I am one of only a few Art Quilters in the traditional quilting group, Quiltessence Quilters, so I was so pleased that our guest speaker this month was an Art Quilter. Her name is Joyce Hughes, and she is an original voice. She is in her 7th year of art quilting, only a little longer than myself. As a child she hated to sew – felt the sewing machine was her enemy. Her sisters and mother were accomplished quilters, and the comparison didn’t encourage her! As an adult she decided with some friends to make tee shirt quilts as gifts. None of the group even owned a sewing machine. Joyce researched what to do on line, and just got started, borrowing her mothers Bernina.  Her first quilt was for her daughter’s boyfriend, who enthusiastically encouraged her. Only when his quilt turned out well did her daughter relinquish some tee shirts for her own quilt. She went on to develop her own methods: fussy cutting and fusing elements of fabrics, such as flowers, and organizing her compositions. Her first piece, One Sweet Day, ended up with a viewers choice award in a quilt show in Lancaster. She showed us many of her pieces over the years, always full of color and exuberance.  When she began teaching she started up utilize fabric panels to encourage her students to enhance them with stitching. Naturally the resulting piece cannot be called completely original, but she has achieved some stunning results by rearranging the elements and stitching. You can decide for yourself – see Panel Play on her website. http://www.joycehughesoriginals.com/home.html

Cheers, Joyce! I was so glad to have met you.

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