Over the weekend I was in Reedley, California, for their semiannual quilt show. Reedley is not far from Fresno. That’s right, Fresno, where the hot sun turns grapes into raisins. It was 99 degrees on Friday. My neighbor Donna and I nearly suffered heat prostration trying to get everything loaded in and set up.
I was delighted to be there, though, because the amazing Janice Whittington was one of the featured artists!
Jan’s daughter Shamara runs Second Chance Fabrics, a genius concern that rescues unused fabric out of quilters’ stashes and gives it a second chance! Jan helps out at the booth at shows, and mom and daughter have become buddies of mine.
Part of Jan’s display was a collection of Biology Quilts. Let me see if I can get the story straight. Jan’s husband Nathan, Shamara’s dad, is a high-school biology teacher. When they moved to a new building, the high ceilings made the room echo. Plus, the articulated cow skeleton couldn’t come along, so the space that had been dedicated to it in the new classroom was now bare. On top of that, the school administration sent down a decree that there could be no nails in the new walls.
Now you know what a quilter does with bare spaces and echoing halls. Jan immediately started on a series of quilts to go in that new classroom. The rebel in her came out. She went down there herself to put the nails in the walls. “They’re not MY boss,” she says LOL!
Here are some of the pieces in her amazing biology series.
Inspired by her husband’s many coastal class field trips.
The first quilt Jan made to help baffle the echoes.
My personal favorite. Now how many people do you know who’ve made a bacteria quilt?
Here’s another of Jan’s quilts that I just loved.
From the Aztec Rose Garden pattern by Colette Belt. Longarm quilted by Cynthia McGunigle of Mac Quilting, Fresno.
Beautiful pattern, beautiful colors, beautiful appliqué.
Well done Jan!
By Sunday the temperature had gone down to “only” 85. The local residents said they were grateful for the cool weather.
Until next time,
By Kay Mackenzie