecting to see bedspreads in pastel calicos. And they were floored and amazed and dazzled by Janet's quilts. Several people exclaimed how Janet's presentation was the best art presentation they'd ever had. One fellow kept fingering the quilts, sighing and looking closely at the detailed stitching, with his wife sternly chiding him, "You may NOT buy any new art supplies! Don't you dare try to start quilting now!"

So, it was a very fun morning. Janet did great, as we all knew she would. And now, I'd better get quilting if I"m going to have a body of work like that when I'm her age!


  1. I just inspired by association. Thanks so much for sharing. Off to Gerrie's blog to see pictures!

  2. What a great story, how fun for all of you. Have to check Gerrie's blog too.