Laura Fogg

Photos

CA95415_35_01.jpg
CA95415_34_01.jpg

Title

Laura Fogg

Identifier

CA95415-34

Interviewee

Laura Fogg

Interviewer

Karen Musgrave

Interview Date

8/03/07

Interview sponsor

The Salser Family Foundation

Location

Boonville, California

Transcriber

Kim Greene

Transcription

Karen Musgrave (KM): This is Karen Musgrave. I'm doing a Quilters' S.O.S. - Save Our Stories interview with Laura Fogg. It is March 8, 2007. It is 7:11 in the evening, and I'm in Philo, California. Thank you so much for agreeing to do an interview with me. Tell me about the quilt that you brought for the interview.

Laura Fogg (LF): This is a fairly typical quilt for me. It is called "Brodiaea on Greenwood Ridge," and I love doing the landscapes. That is mostly what I do after having lived in this county for over thirty-five years. Every place I go there is just another scene that I want to capture. So I started doing this collage style raw edge landscape. The whole thing is under a layer, well in this case, I didn't use toile, I used, I'm not sure what this stuff is called, it is voile or organza.

KM: [looking at the quilt and the fabric specifically.] Organza.

LF: It is really transparent, but under that I've layered different fabrics to get the sky and the distant hillside. I have several layers of the white organza over both the sky and those distant hills to try and gray them down, make them look like they go into the distance. Fewer layers over the closer hills. Then I've got multiple kind of collagy bits of gold fabric to get the up close hills that are that burnt, you know the late spring gold that we get around here. I have used silks in this one and various other satins and rayons and collaged them together to get some of the shadows and the three dimensionality of the rolling hills. Over all of that I put a dyed organza that is a brighter gold, but, what is the word, variegated so that it changes shade. What it looks like is that the sun is shining down through holes in the clouds. That is just the background and I quilt the whole thing. It is quilted fairly tightly. I kind of use the needle on the sewing machine like a pen. I'm a pretty good pen and ink artist, so I see that I can use a sewing machine the same way. All that forms the background. Then what I do is the foreground. The big focus of the quilt to me is the foreground, which goes on raw edge on top of the whole background piece. Everywhere I drive in this county there are dilapidated barns and fence lines. There is this feeling that people have been here forever, leading their lives, doing their jobs. The signs of what those bygone people have done are still here. The signs that our rural way of life goes back for generations, so the old fence lines are particularly attractive to me. The fence line in this quilt is really run down, and the four fence posts are used to exaggerate the perspective so it looks more immediate. This quilt doesn't do it as much as some I make. Sometimes I really have my landscape disappear to a vanishing point. In this case, the fence posts are exaggerated in size in relation to the background so you feel like you are standing right by the fence posts and looking through them to the background. Each fence post is made of probably ten or fifteen different fabrics. I use selvage edges, I use torn strips of fabric, I use scraps, I use novelty yarns and trims, and just add then all on and sew over the whole thing every which way with thread. Then I've got the broken old barbed wire on the fence which is done with a yarn that has slubs in it, so they are just appliquéd on by machine, kind of bent and tangled the way they would be if they were all worn out. Then on top of that, it is just one layer after another, I get to do the wildflowers. The wildflowers here are just spectacular in the springtime because the whole county just absolutely comes alive. The ones I chose for this quilt, brodiaea, are one of the last wildflowers that bloom before the hot summer sun kills everything. So I have these very up close brodiaea that are actually in front of the fence, and I've done each individual flower with two or three or four different fabrics, and each flower is part of a cluster of flowers that makes the whole brodiaea. They are pretty detailed and they are very sloppy. I think that nature is sloppy. There are brown things and dead leaves in nature, like the little calyxes that are on the buds that roll back, which are brown and sloppy. I made them out of some kind of crepe. I've got flowers that are falling down, every one is individualized. There are no patterns, there is no right way or wrong way, I let them bunch and turn over each other, and I use the back sides of the fabric and try to give my flowers a really dynamic feeling. So that was a long answer to your short question. [laughs.]

