Last Friday morning, I stuffed a few clothes in a bag, made a lunch, grabbed my camera and set off for Rochester, Minnesota. It’s about a 4-hour drive from Alexandria, so I had plenty of time to day-dream while I was driving.
I don’t often visit a show when I’m not working, and I was very content to make the trip alone — and not have to worry about coordinating my time with anyone else. I was free as a bird, and feeling pretty chirpy!
I didn’t have a lot of time at the show Friday afternoon, but I managed to connect with Kimm and Carol, two special women I met when we were all fresh out of college in the early 1980s. (Oh goodness! Am I really that old?) After dinner with June and Bonnie — two of the women I went to Kenya with in 2006 — I did a little shopping and called it a night. Nice.
Small is Beautiful
On Saturday, I pulled out the camera and made my way through the show, patiently waiting for a chance to take photos of quilts. Yes, I took LOTS of pictures — and many of the quilts I really liked were quite small.
This got me thinking about my own work. When I think about creating things, I tend to think BIG. But BIG is very time consuming, and quite frankly, intimidating. Why not think SMALL?
You might be thinking “Oh DUH!” to yourself right now, but this was a good reminder for me. Small projects are a fantastic way to explore a concept without committing a lot of time. And you’ll be surprised at how much detail you can fit into a small space — if you choose to do so.
Here’s a quick tour of some of the small quilts that caught my eye at the show:
Dream, Beverly Hunnicutt, Bloomington, MN
Beverly’s quilt proves that less is more. It’s very simple and spare, but very effective. The quote, “I dream my paintings, and I paint my dreams.” is from Vincent van Gogh. Check out the detail of the painters below.
Me, Susan Stein, White Bear Lake, MN
Susan is the biggest lover of leaves and trees that I know. The lovely quote at the bottom of her quilt reads “Count among your blessings all the colors, beauties and splendors of a living earth.”
Shadow E., Kim Frisk, Green Bay, WI
I’m a great lover of kitties, and this one is absolutely beautiful! Made with appliqué and thread painting, this little guy looks like he is ready for a snuggle.
A Little Bit Spunky, Rene Baron Heimer, White Bear Lake, MN
Rene made this tiny outfit for the clothing challenge. She is a long-arm quilter with little time to piece projects, so she made something small for a new grand-baby instead of tackling a full size garment.
Through the Leaves, Peggy Wright, St. Paul, MN
I just loved this charming quilt. Maybe it’s the purple and green???
It’s About Time, Kim Frisk, Green Bay, WI
This small quilt won first place in the Art Quilt division. It’s totally packed with watch parts, gears, clock faces, and phrases about time. My photos don’t do the quilt justice. It’s really amazing. Check the photo below for a few details.
Where’s the Beat?, Shelli Ricci, Apple Valley, MN
Shelli and her husband Carlos are musicians — and frequent hosts of jam sessions at their home. It’s only 12″ x 12″, but this is one cool quilt!
Next week, I’ll show you some of the painted quilts from the show, including Shelli Ricci’s unbelievable mermaid quilt. Until then, I’m going to be thinking SMALL. As these quilts prove, small can be more than beautiful — it can be quite amazing!
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With your mini supplies tucked into your bag, you’ll be able to explore the magic of fabric art almost anywhere — Have fun!