Design Wall: My Day with Art Quilters

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ginger-taticName: Ginger Sheehy Tatic
Title: Manager of Online Education
I live in: Longmont, CO
I started quilting: I’ve been producing quilting online workshops for 2 ½ years but started quilting about 1 ½ years ago.
My home life: Married for 14 years with an 8-year-old daughter and a surprisingly calm Chihuahua mix. They refer to me as Crazy Quilt Lady these days because this quilting obsession is really sticking!


My Art Quilting Luncheon

As the manager of online education for The Quilting Company I have had the pleasure of working with some of the greatest instructors on the planet. So when I received an invite from fiber artist Lea McComas to join her and a group of Colorado-based art quilters for a luncheon, I was beyond thrilled. I highly recommend Lea’s Successful Pictorial Quilts course if you are a beginner to art quilting or if you just want some guidance on value and color to help any quilt.

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I’m not going to lie, waking up early on a precious Saturday morning was no picnic but as I drove higher and higher into the mountains above Boulder, Colorado, I got an overwhelming feeling of excitement rushing through my body. I was the first to arrive to the luncheon so I was able to take in all the beauty of Lea’s house while she finished prepping food and drinks for the group. I’m not sure what I enjoyed more, the spectacular view of the Rocky Mountains or all the paintings, quilts and fascinating artifacts displayed perfectly throughout the house. As if the house wasn’t enough, the other guests started to arrive and I remembered why I was there in the first place.

We followed Lea to her sunroom where the comfy assortment of chairs was waiting for us and the official introductions began. I sat back and soaked in all their stories. I love listening to artists talk about their life and work. They spoke of their past and future travels, show openings, teaching events, and what inspires them. This is when I found out that the whole event came about because Karen Roxburg, director of the Rocky Mountain Quilt Museum, won the luncheon at a silent auction and insisted that Lea create the guest list so she could meet some new local art quilters. I felt like the luckiest fly on the wall ever!

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After introductions, lunch was served, which was perfect timing because the smells swirling around were making my mouth water in delight. I have an 8-year-old daughter so to enjoy a meal that doesn’t include mac and cheese or discussions about unicorns was a joy in itself. We spoke about everything from world events to our families and dined on the fabulous meal Lea provided.

The day was flying by so after lunch we raced back to the sunroom for show and tell. The feeling of Christmas morning as a kid flowed through me as I settled into my seat for the show.

Denise Labadie's North Island quiltFirst up was fiber artist Denise Labadie. Denise presented her “Annamare Court Tomb” quilt. The way the rock texture jumped off the quilt was remarkable. The group discussed if it was water or gravel flowing through the mountains she created. Denise’s response was classic: “It’s whatever you want it to be.”

day-with-art-quilters-luana-quilt-2bNext up was the owner of e-Quilter.com, Luana Rubin, who was fresh off of filming Quilting Arts TV with Susan Brubaker Knapp. Activist quilts are only something I had read about but had never seen in person. Luana’s quilts were not only beautifully done but the messages were clear and memorable. Never before had quilts made me dive deeper into myself and I was grateful for the experience.

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day-with-art-quilters-dress-quilt-by-barbara-olsenPresident of the Front Range Contemporary Quilters, Barbara Olsen treated us to one of her 11 Dress Series Quilts. This one was created with tea bags and was as stunning as it sounds. Each dress in the series sounded more amazing than the next. Only seeing the one in person wasn’t enough.

day-with-art-quilters-barbie-in-nyc-mary-horrocksMary Horrocks, fiber-mixed media artist, won for the most unique and intriguing presentation of the day with her Barbie Shopping in NYC diorama that was part of a bigger art installation, and her Kimono undergarment that was inspired by her uncle who fought in the Korean War and died. Mary truly helped me gain a better understanding of all the different dimensions of a fiber artist.

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day-with-art-quilters-lea-with-color-wheelLast up was Katie Fowler, whose business card introduced her as Artist, Author, Coach, Speaker and Maker of Momentum. Katie first shared the color wheel she created. Knowing Lea’s love of color wheels, it was so much fun to see her grab the wheel out of Katie’s hands and jump on the floor to play with it, like a kid spreading out their favorite family game.

The colors of Katie’s quilts were other dimensional. I was chomping at the bit to know how she made the colors come to life. I hope to put into practice Katie’s colored pencil techniques very soon.

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The day had flown by way too fast. I was so appreciative of meeting this entire group of fascinating artists and encourage you all to check out their websites and see their fiber art in person if you ever have the chance like I did.

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