Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Harriet and I

Have you ever been lucky enough to meet an idol? I've always considered myself to be very blessed. I felt truly blessed last weekend when I spent three whole days with my idol.

I don't know when I first came across Harriet Hargrave's name. I know it had to been over 15 years ago. I remember checking her books out at the local library, again and again. I would think about how awesome her quilting was and would I ever be able to do anything other than quilts that were tied with yarn. I'm a self taught quilter. No one I knew quilted. I started searching out for books that would expand my quilting knowledge. And then I discovered Harriet.

Harriet came to Appleton about three years ago. I wasn't fortunate enough to be one of the lucky ones to get into her classes. However, this year was different. I don't know what I would have done had I not been able to spend three days with Harriet. I guess I could pack my bags and tell Jeff I'm headed off to Denver for a week to be with Harriet.

I thought that I had missed my chance. I don't remember if I was sick or busy the night when the guild opened up enrollment for Harriet's class. I almost stroked out when finding that I missed my opportunity. But Barb, the quilting angel, happened to need a ride to retreat and she happened to have the sign up list and she happened to ask me for a ride. God decided to reward me (for doing what, I'm not sure.)
Three years ago, I did attend the lecture that Harriet had given to the guild after the classes. The lecture was on quilt batting. We guild members seem to love to ask each guest lecturer what batting they like. But I remember thinking that to spend the whole night on quilt batting was over kill. Was I wrong. I forgot to bring paper that night and I only had a small brochure in my purse that I could use to write on. This had to be one of the most informative, useful quilt lectures that I've ever attended. It certainly added to my dismay of missing out of the classes.

This year was different. I came to class armed with my camera and a huge notebook. Man did I need that. Harriet lectured for hours. I do mean it was hours before we sat at the machines. I have pages and pages of notes. I can't wait until I can go back and reread everything and practice, practice, practice. The bridal gown comes first though.

Last weekend, we spent two days on heirloom machine quilting and one day on machine applique. I always wondered how so many quilters can create such perfect stitches. Mine weren't perfect but certainly they were becoming very consistent. I even manged to do feathers. Maybe my biggest achievement was echo quilting. I've never been good at that so I never used that in my quilting. My echo quilting looked like something that I would want in a quilt. All of these quilts belong to Harriet. She brought them to show us that we all can do heirloom machine quilting. It takes practice.

At the end of the last day, I went up to Harriet and thanked her for the great time and all the information. I had tears in my eyes. I was thinking about how long I waited for this moment and how lucky I was to spend time with her. I was also thinking how lucky I was to have a great husband. While I was working on my quilting, my spouse was pulling carpet and staples out of the floor without a complaint about me being MIA. I can only hope that my future holds more days with Harriet. Possibly Denver?

Now if only Bono can come to town. Sigh.

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