An Inspired CQ Jacket

Rissa Peace Root © 2011

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After the EGA National Seminar in San Francisco, I was hanging out in the hotel coffee shop, using the wireless network to catch up on email. I noticed a woman sitting near me in a lovely jacket with crazy quilting on the back. I could not resist the urge to interview her about the jacket and take a couple of pictures.

Barbara Jo Thurman and Jacqueline Mathews were enjoying some down time and actually discussing the jacket when I approached. I learned that it was a project from a 1996 EGA National Seminar class with Deanna Powell. As I asked more questions, I was happy to hear that there was a relatable back-story.

Barbara explained that she had found an amazing piece of hand-dyed muslin back in 1986, and that it had finally inspired her after nine long years. She saw Deanna’s Kabuki Jacket and knew exactly how she wanted to use that piece of fabric. It had been dyed on the diagonal, so she took a year to study the fabric and decide how to cut the skirt to avoid the white streak. She also decided to use two companion fabrics that she had in her stash.  Barbara found a piece of fabric stamped with dragonflies in Paducah at the National Quilt Show on her way to seminar. There were approximately five dragonflies of various sizes on the piece of fabric, which she shared with other students in Deanna's class.  They were required to use four motifs on the CQ inset: a spider web, a thistle, a dragonfly and a fan. It took Barbara a year to make the outfit once she picked all of her fabrics.

Who among us has not found a special piece of fabric and kept it for many years? I was so impressed that Barbara was inspired to make this outfit, despite the trouble she had figuring out how to deal with the white streak in the one of a kind piece of fabric. I was also glad that the garment has withstood the test of time and was perfect for the venue. It pays not only to look at what people are wearing at seminar, but to be nosy and ask a few questions.

While Deanna still teaches at many EGA regional and national seminars, her focus has changed to beading. She used to be EGA’s queen of crazy quilting, so I was not surprised that the jacket had been one of her class projects. In fact, I had seen one of her Kabuki jackets in Louisville, during the 2006 TVR Regional Seminar, when Deanna hosted a fashion show for the Thursday evening event. Too bad I did not take photos and think to interview Deanna then!

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