I haven't been out to the La Conner Quilt Museum in over a year. It may very well be much longer than that; I lose track of time easily. The building itself has been under renovation for a couple of years now. Between that and the visitors who all bring in their own scents and toxins it's just not a safe place for me to be. I had to go this week though, to see the beaded quilts made by Thom Atkins. It was a painful 24 hours afterward but it was worth it in the long run.
The museum had some of its permanent collection on display on the main floor.
Thom's quilts were on the second floor, and the quilts and wearable art of Susanne Staton are on display on the third floor. All of it is outstanding. I was most surprised by the size of some of the beaded quilts. He has a quilt featuring a toucan that, if I remember correctly, is something like 54" wide and 84" long! I took pictures but most of them are not worth sharing. Here's a detail shot of a centipede crawling up the tree the toucan is sitting in:
And here's another detail shot, but from another quilt:
What I was most curious about was where he finds some of his beads. He has huge glass bead leaves and the bodies of beetles that I've never seen anywhere! The only answer I can come up with on my own is that he lives in California. You can get things there you won't find anywhere else in the country, except maybe New York City. ;- )
In the museum's gift shop I was delighted to find a herd of cloth dolls made by an old friend, Gloria Burke. We used to be in a doll club together - back before my MCS diagnosis put the kibosh on classes and group activities. The dolls were very reasonably priced so I brought one home with me. I was feeling very sorry for myself by that time, unable to even crack open any of the intriguing new books in the gift shop for fear of making myself sicker than I already was at that point. On the way back to my car I took the opportunity to pop into one of the many delectable stores in downtown La Conner. That's where I found the perfect pet for my new doll: a scarlet macaw ornament that was made in Guatemala.
I believe I'm going to name the doll Scarlett. Like me, she obviously loves the color red. The macaw will be Buttons, in honor of a scarlet macaw I once knew very well by that name. One of my many retail experiences was co-managing a pet store. The original Buttons belonged to the store owner and lived in the store. Definitely one of the highlights of that particular job!
I found a volunteer long arm quilter for Who Let the Dogs Out?! so I am now free to move on to my next project. It may be time to play with those text prints I've been collecting lately...