Our PTA (Professional Textile Artists) group meets once a month. As is typical of larger groups like this, not every member can make it to every meeting......but we have a pretty hard and fast rule.....we meet the 2nd Thurs. of the month, whoever can come, does.
Apparently there's been a lot of discussion lately online about how best to structure a small/smallish fiber group. Such as, should the group be open or by invitation, the number of members, set meeting dates or flexible, should the focus be defined, etc. Our PTA group has been in existence (I'm guessing) for close to 20 years. Naturally, there have been some changes in membership, thankfully I was invited to join when I moved to NC 9 years ago.
Regular readers of my blog know that I actively participate in two smaller groups, though I belong to several others. In Fiber Junkies (the one I started about 8 years ago), 6 of us meet monthly in members homes for the purpose of experimenting with new techniques. We coordinate our meeting dates to fit everyone's schedule....so sometimes our meetings are 5 weeks apart, other times only 3....but it works for us.
PTA meets monthly, usually in members homes, without a set agenda. This year we've tried something new. Each member was responsible for planning one monthly meeting. We have 14 members, one lives in FL and one is dealing with some heath issues..... so the 12 months were easily assigned.
This month Barbara hosted....we began at her house for coffee, discuss planning an exhibit, show and tell etc. She did a lot of preparation for this fun day....by mapping various local areas of interest for us to visit after our bag lunch on her porch. An Amish shop, creamery, ice cream store, local brewery etc. were on the list. Even members who live in this specific area had not visited all these interesting places.
The intro to today's post may be too long, but since 'small groups' have been such a hot topic online lately, perhaps it is of interest to some of you.Now...back to the fiber portion of the blog. Georgia Bonesteel (Yes, THE Georgia Bonesteel) is a member of our group. She brought two workshop samples that she'll be teaching at an annual ranch retreat in Montana that she organizes with Charlotte Warr Anderson.
This one featured 3-D antlers....stiffened with Timtex.
A neighbor of Georgia's owns this vintage quilt that was hand pieced but machine quilted....Stunning design, even with all the fading and less than perfect piecing.
What blew Georgia away was the back.....it was lap quilted!!! So many quilters got their start by watching her PBS show, Lap Quilting With Georgia. It's amazing to see such an old quilt that utilized this technique......I guess there's nothing that is really ever new!!Dort is working on a series of blocks that feature her Scottish heritage....which may be worked into one quilt or displayed as panels.
She has such a knack for this type of landscape/scenic pieces, excelling at combining prints to make them come to life.
I can't express enough what an impact these small groups have in my life.....having creative, inspiring friends is such a gift!