KM: No it was not a long answer, it was a wonderful answer. When did you make this quilt?

LF: This quilt I finished about two months ago. This is one of my more recent pieces.

KM: How often do you work on your quiltmaking?

LF: I do it really in fits and starts. I have a full time job and I'm also a writer. So there is a lot of time on weekends or when I get vacations from my job. I don't work in the evening because I'm kind of tired and I don't have creative energy in the evening. When I don't have that feeling of energy I can't do anything. A lot of the time I work directly from nature itself. I will pick flowers and bring them into the house and use them for my patterns, or I will look out the window, or I work from photographs that I have taken. But I have to have that feeling of immediacy, I've got to be up for it and feel like I am experiencing this scene right now. It has to be something that I have seen and loved enough to take a picture of it. So when I'm feeling flat and tired at the end of the day, nothing happens. Plus, I'm getting old and it is hard to see in the dark, so nighttime is not my time to quilt. I get three day weekends usually, so Friday, Saturday, and Sunday I will do three or four hours in a day sometimes, not a whole lot. I have a short attention span and I get tired of being indoors. I'm a really outdoors person so being indoors is confining even though I love doing the art. There are always other things I want to do; gardening, hiking, mountain biking. Just doing things with people. Art is solitary and it is sedentary and that is not who I am, but I do find time for it. It is a balancing act.

KM: When did you start making quilts?

LF: I had made a few fairly traditional bed quilts through my young adulthood, and I joined the Mendocino Quilt Artists in 1997. That was the year that the last of my children left home. I have three kids, and I was faced with a five bedroom, two-story farmhouse with nobody in it but me. I thought I could put all my time and energy and money into maintaining this house for one person, or I could sell it, move into town, get something smaller and more manageable and find out what I do to amuse myself. That is what I did. It became possible to join the quilt guild at that time. I remember the first retreat I went to, I had no idea what raw edge appliqué was, and I saw a couple of people doing that. Right afterwards, I took just about the only quilt class I have ever taken, which was at an Asilomar in California near Monterey with Natasha Kempers-Cullen. Other people from the quilt group were going down and they were all taking a class with Caryl Bryer Fallert and it was full by the time I signed up, because I was late. I had just joined the guild. I wanted to go anyway and I just kind of looked through the brochure to see if there was anything else that looked interesting and this idea of collage looked really interesting and it was just this ‘Ah Ha’ experience. We were all supposed to be doing little collagy thingies that were two feet square, and my class piece turned out to be four feet by five feet. [laughs.] Natasha, bless her heart, quit complaining and let me do what I wanted to do. That piece was a representation of the Grand Canyon, because that was another major thing that happened to me. I had just come back from a two week float through the entire two hundred and sixty-three miles of the Grand Canyon and I had this, sort of an epiphany which happens to most people who go through there, 'Oh my gosh, I have got to do art.' It was a really life changing experience. That first quilt had to be a Grand Canyon quilt.

KM: It couldn't be small.

LF: No, the Grand Canyon is huge. The absolute scale of the place is enormous, and that had to be reflected in my quilt. The next quilt I made was another Grand Canyon one and it was about six feet by seven feet, and I still have that one in my house. It just had to be that big. I generally work on a pretty large scale, although I'm finding that it is kind of fun to try some smaller things.

KM: Is this smaller than you usually do?

LF: This is about half the size or less than half the size of most.

KM: We should state that this is thirty-two by forty-one.

LF: So most of my quilts are in the four by five, five by six, six by seven range. I am finding that it is a lot easier to do the small ones. Another interesting thing about this technique is that I do it in stages. The first part. actually the middle part of this quilt. is four inches less in diameter each way than the finished outside dimension. I get all of that middle part quilted first. I discovered totally by accident that I can quilt the middle part while the piece is still small and then add borders. Sometimes I add three or four borders, because I really like Persian rugs and the way they have the centered emblem and then lots of concentric borders, so I do a lot of that. Sometimes I will realize that after I have done a border that the piece isn't finished, and I will add another border and another one before I put on the foreground appliqué. I am doing ninety percent of that appliqué around the edges, so I almost never have to get back into the middle of the huge piece and try to struggle to find a way to quilt it on my home sewing machine.

