Agave Quilt Guild

The elaborate and colorful quilt in the photo was designed and pieced by our February speaker, Kelly Grant of Cactus Quilting in Sun City West.

Mary La Tourelle

Our February speaker was Kelly Grant of Cactus Quilting in Sun City West. Kelly designs batik fabrics and presented us with a very engaging slide show program highlighting her trip to Bali where she went behind the scenes to learn more about the ancient art of batik. The wax-resist dye process originated on the island of Java in Indonesia. To this day, most of the Javanese batiks are made by family groups who carefully guard their designs and methods. They typically dye fabric in 50-yard lengths. If you walk into a quilt store and head for the batik section, it might be helpful to know that true batiks are only those that have been stamped with wax. The other two types we often use are color wash (single color) and hand dye (multiple colors). Over time, all three types have generally come to be labeled as batiks. Their minimal shrinkage and lovely colors make them a favorite fabric choice for quilters.

Our March 6 meeting will feature Helen Young Frost from Tucson. She is an author, teacher, and also a magician. The title of her presentation will be “The Quilter’s Magic Show: Lots of Tricks for Better Quilts.” Her website describes this presentation as follows: “Is perfect patchwork an illusion? Add these techniques for precise cutting, easier matching, and efficient pressing to your bag of tricks. Learn the secret behind ripple-free borders and great bindings.”

Helen is the co-author of 11 books, including Grand Endeavors: Vintage Arizona Quilts and Their Makers, the Arizona State quilt project publication. She has taught at guilds and conferences across the country and in Europe. In 2001 she and her mother were honored as Women who Challenged Quiltmaking at the International Quilt Market and Festival in Houston, Texas. Helen was inducted into the Arizona Quilters Hall of Fame in 2009.

Visitors are cordially invited to check us out at any of our meetings, which are held the first Wednesday of the month (September through May) at 1 p.m., in the Navajo Room at Sun Lakes Country Club (25601 S. Sun Lakes Blvd).