This week, I'm pleased to present to you Jeanne, the genius behind the shop, Oh This Nose! I'll let Jeanne share her creative quilting mind in her own words:
"In the early nineties I went to a one-woman quilt show in Vancouver, WA. The woman was 100 years old and she had 100 quilts displayed in the show, most of which were very large and hand quilted. This impressive show inspired me to become a quilter. I started slow, teaching myself and later took some basic classes. I joined the guild where this woman was a member and for her birthdays, 100 to 105, the guild celebrated and honored her, and each year she brought her latest quilt to show the group and everyone gave her more fabric!
"I moved from Vancouver to Eugene, Oregon eight years ago. Quilting is everywhere. I continue to quilt, but have not kept track of how many quilts I have made. Recently I retired, so now I devote more time to quilting. I have begun to design my own work and find myself going in many directions at once. It will be interesting for me to see where this new vocation goes. I have no specific plans, lots of ideas and am making an effort to be free of expectations, goals, schedules, etc. However, I believe that every child should have cozy quilts to cuddle with, especially in this age of hardware.
"I like to work with fabrics that I find in bargain bins, second hand stores, estate sales and other thrifty alternative vendors. My family name is Scottish and means “working with cloth”. Using up every leftover piece of fabric that a friend or family member gives me is a challenge that I embrace. Selling on Etsy is a wonderful opportunity to connect with people, some of whom communicate about my work and others who flatter me with their purchases. Having overloaded my home, family and friends with things I sew, Etsy has provided me a whole new frontier.
"I wanted to send along a helpful hint and have been racking by brain. So here is a try. I like having a project to work on wherever I am, so there are many projects going at once. I keep a handwork project in a zip-lock bag, or fancier container with the thread, needles, thimble, etc. that I need, so that I can grab it to take to a meeting, car trip or to visit a friend. If the event is boring, I can sew, if not, that is ok too. This Little Fans quilt below was one of these projects. I carried it around for a couple of years before it was ready to be completed."
The quilts were made between about 1880 and 1940 and were from a collector, Maria Schlumberger, and most came from Pennsylvania and Ohio. Most were made in the recognizable simple piecing patterns, with solid deep-colored dyes and incredibly intricate hand-quilting.
I was impressed both by how simple many of the patterns were pieced and yet how amazingly intricate the quilting patterns were...these quilts were deceptively complex. My own quilting seemed so little by comparison...what masterpieces!
As an American living in Germany I was quite proud to see a significant piece of American history and art displayed so far away. And as a quilter, I was proud to be a part of an art form so significant to my heritage.
"--it keeps us warm, it soothes our pain and relieves our burdens, it commemorates important occasions, it preserves family history, it demonstrates skill, it encourages social interaction, and it supports intimate communication." --Robert L. Freeman, A Communion of the Spiirts -- African-American Quilters, Preservers and their Stories
What makes you proud to be a quilter?
* * * * * A version of this post originally appeared on the blog, Baby Anne Quilts on March 1, 2008.