Saturday, August 18, 2007

A Real Quilter--Irma Gail Hatcher

Several of you have commented on my quilting skills, feeling that I must make perfect stitches, etc because I am a plastic surgeon. It isn't true. I consider myself a mediocre quilter who enjoys the craft but doesn't obsess about imperfections. That doesn't mean that I don't try to have "perfect" corners or even stitches, but I don't always take then out and redo them. If it is a quilt for a contest or for a very special person, then I do. Not so with baby quilts. As I have commented before, if I make them "too perfect" they won't get used and I want the baby quilts I make to be used.

We have several world class quilters here in central Arkansas. One is Irma Gail Hatcher (photo credit). Now she is someone I consider a great quilter. Irma Gail is a former elementary school teacher. She began quilting in1980, making a potholder at a craft class in Michigan. After moving to Arkansas in 1981 she attended a quilt show that hooked her. Her first quilt was made for daughter, Gailyn, in 1982, and she has been making quilts ever since. She has won numerous ribbons, and her quilts have appeared on magazine covers and inside many books and magazines. She teaches classes and lectures nationally. Her quilt, "Conway Album (I'm Not From Baltimore)," won the 1992 Founder's Award and a blue ribbon at the A/IQA show in Houston. In 1995 it qualified as a NQA Masterpiece Quilt, and was on exhibit as one of the 100 Best American Quilts of the 20th Century at the 1999 Houston Quilt festival with the others. Irma Gail was selected as one of 30 quilters in the World to have 3 of her quilts in the exhibit "30 Distinguished Quilters of the World" at the Tokyo International Great Quilt Festival in January, 2002. She is a member of the Conway Applique Society and QUEST Quilters of Little Rock. Irma Gail has written eight books on quilting. The books she has written include, Conway Album (I'm Not From Baltimore, Hot Fudge Sundae and Irish eyes plus 10 Secrets of Quilt Design, More Conway Album, Blocks-Hearts, More Conway Album Blocks - Baskets, Foundation Pieced Blocks of the Month, More Conway Album Blocks - Cross Sprays, and More Conway Album Blocks - Wreaths, More Conway Album Blocks - Blue Birds, and Baltimore Style Blocks.

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