Fiber Guild members again participated in the French Art Colony’s Mardi Gras Celebration and Silent Auction by donating another group project showcasing 12 blocks representing the various skills of our members.
We donate the wall hangings because we want to thank the FAC for allowing us to meet without charge, but also because we want to let people know that we welcome new members who enjoy a wide range of fiber-related activities. Last year was our first venture into a group fiber art project and we learned a lot about working together, what would and would not work in melding various fiber media from a dozen contributors!
This year’s construction committee included Cathy Clark, Marlene Gruetter and Mary Payne. It only took two group meetings–the first to decide on the overall layout and cut patterns, and the second to sew the 12 blocks onto the locations that complemented the overall look of the project. In between these meetings, Mary sewed the three banners, Marlene looked for additional embellishments, and Cathy went to Arizona!
Once the blocks were situated, Cathy used her midarm quilting machine to stabilize the three banners that made up the triptych. The central banner of dark gray felt has simple curving lines of quilting, but the two side banners of shimmering gray satin have more than 12 patterns of closely quilted background stitching. The effect of the quilting on satin produces a shimmering texture that must be seen in person–photos cannot capture it.
Figuring 10 cents per square inch (a common standard for setting prices for art quilts) this year’s 3-paneled wall hanging was valued at over $1100.
Bev Walker, FAC volunteer and chair of the Silent Auction, and Joseph Wright, Director of the French Art Colony, were forwarned that our group fiber project was large–5 feet wide and 6 feet long, so they planned ahead for a way to exhibit the piece to its best advantage.
In fact, it was the most dramatic of any of the items in the Silent Auction, straight ahead of people entering the splendidly decorated hall of the Moose Lodge.
The Auction was not as heavily attended as last year’s, but there were many generous donations and buyers. My husband, Chuck and I, wandered around to see vacations, meals, jewelry, tools, decorative items and services. And of course, we sampled the New Orleans-inspired finger foods and listened to a live band!
During the evening hours, attendees wandered past the auction tables, adding bids to items that struck their fancy. At 9:30, bids were closed and the last and highest bidders made their checks out to the French Art Colony and took their purchases home. It was a fun evening, and I was glad to see the generosity of so many Gallia residents.
This year’s wall hanging provided support for future French Art Colony’s community activities, a total of $300. And the delighted purchaser is ……. our own Carol Bowers! The best thing is, we will have “visitation privileges” once she has it hung in her home!