A Grand Juxtaposition

I spent a few days last week teaching at QuiltNebraska, an annual summer event. While I was there, I had an interesting experience. It was at first perplexing, then thought provoking. I’m not sure how to write about it, but I’d like to try.

 A Grand Juxtaposition

Nebraska

There are always lots of quilting teachers at this event. They’re divided into two groups. The first group is well-known national teachers, folks you’ve probably heard of. The other group is Nebraska teachers; that’s where I fit in.

All Drezzed Up D Harris sized A Grand Juxtaposition

All Drezzed Up by Diane Harris appeared in Quiltmaker March/April ’10.

All the teachers were asked to bring a quilt they’d made, to be hung in an exhibit of teachers’ quilts. I took All Drezzed Up, a quilt I designed that appeared in Quiltmaker a few years back. It’s a quilt I’m fond of.

11411 pattern img A Grand Juxtaposition

All Drezzed Up by Diane Harris appeared in Quiltmaker March/April ’10.

 

It’s happy and fun and original (at least as original as a traditional block can be). It’s a quilt in which I have some pride.

 

20070428sharon A Grand Juxtaposition

Sharon Schamber

Now pause for a moment and think of a prize-winning quilter you may know about: Sharon Schamber. Sharon was one of the national teachers at this event.

 

The Spirit of Mother Earth full web%5B4%5D A Grand Juxtaposition

The Spirit of Mother Earth is one of many prize-winning quilts Sharon Schamber has created.

 

It’s no stretch, in my opinion, to say that Sharon is one of a handful of quilters worldwide whose work is utterly astonishing. Exquisite. Breathtaking.

 

fall quilt market pics 073 A Grand Juxtaposition

 

If you’ve ever seen one of her quilts, many of which have won big prizes in big shows, you’ve probably stood there in awe, as I have. So much planning, detail and execution. Jaw-dropping stuff.

 

 

SchamberSharon CrimsonPromises MAInnovativeArtistry1 A Grand Juxtaposition

Detail of Sharon Schamber’s Crimson Promises

 

So you can imagine my—what’s the word? shock? amusement? humiliation?—a little of all three—when I came around a corner in the teachers’ quilt display and saw All Drezzed Up hanging next to Sharon Schamber’s “Crimson Promises” masterpiece.

 

 

sharon3 copy A Grand Juxtaposition

Crimson Promises and All Drezzed Up

My reaction is hard to describe. I know I was amused. I’m just a regular quilter who loves to write and is lucky enough to have a job in the industry. I make regular quilts. I am not Sharon Schamber.

Seeing All Drezzed Up hanging there, looking so very humble, so very ordinary, I actually felt sorry for her (the quilt, not Sharon).

A couple of people asked me if I was hurt by the way the quilts were displayed. The answer was absolutely not! While I don’t pretend to play in the Big Leagues, it was kind of cool to have my baby in such good company. What are the odds?!

And in the end I came to this conclusion: Sharon’s “Crimson Promises” is inspiring because of its grandeur. But perhaps All Drezzed Up is inspiring too, because it’s a quilt anyone could make. And there’s something to be said for that.

*     *     *     *     *

I’d like to know: How would you feel if your quilt was hung next to a masterpiece? Please tell us in the comments below.

Leave a Reply