Friday, October 19, 2012

Linda Hahn at AQG

Last night my quilt guild, AQG, hosted a lecture and trunk show by Linda Hahn. She talked about the experience of writing and publishing her book, New York Beauty Simplified.

Linda Hahn was a wonderful speaker, very funny and very informative. She is teaching a class for AQG on Saturday, but I said I would judge a beer competition that day, so I can't go. 

Here are my take-aways from her presentation:
  • The backs of her quits tell a story -- often about cocktails -- using great novelty fabrics. I love novelty fabrics and this is a great use for them. She also makes the sleeves match the backing, so they just blend in.
  • The titles of the quilts seem to reflect the mood of the quilt rather than anything about the actual pattern (Soho, and Cosmos at the Copa). I want to work on better, more interesting names for my quilts, and this is a good approach.
  • Quilt book publishing works on a 6 month cycle and all the quilts in the books are made using current fabrics from manufacturers, which apparently the manufacturers give the author (probably through the publisher's contacts, Linda Hahn didn't really go into that and I didn't think to ask). 
  • There are a lot of quits to be created from the basic NY Beauty block. I liked some of the settings in the book a lot more than others, but I loved the idea of mixing and matching different sizes and fabrics in the quilts to create different patterns. Her next book, NY Beauty Diversified, mixes the block with others to create different patterns.
  • She showed a quilt which is in the book, but isn't that exciting in the photos. It was fabulous in person. The quilt is called "Midnight in Manhattan" and the background fabric is a subtly sparkly black fabric to which she added hot-fix crystals after quilting. The sparkle doesn't show in the book, but in person it looked exactly like the sidewalks in Manhattan (the ones on Park Avenue at least) which sparkle like they have diamonds in them at night. When I was a kid I thought those sidewalks were the coolest thing and this quilt brought back memories of walking there.
  • I think a NY Beauty block could make an excellent front flap on a handbag. The trunk show included a clutch bag with a half circle NY Beauty on it which made me think about how the quarter curve could make the front flap on the little purses I make.
  • It was great to listen to her talk--I haven't heard a speaker with a solid NY accent in a long time.
  • I bought a copy of her book so I can learn her simplified technique--only one pin!--for this great block (and be inspired by the beautiful quilts she created).

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