A Whole Lotta Inspiration

Gwen Marston has been a huge inspiration to me ever since I stumbled upon her {and Freddy Moran's} 'Collaborative Quilting' book back in 2006. Without having ever heard of her, I bought the {rather expensive} book on a whim after simply flipping throug...

Gwen Marston has been a huge inspiration to me ever since I stumbled upon her {and Freddy Moran’s} ‘Collaborative Quilting’ book back in 2006. Without having ever heard of her, I bought the {rather expensive} book on a whim after simply flipping through it at a quilt store! Since then, I have bought several of her books and read them all completely through. Several times. What an incredible quilter!

Color Study Quilt by Gwen Marston

So when Sharon, over at Grass Roots Quilt Studio, mentioned a Gwen Marston exhibit here in Washington State, I was beyond excited. Surely I could fit in a visit sometime in the two month window! And yay! just this past weekend, I convinced my husband to take a slight detour previous to a family obligation near the area. LaConner Quilt & Textile Museum was only about an hour out of the way {but added up to several hours total by the end} and was totally worth the visit! At least to me. My husband sat out in the car and caught up on a couple phone calls. What a sweetheart.

Quilt by Gwen Marston

So many have taken Gwen Marston classes {or sat through a lecture} and raved about the experience on their blogs. Not having that opportunity has made me sad, but I have to say, looking at Gwens quilts in person was very moving. The sheer personality and life in her quilts is quite incredible, especially when you consider the subtle ways she uses simple form and color. It’s brilliant really.

Quilt by Gwen Marston

There were two other exhibits in the museum at the same time, Sharon Tucker on the first floor, and Charlotte Bird and Ree Nancarrow on the top floor. All really, beautiful work that I’m so glad to have the opportunity to have seen. Sharon’s tiny little piecing and wonderful use of color, Charlotte and Ree’s fabulous stitching and thought provoking works—all wonderful stuff! But honestly, Gwen’s quilts are what made my heart melt. Sorry guys. She’s my hero when it comes to quiltmaking!

Quilt by Gwen Marston

I stared and stared at the stitching and considered how much texture it gives to her quilts. Roamed around the museum and then came back for another look. Pondered the many hours of work involved and was charmed by the human element in the piecing and stitching. Marveled over the fact that these simple quilts could be so intensely compelling to me and wondered if I, personally, could ever learn to incorporate elements of real connection through my own quilting efforts! Any sort of comparison kinda makes me feel like the dunce in the corner, if you know what I mean.

Quilt by Gwen Marston

The cheapest quilt was $4000 so I only bought three of them. haha  Just kidding. But I did buy her latest book which had all the exhibit quilts included. Figured I could splurge on a souvenir of such a great day.

Quilt by Gwen Marston

So jealous of all you quilters who have access these kinds of great quilt showings on a regular basis! Thank you to the many who share online though, as it gives us rural quilters an opportunity to get the occasional glimpse of a larger quilt world….

*The gal at the museum said it was perfectly alright to upload photos of these quilts on my blog provided I give credit to the maker. It didn’t seem right to post a pic of every quilt though so you’ll have to visit the exhibit to see them all.*wink