Wednesday, April 6, 2011

The 40 Greens of Ireland

Color has always been my thing. Whether I am making it, playing with it or manipulating it for a painting or quilt, I seem to have been born with the color eye and an overwhelming need to be surrounded by it.  

I have noticed as I travel that there is a color palette to every place I go.  In Hawaii it is the blues.  Arizona is pastels.  At Lake Tahoe it’s the turquoises and in Ireland, it is the greens.  They say there are over 40 different greens in Ireland but I think they are wrong - it’s more like 80 plus. I sat in the car counting them, while Joe was avoiding traffic cones and tourist buses on the small and winding Irish roads.  
Narrow road plus you are driving on the left side.

That was keeping my mind off the fact that I might not make it to our next Irish vista.  Joe was either going to kill me and leave me in a Irish bog somewhere never to be found again or we were going to drive head-on into a large tour bus called the PaddyWagon.  Anyways, there are more than 40 greens, I am sure.  

So you see that the reason I haven’t written you sooner is because I was invited to teach at the Quilt Guild of Ireland for their Festival this year in Dublin.  Yes, it was a dream come true to be in Ireland and with some very talentened quilters.  This guild incorporates all of Ireland, both north and south.  How spoiled we are in the states to have quilt guilds in almost every town.  In California, sometimes we have more than one per town. But in Ireland they have just one or 2 groups.  The quilters drove great distances to get to this festival.   OK, in California that is no big deal to drive 4 hours to search for fabrics.  We just call that a "Shop Hop".

They also have a loving respect for their fabrics. Fabric is hard to come by and they don’t waste a bit of it.  I learned that in class one day when I mistakenly told my students that this was a practice piece and you can throw it away when you get home. The whole class yelled out “Oh no!!!!! We can't through it away. We will make something out of it.”  

That’s when I knew I was so spoiled.  Batiks can cost at least 15 euros per meter, which is about $22 a yard American.  So I have a new respect for my fabric collection and went up to my studio and patted them all and said thank you to the big guy (and I didn’t mean Joe!) when I got home.  

So thank you Quilter Guild of Ireland for the wonderful time Joe and I had.  You are warm, gracious and talented.  And you have way more than 40 greens.

More of our Irish adventure to come but I am sleep deprived right now.

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