Teaching Philosophy

I feel successful when I teach people:

- to see what they look at!

- that it is ok to be different!

- to open a whole new world of creativity for them....

- that there is a solution for every problem (mostly with a quick-unpick!)

- that it is a joy to be creative......

The Creative Mind Plays with the Object it Loves -
Carl Jung

Friday, 18 November 2011

For Jayne and more.....

My friend Jayne:
Some people come into your life for a reason, others for a season and the rest become friends......    I am deviating a bit from My Journey as I need to tell you about my friend Jayne...

I have never really been one for a quilting group as I feel my quilting approach is too individualistic and I don't really fit into the mould!   However, when we moved to East London, I did start a small quilting group to make friends.     I started chatting to a lady at a Kaffrarian Quilters' Guild meeting and I mentioned that I was thinking of starting a group......    We realised that we lived in the same area and decided to meet the next week and see how it went!     Jayne and I later invited 2 other ladies to join us on Wednesday mornings - we became firm friends and were a wonderful support system for each other.

I think the reason we love our quilting friends is for the unconditional support, love, humour and appreciation we get.  

Jayne became a surrogate granny for my kids and kept us going when Willem had to move ahead of us to Harrismith.   She taught me to believe in myself, that one is never too old to try new things, age is just a number and life is for the living.....!    I am convinced that Jayne was born in the wrong generation ...........     When everybody was making pretty pink/blue/green quilts, eyes would pop when Jayne used orange, magenta, lime and black for a bold design and then hand quilt with metallic thread!    Way ahead of her time, never afraid to experiment, quite fearless in her approach....!   I think it rubbed off on me, she always encouraged me to explore, to push my boundaries.....!    She was instrumental in launching my quilting career by taking my quilts to the USA and bringing back an award, kept me sane when I was working on my first exhibition, she constantly encouraged me to push myself further and provided a permanent sounding board for all my ideas..........!    A true friend indeed.

I was fortunate to visit Jayne a week ago and she showed me a wonderful quilt which she made in 2009.    She started the quilt in a workshop - she was 83 years old at the time and won first prize at the East Coast Quilters' Guild (previously the Kaffrarian Quilters' Guild) annual exhibition!   

Jayne McComb and me November 2011 in East London

Jayne's peacock quilt made in 2009 when she was 83 years old

Teaching at Festival 1994:
Teaching at a National Quilt Festival for the first time was so intimidating - I was very anxious ......!   The awards won for African Heritage helped to settle my nerves a bit, but I felt so green............    
Ideas for workshops come to me in the same way as ideas for quilts - I get a mental picture/flash of an idea which I then turn into a workshop.    I vividly remember the idea for this workshop coming to me when I was struggling with designing the 1993 exhibition quilts.    I had leftover motifs (cut pieces where the colours did not work) which I kept to do something different with.    As I was re-arranging these motifs into new designs, the idea came to me to make paper templates for students to help them design Ndebele quilts.    I bought poster paper in various colours and started cutting templates for each student who received a packet of these motifs to design their own wallhanging.  

I met such lovely people in this class and it is still very special to bump into them at National Quilt Festivals...  A few names which I remember - Pat Perry, Annette Miller, Lin Simpson.......

Students busy with Ndebele Machine Applique in 1994, Cape Town
 The students and I survived my first attempt at being a National Quilt Festival Teacher, I will always be extremely grateful for this wonderful opportunity which opened so many new doors for me.

Next time my first encouter with machine embroidery.....

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