A few months ago I tried, with limited success, to create a one-yard-square quilt with a repeating glucometer motif. Notwithstanding rotary cutting to size and what I thought was accurate seaming, very little lined up correctly, and very little lay flat.

Execution issues aside, the project introduced me to MarieB, who lives in another part of the state. When Frank (my other half) phoned me Friday to let me know there was a Quilt Fest this weekend (in case I should be interested), and Marie and I both showed up on the Second Anniversary chat, it was a perfect time to ask about it.

So Saturday, Frank dropped me off at the festival and then went off to do some other things, and I got a chance to meet Marie and several of her friends, view some very interesting and incredibly beautiful quilted art, learn a bit about quilting, and pick up some supplies.

While shopping, we connected with another quilter who inquired about my Diabetic Rockstar cap, which was adorned with my World Diabetes Day pin, my Red Dress pin, a pink-ribbon-with-US-flag pin, and a Liberty Penguin pin. It turns out her 14-year-old son has diabetes, and she has all the normal concerns of a parent of a child with diabetes. We directed her to our networks, and advised her to check out the "parents of" groups. Hopefully we will soon see Maria and her son in this community, making friends and finding support.

I should note here that Marie's friend Susan placed third with one of her entries into the quilting competitions. This was a high point for the group, and while it took us rather a bit of strolling through the contest entries until we reached Susan's, we got the chance to photograph the artist with her work (and her ribbon!).

One of the more interesting quilts we saw displayed was a miniature memory quilt consisting of several blocks made by different members of a quilting guild, in memory of a fallen comrade. We thought of Saundra, so recently departed from all of us, and considered the idea of a memory quilt. (How many TuDiabetes members quilt? How many of those would be interested in contributing? Would we then auction the quilt to raise money for TuDiabetes, or would we give it as a gift to Saundra's family?)

We also considered the idea of hands as a theme for a quilt: words in our hands, helping hands, tracings of our hands, circles of hands... One of Marie's friends noted a contest entry by saying, "I like circles"... shortly after we viewed another quilt based on a Bible verse... bidding me to recall the hymn, "May the circle be unbroken". And indeed, our circle is both broken by loss and yet unbroken, as memories and friendships transcend life itself. Bringing things back to "the big D", the World Diabetes Day symbol is a circle...

Old memories, new memories, new ideas... a day in which we learned once again how closely we are all connected, how important it is to connect with others, and a day in which we were renewed by art and ideas for art.

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Tags: meetup, memories, memory quilt, quilt show, quiltfest, quilting, quilts

Comment by Terrie on March 8, 2009 at 4:31am
I was thinking the same thing Debb about Saundra and Cody bringing forth New Life.

Beautiful thoughts tmana. I changed my mind. I guess I could make squares also. I think I know how they are made since My Dear MIL made many quilts for us and her Family some years before she died of cancer. God Bless Her.
Comment by Marie B on March 8, 2009 at 1:50pm
Here is the memory quilt named "Honoring Ina". I've seen many of these types of quilts. This one had some of Ina's crazy quilting in the center, and then blocks made by her friends all around. It contains photo transfer, and also appeared to have some of Ina's clothes used in the piecing. Sometimes these quilts have messages written in permanent fabric pens, or embroidered. Stamping can also be done with fabric paints.

I know we have a hand as a major part of our "brand" here at TuD, but I think a quilt with hand tracings is so done. Maybe I'm a jaded old quilter, but you see these all the time done by classrooms and such. I have been thinking of some bolder, more graphic and sophisticated collaborations. I may asking our artists to do a collaboration of the giant blue circle with me. It would not be hard, and you would not even have to sew actually. We could break up the circle into as many wedges as people who are participating. I'll post my ideas in another group, perhaps Content Creation.

Yes, it was an interesting day. Me, the type 1 pumper, tmana, type2, and of the three other friends I came with, two type 2's, one on shots.

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