KM: Is quiltmaking in your family?

LF: No, not at all. When I was a child my mother had one old battered Texas Star quilt that I think her mother had made, or her grandmother, I'm not sure. She let my brother and me use it outdoors for picnics and we just beat the trash out of it. Then she would wash it in the washing machine. The last time I ever remember seeing that quilt it was hanging up on the clothesline with all of its cotton batting kind of hanging loose at the bottom of it, and a few little tired ties holding what was left of it together. It just ended up in the garbage can. My mother sewed clothes for me all the way through school. They were extremely sturdy clothes. She went over the button holes six times, and everything was strong. They weren't particularly attractive, but I remember always watching her sew and she was frequently at the sewing machine, so it is fun for me to go through the fabric or play in her button box and play with all of her notions. I didn't sew much but I always wanted to be an artist. I didn't officially go to art school. I was more interested in marine biology and did a lot of that, but then ended up doing my BA in Art History after all, so I kind of kept my original focus. I took art classes all the way through college and then ended up being a teacher. As an adult I always have taken junior college art classes and also made a lot of my own clothing. But the trouble with clothing is that you make something fantastic and you wear it twice and everybody has seen it and then it is boring. So, when it finally dawned on me that I could do quilts, a little more then ten years ago, it instantly became a passion. [laughs.] And I think quilts. I drive all over the county for my job and I look out the windshield of the county car and I bring the camera with me and I just see the whole world in quilts. Sometimes I stop if I've got a few extra minutes. Stop and take pictures. I did a one-person show called, "Roadside Miracles" and the whole show was just things that I saw looking through the windshield of the county car. I have enough quilts that I could do another one of those shows now.

KM: How has quiltmaking impacted your family?

LF: Well it is almost an irrelevant question now because my kids have grown.

KM: What do they think about it?

LF: The kids, they are my biggest fans.

KM: That is good.

LF: Every time that I come up with another one, or when I win a prize or something, the three of them just say 'Go mom.' [laughs.] They love my quilts. Each of them. We have another interesting thing here. Our family owns a huge ranch in Santa Clara County right on the coast. Highway One goes through it, and there is a mile of our own beach at this place. It has been in the family since 1917. My kids' great grandparents bought it then. So my children are now in the fourth generation of owners and it is a place where they grew up spending a lot of their time. It was my ex-husband's family so I'm not an owner but I still get to go there a lot. We just love it. We have a lot of our celebrations there. I made a quilt for each of my kids and each of my nieces, who are like my own children, which all have the theme of Coastways Ranch. Those quilts have been in a lot of shows. When people see my shows they seem to always gravitate towards the Coastways Ranch quilts and I think it is because of my emotional connection with the place. I got six of those quilts done. One of them ended up on the photo finish of Quilter's Newsletter Magazine and that same one was printed in a calendar. It is just a spectacular place. The kids are thrilled with it. They go to my shows when they can and they tell their friends about me. My son just commissioned me to make a quilt, a small one for one of his best friend's birthday present, and I think that is cute.

KM: What are you going to do?

LF: It will be a little landscape of the place where this young woman grew up in Mendocino County. I just kind of interviewed her a little bit, asked her what she likes the best about the property that her family has up in the hills. She likes trillium flowers, so there is going to be a trillium in front, with the hills in the middle ground, and probably a fence line because that has to be there.

KM: What are you plans for this quilt?

