I'd love to share any of these four lectures with your quilt guild or bee. My most popular lecture is the story of the quilts and quiltmakers of Caohagan Island, a 13-acre island in the central Philippines, followed closely by my lecture on Japanese fabrics. My other two lectures are equally interesting though the subjects are less known. Take time to read the descriptions then be in touch with me to see which lecture is best for your group.
The Quilts and Quiltmakers
of Caohagan Island
You’ll be transported to a tiny island — just 13 acres — in the central Philippines as you enjoy images and stories of the colorful quilts and the more than 100 quiltmakers of Caohagan Island. You’ll see photos of more than 50 of these handmade, one-of-a-kind quilts plus be introduced to the unique techniques developed by these quiltmakers whose tools are simply fabric and scissors, needle and thread. I spent more than a month on the island, quilted with the residents, went fabric shopping with them on nearby Cebu Island, and snorkeled the reef that surrounds Caohagan. Those who view the quilts come away smiling, inspired by the creativity of these women and men.
Indigo, Taupe & More:
Japanese Fabric from Vintage to Contemporary
In a whirlwind round of interviews with multiple generations of Japanese quilt-makers, I learned a lot about working with Japanese fabrics from indigo to taupe and beyond. I talked with master quilters Kuroha Shizuko, Yoko Seito, Reiko Kato and Keiko Goke. In this slide show, you’ll learn how each of these women selects and designs fabric. You’ll see images of quilts by each quiltmaker plus a variety of Japanese fabrics.
The International Honor Quilt:
Women Remembering Women
When Judy Chicago’s iconic feminist art installation, "The Dinner Party," was first exhibited in San Francisco in 1979, women who came to see it were deeply moved. They didn’t want to just view it; they wanted to contribute to it. This posed a dilemma for Judy. She understood "The Dinner Party" as a finished piece. She also understood the women’s desire to recover stories of more women, women who had made a difference in their lives. The International Honor Quilt was envisioned as a way for viewers of the "The Dinner Party" to respond to the powerful and personal impact it had on them. A call for 2-foot x 2-foot x 2-foot triangular quilts, each celebrating an individual woman, a group of women or a women’s issue, went out. As "The Dinner Party" was exhibited across the United States and beyond during the 1980s, triangles were added until there were more than 500.
This slide show and lecture shares stories of some of the triangles, the makers and the women honored with an emphasis on triangles made by women who would later become known quilters and those made to honor quilters. You’ll also see triangles quilted by 11 children of one woman and some of the most unique of the triangles. The stories range from fun to inspiring to heart breaking. The quilts range from exquisitely made to first efforts. In the end, this is the story of women responding to a moment in history through an international community art project.
Jean Ray Laury:
Celebrating Quilting, Celebrating Women
“Why not be a top-notch quilter but settle for being a mediocre housekeeper? Be a superb needlepointer and a great lover — but let the rewards and joys of having the shiniest floor in town fall to the lady down the block.”
So wrote Jean Ray Laury — artist and wife, author and mother, teacher and homemaker — in her 1977 publication The Creative Woman’s Getting-It-All-Together at Home Handbook. Jean Ray (1928-2011) was a key leader in the revival of quilting in the 1970s and 1980s as she encouraged women to claim time for creating, time for making, time for the artists within them.
This slide show pairs Jean Ray’s wise words and ideas, which were published in her column in Quilters Newsletter magazine, with images of some of her quilts. Recognized as a top art quilter of her generation, Jean Ray enjoyed teaching women to quilt from the basics to advanced. Her words and quilts continue to speak to us today.