Monday, June 27, 2011

The Quilt Shop, Santiago, Chile

You can tell life has been crazy when it takes you 2 weeks to blog about something you really enjoyed. But as many of you know, that is my life. I hope it will settle down at some point, but for now, I will take it as it comes :-).

All this to say, that I am really excited to share a surprise that I stumbled upon in Santiago, Chile 2 weeks ago. The Quilt Shop! That's right. I was in Argentina and Chile for business so of course I went looking for a quilt shop. Although I searched the web and asked around, I found nothing in Buenos Aires, Argentina. No one there even knew what I was asking about. But while browsing the web for a shop in Argentina, up popped an article about the owner of a shop in Chile, who had single handedly brought the art of quilting to Chile!  Pilar Donoso I., a Chilean woman who had lived in California for twenty years.  You can read the whole story on The Planet Patchwork site here.

But Pilar, did just that. She opened the only quilt shop in Chile, she has her own line of patterns written entirely in Spanish and she teaches classes to a growing number of Chilean Quilters. They even had their first show last year! The shop on Vitacura, is tucked behind a large tree but is quite welcoming, with brightly colored quilts hanging throughout the shop. All are class samplers and as Pilar says, making samples for classes means less time for her personal quilting, but it helps to promote the shop and where quilting is heading.

Visiting the shop, you van see why Pilar has been so successful. When I entered with a co-worker from Mexico, she got up from her machine and chatted with us for quite awhile, helping to share the art of quilting with my co-worker, who had no idea why I dragged her off to find a quilt shop before we could eat dinner :-).  Before she met me, the co-worker had no idea that people cut up fabric, only to sew it back again.

Pilar and I chatted about quilting in Latin America in general and Chile in particular until another customer came in. I browsed the fabrics, while she gave the new customer the same warm welcome she had given us. I made my selections, seeing many fabrics I recognized from shops here in the states, but as always supporting the LQS I visit. Pilar made sure she gave me one of her signature The Quilt Shop bags to carry my goodies home.

Yum..  Yumm...  I have a clown quilt to make for a baby, so these fabrics are just perfect :-).

Thanks Pilar!

Thursday, June 9, 2011

Bisa Butler comes to Pelham Quilters!

I can't believe it has been a month since I last posted.  This is not good.  Plus I have so many exciting things to share with you.  But today, I will start with a workshop held by Pelham Quilters on May 21st.  We had the pleasure of having Bisa Butler come to visit!  Bisa is a collage artist who now does all her work in fabric.  Her signature works are portraits and that is what she taught the 11 women of Pelham Quilters on such a fine day in May.

As always the group was revved up and ready to go.  Each started before the actual day of class, by sending Bisa a photo, which she broke down into lights, mediums and darks and sent back to us, so we could create the pattern in whatever size we wanted to work in.  Armed with 2 copies of our patterns in hand, we began.

I must say most, that is everyone but me, really picked up the concept and grasped the whole, color and value thing quite quickly.  Just look at what some of the ladies were able to accomplish in just a few hours...

First, let's look at Joanne Maroney....  She is working on a picture of Jill Scott, the singer...  You can actually see the face come alive as she progresses thoughout the day.  Looking at all the little pieces in the pattern on the left!

 I just love the eyes, so expressive!  Even at this stage.

Next, let's take a look at Anne Frascarelli, who is working on a portrait of her Dad...

Not sure Anne is making as much progress on her piece as she is on the donut that Donna brought in :-)  I must admit, they were yummy!

Cathy's made good progress  with the picture of her daughter....

As did both Doris with her grandson and Donna with her daughter, Corey, all decked out....

Then there was Joann and Millie...

I believe Joann is also working on a picture of her Dad, while Millie is doing a self portrait.  As you can see both were so engrossed in what they were doing, that neither looked up for the camera.

Next we have Jean, who is working on a present for a co-worker. 

 As with all our Pelham workshops, Jean is one, I am am sure will actually finish her piece :-).

I worked on a piece as well, but with getting things set-up, ordering and distributing lunch, taking photo's and yes, running my mouth, I didn't get much accomplished.  But then again, since mine will be an Xmas present for someone who reads my blog, I couldn't share my progress anyway :-)/