LF: Well, this one now is on its way tomorrow to a show I'm doing at the UCSC Arboretum. UCSC is University of California Santa Cruz. I have a one person show there at the arboretum that opens tomorrow, no not tomorrow, it opens on Saturday for their annual Hummingbird Day Celebration, and then it is going to stay up there for a month and a half at least until their Aroma Garden opens. So I made this one and six others that are specifically arboretum quilts. They have all these bizarre plants, gravelias and leucadendrons and all these weird things that come from Australia and New Zealand, so I made six smallish quilts featuring those things and then the hummingbirds too. Two of them have hummingbirds in them then other botanical kinds of things. So this quilt will start there and some of them will probably sell and some won't. I have another show in 2008 in La Conner, Washington, which is sort of Washington's answer to the town of Mendocino. So I have the whole. This is scary. I have the whole second floor of the museum to myself. It is going to be during their Tulip Festival, which is the ultimate time of the
year to have a show there. Many of the quilts will be specifically Skagit Valley quilts, but I'll also do other related botanicals and farming or barn scenes. So I went up there and took a bunch of pictures. And then I went on a cruise with my father to Alaska and on that cruise I got five of these Skagit Valley barn quilts started. I did all the cutting and collaging and pinning and that kind of stuff, so I'm on my way. Then I have other quilts that are waterfalls and plants and stuff. I will have to have eight or ten new pieces that are specifically barns and tulips.

KM: Do you sketch things out ahead of time?

LF: No. I use sometimes two, three, four, or five pictures just to remind me what I felt like being there. Luckily for me I'm good enough at rendering that I know where things want to be, but with this collage technique, if I screw up and put something down and I don't like it I can just pick it up because it doesn't get sewn down until the entire composition is something I like. But I'm getting to the point that it is right the first time, which is really fun. The thing that is the most interesting about this is if I sketch my scene first and then try to do it in a quilt, the quilt is a copy of an original piece of art, and it goes flat.

KM: How interesting.

LF: I discovered that a long time ago when I was doing self-portraits in an art class. The first thing we had to do was do a self-portrait from a photograph. I worked and worked at it, and it was a great portrait. The second thing we did was a self-portrait from looking in the mirror, and the difference between the two was night and day. The up close actual reflection of me was full of life, and the previous one that was done from the photograph had no depth. You looked in the eyes and it didn't go any further. So to me the energy of the creation is the most important element of the whole piece. So I can't copy when I'm creating.

KM: That is great.

LF: So every one is different. I could never have made a pattern of one of these quilts. I could never make a copy of one. I tried that one time. I did a quilt that was really cool and somebody wanted one like it and it just bored me to tears. I wasn't much fun to do that.

KM: Let's talk about the Hilos [Los hilos de la vida (Threads of Life) quilt group.] group and their collage, because they do collage.

LF: They do and that, that was just a really fun project for me to get involved in. I'm not involved with them currently for lack of time, which I'm really sorry about. But two summers ago Susan Kerr, who started the group and was one of the Mendocino Quilt Artist members so of course we are friends, was starting to teach these women. None of them had an art background. None of them had any sewing background and Susan was really trying to get some help so they would learn some technique so they could start making their story quilts. So I came two or three times, maybe even four over the summer. I was able, for whomever was there on the particular days I showed up, to help a bit. I brought a lot of examples of my quilts and I brought pieces that were in progress, and then I made a little quilt right there in front of them to show them some ideas about how you can layer this collage stuff together, and put the tulle over it. Somebody else showed the women some things about how to do the free motion quilting and I think some of them are doing that. A lot of them are doing zigzag. It was a lot of fun for me because my Spanish is decent so I was able to present my whole lecture in just Spanish and they were really having fun. I first encountered the Hilos at their first show in Boonville and they had some pieces up on the wall that really struck me. Their work was really emotional and literally raw in all ways. I was struck not with their technique but by the really heartfelt stories the women told about themselves, about their families that they were missing, about their relationship with their husbands and their children and their work, and their grief about being stuck in this land where they don't really belong and where they are unable to get back and forth easily. So at that show, I read every single one of the little blurbs that the women had written, and then I went around the room again and read them all again. I met a couple of the women, so that was a lot of fun for me to just to connect with then and see their project. Professionally I'm a teacher, so this whole thing kind of dovetailed really nicely to get a chance to do a little bit of teaching. I think those women needed unleashing more then they needed teaching because they brought their own energy to this quilting project. We didn't provide that. We just kind of formed a conduit for them to express themselves. I haven't known them before since I don't live in Anderson Valley, where the Salsita group was making their cookbook [Secrets of Salsa.]. I knew about it but I didn't ever come over here to participate in any of that. I have just gotten to know some of the women through Hilos project that they are doing.

