A little bit Irish
That celebratory day where everyone wears green has just passed, and it got me thinking. I live in the greater Boston area, where there is a large population of Irish, as well as Irish descendants. St. Patrick’s Day is a big deal. As is customary, my husband and I made our way to my in-laws for boiled dinner (corned beef, cabbage, and potatoes) and we brought the soda bread and Irish butter. Delicious. And while we both lay claim to a small part of Irish heritage it’s not our main cultural identifier. So why (besides the food of course) do we make the ritual of celebrating this holiday? Why do so many other people do the same?
I think people love a party, and also to feel part of a group. Isn’t that why we all flock to fabric stores, guild shows, and exhibits to see quilts? We want to find our tribe—our tribe being quilt people. Whether you take classes, attend shows, or are active in your local guild—quilters like to come together and share our work.
The Quilting Arts community
Here at Quilting Arts, we provide another kind of community as well. We bring you amazing artists from all over the world, spreading a love of art and technique to many, many quilters.
Are you a Quilting Arts subscriber? If so, you are in good quilting company. We love to showcase our reader’s work, and hope you interact with fellow artists online and through our social media!
Have you connected with someone a thousand miles away? Did you discover a group down the road you were unaware of? It’s so important to come together to share and learn! In the April/May 2019 issue check out a gallery of house quilts donated by readers for a great cause. Also featured is a stunning gallery called ‘Weather’ from the amazing artist’s group Viewpoints 9. Don’t miss the chance to peek into two artist’s studios—I love seeing how people organize their workspace and supplies!
Keep in touch!
There are several other international groups that might also spark your interest and fulfill your community need. Check out these great organizations below!
The MQG developed out of the thriving online community of modern quilters and their desire to start meeting in person. The founding guild was formed in Los Angeles in October 2009. Through blogs and the Internet, word spread quickly of the fun they were having and soon guilds starting popping up everywhere. Their mission is to support and encourage the growth and development of modern quilting through art, education, and community.
SAQA is a nonprofit organization whose mission is to promote the art quilt through education, exhibitions, professional development, documentation, and publications. Founded in 1989 by an initial group of 50 artists, SAQA now has over 3,400 members: artists, teachers, collectors, gallery owners, museum curators and corporate sponsors. A dedicated core of volunteers and staff keep the organization vibrant, dynamic, and progressive.
SDA provides a platform for the exchange of ideas, methods, and materials. The SDA community is expansive: from makers and artists to academics and enthusiasts. They celebrate their successes and failures as they work toward sustaining traditional techniques or adapting production strategies in radical new ways, such as realizing fiber arts as activism or performance. The shared affinity of their community is a sincere love of textile media and fiber arts.
I hope I’ve whetted your appetite, either for corned beef and soda bread or a vibrant artists’ network! Grab a copy of the latest issue of Quilting Arts! Still hungry? Here’s the soda bread recipe we use every year.
Header image photo credit: Getty images/Alicia Llop