Guild Day

Yesterday Calico Cutters members held the August meeting. The Kids Quilts Committee assembles fabrics for quilters to take home to sew and quilt. I always take a kit because it’s an easy job of no-brain sewing, ready to go when you need that kind of a quick project. The quilts are donated to the Domestic Abuse Center and every child receives a quilt. I am appalled by how many quilts are needed– we usually have about 30 each month. 

I’ve been looking forward to hearing the lecture by Lea McComas. I first saw her amazing quilt, Bike Boys, on winners row at Quilt Festival in Houston. It was so interesting to hear details about how the quilt was made. Lea intended to enter the quilt in the IQA contest, but the central portion, outlined in white, wasn’t big enough for the quilt category, so she enlarged it by offsetting in a frame. I think it’s a perfect solution, adding to the energy that is part of the emotion of the artwork.

Lea is interested in faces and the human figure. She has lived in some interesting countries and her photographs from Turkey and Africa often form the basis for quilts, as in this quilt called Bread Boys.

This quilt called Crossing Over, was inspired by a photograph in a museum in Denver, Colorado , where Lea now lives. I like the way the horses have edges extending slightly off the quilt, visually joining the panals. You could see this better if I didn’t have to photograph with the messy background! Look at the right panal. I love the subtle pieced quilt blocks behind the mountains and the reflections in the water. I looked at the water for a long time. Would I have made the same decision, having the reflected blocks flow along with the water or have oriented them more directly, in line with the blocks above? Interesting to see an artist’s choice in design and composition. 

Lea talked about how she develops her quilts. She has a system that starts with a photograph she prints in grayscale. She adds color based on proportions from the color wheel, aiming to achieve balance. She is quite deliberate in her composition, figuring out a math equation thing based on the golden mean. Of course she completely lost me there. How differently I work! Grayscale? Proportions? Throw up fabrics, if the colors look good to me– go with it! Math equations? Hah! I guess I have to call my studied process, Winging It.

Lea was funny and entertaining, she told fascinating stories and was generous in talking about quilting techniques. What a great program! 

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  1. It sounds like a great presentation, verbally & visually. I checked out her background right away: so subtle, effective and a whisper to traditional quilt piecing. 30 kids quilts a month: that is sad.

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