KM: Tell me about your quilt group. You have touched on it.

LF: Our quilt group, I don't know. I think everybody thinks they belong to the best quilt group in the world, and I'm pretty sure I belong to the best quilt group in the world. To me it is a lot more than a quilt group. I think the smallness is one of the things that is really interesting to me. We only have eleven members, and we thought about that. We actually pared down. We had a few more members and there were people who weren't coming and they weren't doing the projects, and we kind of ended up deciding that they could have a choice of either doing most of the projects or just being what we call ‘loose threads,’ so we lost a few. There is no animosity. This group wasn't really the right place for people who didn't want to do art. We call ourselves the Mendocino Quilt Artists and we put a lot of energy into doing art, and supporting each other, egging each other on, inspiring each other, and kicking each other in the pants once in a while. We actually are getting closer and closer emotionally to each other and beginning to realize that different members of the group have entirely different learning styles and entirely different creative styles. One of the things that we did that I think was the most interesting was that we actually had a facilitated meeting about our process. That was a real eye opener because I have known the women before but I wasn't as aware. I'm really sure of myself artistically and verbally, and I can be a little blind to other people who are quieter. It never had dawned on me that everybody just didn't approach this quilt group with this sense of comfort and abandon that I do, and there are some people in the group that are a little quiet. When we went through this facilitation each person was asked by the facilitator how do you see your future as a quilter and what do you want in your own artistic life? Our answers were so different, and we started talking about how each of us wants to get there and what kind of process works for you and you and you. We were asked, on a scale of one to ten, how much does this group mean? Not socially but artistically, how much does this group meet your needs? I heard for the first time that there are some people who only answered maybe five or six. They were feeling a little overrun by those of us who are mouthy, or more vocal, more energetic. Another thing that I hadn't communicated to people before, even though I talk a lot, was realizing for myself that what I wanted out of the group is more art energy. I want to not be one of the few people who really, really wants to do art. I don't want to be having to push people or beg them or ask them to be creative. I want them to be bringing energy to share. Just because I said that doesn't necessarily mean that is what is happening all of a sudden, but I think that the energy has changed. Our respect for each other changed. We still remind each other to do a little bit less jumping in when there is a critique. Somebody will bring a piece that is partially finished and they will say what do you think of this or they will just put it out. A lot of us used to dive in and clamor ‘oh gee if you do a purple border here.’ Blah blah blah. We are trying to stand back and remind each other that maybe that isn't the way we want to do it. We are trying to remember to ask the artist, what are you seeing in this piece, in your piece? We are not all going to do the same kind of art. So we are learning to ask, ‘What are you saying with it? Where you want to go with it? What do you want to hear from us? Are you feeling fragile about it? Are you feeling confident about it?’ That extra level of awareness changed a lot for me.

KM: Why did you decide to have a facilitator come in?

LF: It was, oh I remember. We had been entering the AQS [American Quilters Society.] Ultimate Guild Challenge. We did it for five years in a row and very successfully, and we
had an idea to do a project for, I guess it was the fifth year, maybe it was the sixth year, I don't remember. We had this idea. Two people came up with the idea. it was Ann and Joyce who usually come up with the bones of what we are going to do for structure. And we started talking about it, started working on our individual pieces and it didn't gel. There was something, a real disconnect that we didn't all see the challenge the same way. Everybody's process was highly different, and then we had this question that was pretty impossible to solve right then. Okay, what is this group? Are we a group that exists to do the same thing that holds together for a show or are we a group that is going to really support and sponsor each individual's wild and crazy and wonderful and unique quilting self. Or are we both? The big issue behind the question of how we could make this project come together was the importance of starting to talk about what is our definition, who are we, should we be trying to make all of these quilts that were giving us nightmares into a cohesive show or should we not? Again I think it was Ann [Horton.] and Joyce [Paterson.] who came up with the idea of having the facilitator. I'm not sure we totally have our questions answered, but we came up with a lot of ideas and a lot of discussion and it was really worthwhile. At this point, after doing all of that, we don't see that we could even consider having another person come into this group because there is a level of intimacy now that just didn't exist before that process.

