Dictionary.com defines a Mentor as a “wise and trusted counselor or teacher”. I think this a perfect definition of a mentor, especially a quilting mentor.
This post continues my series on exploring of my sources of creative inspiration (previous post in this series – Creative Inspiration: Quiet, Stillness, and Daydream). I am lucky to have four key quilting mentors (so far) in my life: Judy D., Roxanne Carter, Betty Anne Guadalupe and Jean Wells Keenan. Each of these mentors have inspired me in different ways.
Quilting Mentor #1: Judy D.
Judy D. is a former coworker and dear friend who convinced me to start quilting in the late 1990s. If it was not for her, I would not be a quilter. Judy, an experienced quilter, convinced me to work on my first quilt. She patiently engaged in quite a bit of hand holding to get me through my first quilt: taking me to quilt shops, showing me the basics, accompanying me to my first quilting class, etc. I call her my “Quilt Momma” as she helped give birth to me as a quilter!
Judy has given me a lifetime gift that has brought much happiness to myself and family and friends who now snuggle under the quilts I have made them.
Quilting Mentor #2: Roxanne Carter
Roxanne Carter of Quilting with Roxanne was my first quilting teacher. She is a brilliant and masterful quilter (a quilting genius) as well as an excellent and patient teacher, renown for her wonderful quilt making patterns which make complex looking quilts easy to construct. I was fortunate enough to take classes in her beautiful home studio as well as attend monthly “Girls Night Out” where she provided ongoing mentoring. Now see her once a year at one of her retreats in Monroe, WA.
Using her easy to follow patterns and learning quilting under her exceptional teaching style, I gained confidence in my technical quilting ability as a new quilter.
Fritz & Snickers (our first rescued miniature schnauzers) wrapped in the first quilt I ever made – one of Roxanne Carter’s Irish Chain style patterns, completed under the patient mentoring of Judy D.
Quilting Mentor #3: Betty Anne Guadalupe
I met Betty Anne when I first moved to Central Oregon at a quilt shop and we kept running into each other around town. It was as if the universe wanted us to be friends. She had also recently moved to Central Oregon and was establishing herself as a professional long-arm quilter. Meeting Betty Anne was a pivotal moment in my path towards becoming an art quilter – she got me interested in abstract art quilting and helped me move beyond traditional quilting. Although both of us still enjoy making traditional quilts, there is something so thrilling about designing your own textile creation.
Betty Anne introduced me to using less traditional fabrics in quilts such as recycled garment manufacturing scraps, denim and wool. Our experiments with recycled silk scraps led to the creation of The Wardrobe Meets the Wall Collection.
My first abstract modern quilt piecing adventure under the mentoring of Betty Anne Guadalupe
Quilting Mentor #4: Jean Wells Keenan
My newest mentor is someone I have admired for a long time – Jean Wells Keenan, owner of the Stitchin’s Post quilt shop, teacher, author, and a inductee into the Quilters Hall of Fame. I briefly discuss the influence of her two brilliant art quilting books, Intuitive Color and Design: Adventures in Art Quilting and Journey to Inspired Art Quilting, on my creativity in the post Creative Inspiration: Nature.
Jean Wells Keenan brought intuitive creative design in quilting to the Central Oregon quilting community and her work has been an important influence in my move from traditional to art quilting. She is an excellent and inspiring teacher and I have been fortunate to be in several of her workshops as well as attend SAQA (Studio Art Quilt Associates) meetings with her. I live in a wonderful art quilting community and I am inspired many of my fellow local SAQA members and their daring and innovative art quilts.
Random Not So Random – recycled silk art quilt inspired by the line work of Jean Wells Keenan. Part of The Wardrobe Meets the Wall Collection.
I hope someday to be a quilting mentor and inspire others on their creative path like these four wonderful women have inspired my creativity.