Monday, April 23, 2007

A Shared Passion for Textile Arts: Leslie Coleman Zeigen


Posted by PicasaLeslie Coleman Zeigen is a multi-talented member of the Mid-Valley Quilt Guild, here in Salem, Oregon. I first met her about 11 years ago when she was the Costume Director for Children's Educational Theater. Many years later, when my youngest daughter joined CET, I ended up (as a parent volunteer) working under her as we created costumes for five plays a summer, for five years. Leslie, herself, worked with CET for more than 25 years. She was an incredibly talented and gifted costumer, but when she learned to quilt.....her abilities skyrocketed to new heights. In a very few years of quilting, she has become one of the most unbelievably creative quilters that I have ever seen!

Yesterday, I attended the Mid-Valley Quilt Guild's quilt show "A Shared Passion for Textile Arts". When I saw entry #147... Leslie's quilt...my mouth dropped wide open and it has been open ever since! Now, my friends will tell you that my mouth is frequently open....or perhaps, that it might not ever quite close. But when I saw this quilt titled " My Daughter, the Bibliophile"...I could not believe my eyes!

The creative inspiration for this quilt was Leslie's daughter, Laura, an avid reader who loves history, women's studies, the Library Sciences, and of course...books! Leslie asked her daughter for a list of 100 of her life-long favorite books. Laura gave her 124. Leslie embroidered their titles and authors' names (using her Viking Husqvarna D1 and SE machines) on the 'books' and placed them on a bookshelf.

The bookshelf, as well as the books, seem so realistic that you wonder why it's a bit 'fuzzy.' It's like the mind cannot accept that this is actually a quilt and not a bookshelf filled with books! It is quite remarkable!

There were some other beautiful, beautiful quilts in the show, all around amazing in the depth, the variety and the quilted talent so very evident. But this quilt won the "People's Choice" award each and every day... for the run of the three day show....and there is no doubting why! It was just so extraordinary, that I had to share it here.

I left the show inspired, elevated, happy and proud of all of those quilters...then I went home to my simple little charity quilts with a big grin. To paraphrase Mother Theresa...I may not do great things, but I do small things with great love ;)

Today, will be a very good sewing day!

11 comments:

  1. Waaa... the photos aren't showing up for me!

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  2. Hi Michele, the photos aren't showing up for me either...I want to see them, will be back later to see if they will load in.

    Love the Mother Theresa quote! Hugs, Finn

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  3. What a marvelous quilt! I would love to see it in person. Next year can you tell me way ahead of time when the Salem Quilt show is scheduled and I'll try to come down. I've been a couple times in the past and it's always a great show.

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  4. Amazing!!! Thanks for sharing this quilt and its story.

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  5. That quilt is amazing -- I don't have anything that can do embroidery stitches, but it is giving me ideas for something for my librarian mother...

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  6. Jane Ann9:26 AM

    Fooled me; I opened your blog, saw the picture of a bookcase, and wondered what new book or organizing tip you were going to give! Amazing.

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  7. I love Library quilts and will make one myself one day - reading is even more of a passion for me than quilting! I am awed by the extra time and effort taken to actually *name* the books in the quilt.

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  8. WoW and WoW again!!!......what an awesome quilt and such detail...thank u for sharing the pics and the story.....and hey u do, do great things.... with great love!!!

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  9. Lovely inspiring story, especially ending with a quote from Mother Tereasa

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  10. I love the quilts! And I'm getting ideas. :)

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  11. I haven't seen one of these bookcase style quilts in years, this one is absolutely incredible! With the advent of the home embroidery machine this has taken this quilt to another plane... it's completely great! Thanks for sharing. The important thing isn't what you quilt, but why you quilt!

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Michele Bilyeu blogs "With Heart and Hands" as she journeys between Douglas, Alaska and Salem, Oregon.