KM: Do you think of yourself as an artist or a quiltmaker, or do you make that distinction?

LF: I see myself as an artist who uses textiles as my medium. It is so much fun for me because I have dabbled in every medium known to mankind. Just absolutely everything. I'm sort of good at painting, I'm sort of good at drawing, and I'm sort of good at pen and ink, and I make decent ceramics, but none of it ever was something that lit a fire under me. Then when I discovered this raw edge technique, it was this tremendous release. That finally I'd found my medium. I adore fabric. I have always loved it and collected it and sewed clothes and things, but I got tired of sewing clothes and that wasn't what I wanted to do. I just never had been able to find a way to express myself in art. So these things that I do are basically paintings that are done not with paint. they are paintings that are done with textiles. The dimensionality that I can achieve with the cloth is something that I can't do with painting. There is this organic quality of the texture and the transparency of fabric, and it's convenient too. I have done a lot of mural painting, and again I'm good at it but not great. And with mural painting you have to do it outside, and it is
either too hot or too cold or it’s too wet or its too buggy or its too windy or, or too light, too dark, too something. The nice thing about making quilts is that you can do them indoors, even though indoors isn't my favorite place in the world, it is the only place to do art, unless you are outside doing concrete art, which I did too. It's not my only medium, but it is one. I'm messing around with mosaic now and I'm loving that. I have been doing it totally free form. There are other places I would like to go. I would like to have the time to start doing art that is abstract, completely non-objective. There are one hundred and ten more things I want to do, and time. Time doesn't allow it right now, which is okay.

KM: Describe your studio.

LF: My studio is what used to be the living room on my house. It is on the north side of the house and it is a fairly ample sized room and it is not furnished. All it has is my sewing table and the drafting table and the floor. I'm a person who works on the floor. I love the floor and with big pieces that is necessary. I had a little room which was what my youngest child used for a bedroom when she lived with me for one last year while going to junior college. When she left home her room was used as the guest room for many years, but what I just did was to take the bed out. Now the whole room has shelves around three sides of it for my stash, and I can stand in the middle of that room and see very single piece of fabric I own.

KM: How wonderful.

LF: I was smart enough to put little shades on the windows so there is no light. My desk is in that room too and I open up the shades when I go in there to work on the computer, but otherwise the fabric doesn't have any light shining on it. I just love it. I live on a very quiet street in a really quiet town and my sewing table is in the window, where I can look out across my porch across my front yard into the street. People I know walk by and they wave at me, and the UPS driver walks up and hands me packages, and if somebody goes by that I want to see I can just walk out on the front porch and invite them in for tea or something. My studio space is really integrated into my world. The front door of my house opens into the studio, so anybody who walks in the house has to walk right through the mess and go through to the new front room that has I had added onto the back of the house.

KM: So are you a messy creator?

LF: I'm a pretty messy creator. When a quilt is in the works it is in the works and I have. Right now I think I have about maybe twelve to fifteen quilts happening. So I don't start one and finish it and then go on to the next one. I have piles and it is really hard to find an empty place. Even with this wonderful new storage room, there is no place to store quilts that are in the works. And you can't fold them because they get kind of permanently wrinkled, so they get stacked up on the floor and they get moved around from the bed to the [laughs.] floor to the drafting table back to the bed. My new guest room instantly became a quilt storage room. I have an awful lot of quilts rolled up under the bed and draped across it. So the whole house is being taken over.

