Yesterday afternoon I headed up to Edmonton -- well, to Sherwood Park, actually -- for a trunk show with UK-born Australia-living embroiderer, quilter and fabric designer, Lynette Anderson, sponsored by LQS, Lori's Country Cottage.
I got up there early enough to run a couple of errands, to browse the books at Chapter's in Sherwood Park Mall and have a bite of supper...and then it was off to the presentation at the Broadmoor Public Golf Course clubhouse. The sun was shining, the air was warm...a perfect evening for quilters to gather!
Lynette is a charming woman, fun to listen to. She wears funky clothes and jewellry and rolls with the punches (two very key suitcases were stalled in their transit up from Market in Portland, OR, and arrived at the eleventh hour, leaving her short of clothes for over 24 hours. Solution? While waiting, travel up to Banff from Calgary and stay at the Banff Springs Hotel... Breathe....Ahhhhhhh.....)
The evening began with the trunk show. Lynette recruited her husband, Vince, to show her pieces -- a selection of table mats, wall hangings and small quilts, as well as a few accessories (slippers, bags). Her signature is primitive-style hand embroidery with hand piecing (lots of English Paper Piecing) in country-style colours with a largely muted palette. Her hand-stitching skills are exemplary, and her embroidery -- largely stem stitch, back stitch, straight stitch, blanket stitch and French knots -- is exquisite. Many pieces are worked in miniature, including yo-yo's!
Following a break for browsing the pieces, the wares (fabric packs, kits, patterns, button packets etc.), making purchases and enjoying sweet treats and beverages (coffee, tea and water), Lynette spoke to a Power Point presentation illustrating her sources of inspiration, concluding with a description of how she designs her fabric lines. She's been to Japan where the fabric is printed, and had photos to illustrate that part of the process too.
What interested me most was her initial process, from sketchbook to print, whether it be of pattern or fabric. I am not interested in doing either of those things (designing fabric or patterns) but in the process...which is akin to most of us as artists.
Lynette draws inspiration from nature, from childhood memories, from her family and photos. Her dog, Hugo, and three cats are major players and feature in both her quilts and in the lines of buttons she's designed to go with some of her patterns.
I bought a wee box of flower-and-butterfly wooden buttons (plain, not painted), which I might just colour up to use in "Back to the Garden"...and I bought a set of ten skeins of her favourite Cosmo cotton embroidery floss from Japan, in the colours she favours. (She also uses floss from Weeks Dye Works, and "whatever I have to hand in my work room", she said with a smile.)
After the presentations and Q&A, there were some door prize draws. Sixteen chairs in the room had yellow dots under them -- and I found one on mine. Each of us received a fat quarter (that's a 1/4 metre here in Canada) of one of Lynette's fabrics...and a ticket. From the tickets, two more prizes were drawn -- one from Lynette (fabric) and one from the hostess, Lori. I won the latter -- and here's what it included:
From left: a DEL-720 LED desk lamp, a packet of 60 'Rustproof, Nickel Plated Steel Safety Pins' from H.A. Kidd and Company, a safety pin fastener (also from H.A. Kidd), a packet of 3 assorted thimbles (ditto), a packet of 'Bobbin Mates' which keep thread and matching bobbins together (ditto), two packs of Schmetz sewing machine needles (one 'quilting' and one 'microtex'), a box of 35 mm x 0.5 mm glass-head pins (H.A. Kidd) and one of 50 mm x 0.6 mm flat-head pins (ditto)...my first fat quarter (from the yellow sticker on my chair) ...and behind...ten (count 'em!) fat quarters of Lynette's fabric!!!
Oh. My. Goodness!!
I drove to my daughter's...where I was to spend the night...in a bit of a daze. I got in about 10 p.m., and after preliminaries...she gave me an envelope -- the Mothers' Day gift she and my son bought together: a fistful of gift certificates for River City Yarns in Edmonton!!!
Be still, my heart.
Is it any wonder I'm still in a daze?
Overwhelmed, indeed. With gratitude and grace.