Tuesday, October 04, 2011

Gwen Marston Virtual Retreat

I've resisted becoming a hoarder my entire adult life. I called myself a collector, someone who loves to save resources and references, someone who wanted and needed to have groupings of things that supplemented her hobbies, crafts, and passions.

I am incredibly thrifty, alright, downright frugal, and only buy on sale and with discounts. So imagine, my delight at acquiring, bit by bit, all these lovely Gwen Marston books...on sale, on clearance, and through university outlets. And yes, I want to get a couple more than I am still missing ;)

I first met Gwen (and I think Freddy) at a quilt show ...or maybe it was a crafty Harvest Fair, which also had quilts back then... in Sisters, years and years ago. I had no idea who either of them was, I don't even know if Freddy wore red glasses back then. Whoever I met was quiet and sweet and greeted me as I introduced myself at their table. I remember loving their quilts and cannot tell you if they had books to sell, back then or not. But they were together, so they must have been in the collaboration process, at least! I know Gwen's Liberated String Quilts came out in 2003..maybe it was as far back as then! I don't think it was in the late 90's when she had actually lived in Oregon for a time and learned to quilt from the Mennonite Quilters of Canby.And Gwen and Joe Cunningham were together and collaborating in the '80's so it wasn't that far back!

I can't find my photo of them, and can't remember the year...sad huh? But I didn't have a blog until 2006 and while I'd been quilting since the early 70;s. Heck, the Internet was barely invented and OSU's computer took up an entire room in a building in the late 60's and 70's! I thought it was a miracle that we even bought a computer in the 90's and while it was all Dos and no Window invented until much, much later, and a computer was so very, very hard to use back then..I still taught myself to compute on it and printed off boxes of amazing 'reference' materials on all things of interest to me.

Times have changed, I have most definitely changed, and now fanaticism, collecting, and sewing and quilting have overtaken my life! Did I mention blogging ;)

I go back and forth who I love the most...one day, I love Gwen's amazing abilities with intuitive design, other day's its Freddy's outright audacity with color and her ability to make spur of the moment decisions and never waver on her choices..slapping things together and making mountains out of parts department molehills. Amazing, I tell you!

Now, I happily thumb through my book collection and the photos I have taken of them at another quilt show in 2009 and I think...I've come a long way, baby.

At least now, I know who they are ;)

My links to more photos of Gwen and Freddy and their quilts from meeting them at the Sisters Outdoors Quilt Show in 2009:
Freddy and Gwen: In Sisters Again!
Sisters Outdoor Quilt Show 2009




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