KM: Wonderful.

LF: It is fun.

KM: What advice would you offer someone who is starting out?

LF: Just do it. [laughs.] I teach quilting classes and I get a lot of students who are very new beginners and that is something I have a lot of fun with. What people will say to me is, 'Oh I could never do it like you', and I always tell them, 'Thank heavens, because wouldn't life be so boring if we all did it the same way?' So I really try to support people. You know their art is unique to them and because they are doing it, it is art and it is beautiful. A lot of time with the classes, I have the students go around and look at each others' pieces a lot, because what we are doing is celebrating that uniqueness and look what this person is doing with the sky! I don't tell people how to do the sky. I give them fifteen ideas and then they come up with twelve more and I learn a lot from the students too, so that is that is always fresh and interesting. People say they can't draw trees or hills, but I don't care. They do really, really great things on the first try. Once in a while we get somebody who just can't get over the hump, but most of the time people are willing to accept this idea of just trying something. So I will go around and help people look at their photographs and get some kind of mental idea of what they are going to be doing with it. That is that individuality that really excites me. There are a number of people who, after the very first time they have taken the class for me, have been able to enter the piece into the local fair and some have gotten prizes.

KM: That is wonderful.

LF: It is really validating for me too.

KM: Well, believe it or not we have just a little time left, we don't have much though. Is there anything else you would like to add?

LF: How grateful I am for the quilt group because I didn't quilt before I ran into the group.

KM: That is cool.

LF: I'm lucky.

KM: Who invited you in?

LF: It was Ann. She and I were across-the-street neighbors for years. Her kids are a little bit younger than mine, but we had kids going through school approximately at the same time. Ann had inspired me many times. I sometimes went down to her house and looked at her quilts and said, 'Oh I want to do that.' The same thing that my students say, 'I wish I could do it as well as you.' I just knew I didn't have time, because raising the kids and working full time and maintaining property in Redwood Valley was all I could handle. When you have property you are just always doing something to it, and I just couldn't find the time. But once I did join the group, I loved the support that I got from those people, the positive reinforcement, the group energy. We don't do much quilting on the same project. We all make our individual stuff, and we don't meet a lot. We meet twice a month, but we support each other. Every time I have something to bring to the group, I know there will be ten people who are really excited about it. And they are also going to have some ideas. I generally don't think I need too many ideas from the group, because I sort of dream these things. It is on an emotion level, it is not on a visual level, but then I start them and it is all about me and my expression and I don't need people to tell me what to do. But once in a while it is really fun to have somebody come up with, 'Gosh what would it look like if you used red in the borders, your colors are so quiet'. I don't want to use red, I don't use red, but I just finished a quilt that has a red border and it is just zappy, so that's a lot of fun. I think just the therapeutic aspect of working through stuff with women who are really good friends and just expressing yourself in art, means you are expressing
yourself in other ways, so there is this amazing level of intimacy. I don't know what I would go at this point without my women friends, my quilting friends. I have this fantasy that I would like to go live in Scotland for a year since my heritage is Scottish, Irish, English and Welsh and I would like to go see the place, but I'm not sure I want to leave the quilt group. [laughs.] It is kind of a joke that we all have that nobody can move away. It's just been one of the most supportive things I could ever imagine. There is nobody in the group that I don't like. I have learned to like people better and better and better, and all for different reasons so there is a completely individual relationship with each person in the group. That is pretty special. I think it is an interesting dichotomy, that the group is about being a group, but it is also about the uniqueness of each individual.

KM: Excellent. I think this is a good point to stop before we run out of tape.

LF: Excellent.

KM: Thank you for sharing. It was a wonderful interview.

LF: Thank you.

KM: We are going to conclude our interview at 7:55.


Citation

“Laura Fogg,” Quilters' S.O.S. -- Save Our Stories, accessed April 13, 2024, https://qsos.quiltalliance.org/items/show/1541.