What really led to the Macy’s show on State Street is my post graduate school bucket list. Working full-time and going to school can be stressful and the major events I missed provided even more challenges.
So, I made a list of what I missed out on textiles wise and I was determined to cross each item off the list. One of the items on it was to take an art quilting class with Tammie Bowser. While I was working on one goal, though, Mancuso Show Managements textiles events kept expanding. Anytime you hear “Mancuso Show Management,” think “art quilts” because this is what they are known for.
There are other quilting events, such as the International Quilt Festival, which is held every year in Houston, Texas, Chicago, Cincinnati and Long Beach, California, but they are known for more traditional quilts. Within the world of quilting, there is a bit of . . .distance, shall I say, between the traditional quilters and the art quilters. I am different in that I love all of it, both traditional quilts and art quilts. Also, my family did a lot of traditional designs. They did a few improvisational, original ones, but I still love everything.
Tammie Bowser’s class was one of the classes I’d been meaning to take for years. She was featured on the television show Simply Quilts and she came to the International Quilt Festival in Chicago many years ago. I took her day long class, but in essence, it was a 3 day long class that had been condensed. In other words, I knew I had to meet up with her later when my life had settled down somewhat.
I thought I was going through my bucket list. What I had done was revisited what had made me incredibly happy 10 years prior: Walking in the desert, driving in the desert listening to dance music, working with textiles, being around likeminded individuals who understood how gratifying it was to work within textiles. It may have been years, but repeating these small, simple pleasures had reawakened an exuberance within me that had gone dormant, but had finally resurfaced because it had a safe place to reemerge.
I loved the block party the city of Palm Springs had on Thursdays. There are a lot art vendors and musicians playing in the streets. One of my very favorite songs of all time, A Horse with No Name by America, was played in a local Mexican restaurant. I literally sat on a curb and just listened. When I came home, I listened to that song on repeat, just yearning to go back. I had not felt this type of creative wholeness and contentment since I’d left New Mexico to go to graduate school.
It is hard to explain why this experience resonated with me, but I will try. Aside from the fact that I had recurrent dreams of this place when I was studying for my LPN boards and well after I passed the RN exam, I met people that I personally feel are like my “textiles family” in class. They have been warmly supportive of me picking up my fabrics, reclaiming my craft and starting all over again post graduate school.
The art quilts were breathtaking up close. Each corner I turned, I saw an art quilt that was more impressive than the last one I saw. Many of the art quilts have been featured in museums across the nation as well as countless contests.
Although Quilt Fest Oasis Palm Springs is impressive to me, I was told that actually, it is an “average” quilt show for Mancuso Show Management in comparison to the Mid-Atlantic and Pacific International quilt shows. Still, Quilt Fest Oasis Palm Springs was and still is special to me because it was a bridging me into the creative life I’ve been trying to establish for so long.
Going once simply was not enough for me.