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Quilting is a collectible art

May 2, 2019
By BARBARA C. BARRETT , The Luminary

PENNSDALE - Those immersed in the world of quilting learned several things about themselves as they listened to a presentation given by local artist, designer and quiltmaker, Wendy Etzel.

During the Susquehanna Valley Quilt Guild's (SVQG) monthly meeting, April 25 in Pennsdale, Etzel asked the attending members and guests if they were an ant, a grasshopper, a bee or a spider. Based on learning traits representing each critter, they were informed on which trait suited them best - be it concrete, abstract, sequential or random learning.

"For example, do you follow the steps from beginning to end, or do you become bored with routine and easily move on to new projects without hesitation?" Itzel asks.

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Wendy Etzel, well-acclaimed teacher and quilt artist, said she was inspired to make this picturesque scene of Picture Rocks as she entered the town over the bridge.

Using patterns and demonstrations, the guest speaker weaved in the various traits that keep an artist focused and inspired. On her display board, she illustrated ways to use big prints with big spaces and how to exchange blocks with colors and patterns. As a teacher, she expressed ways for quilters to use personal possessions in their work. " A lot of quilting is therapy," she said.

She uses fabric from furniture, old men's suits and ties, and many novelty prints. "We all find inspiration from different places. Use your fabric to work for you," she said when it comes to making art quilts. She suggested old aprons, children's clothing, old prom dresses, ribbons, lace and even using old photographs. "Overlapping fabrics will add three dimensional elements."

Much of Etzel's work requires lots of concentration. Two examples she showed was one of a log cabin in Old Lycoming, and the other was a well known scene from Picture Rocks that she titled "On the Road to Picture Rocks". She recommends having fabric on hand to use for elements of nature like trees and water and showed another sample of an eagle that she stitched together from a photograph.

Etzel has quite a repertoire of designs that have been nationally recognized. in 1998 she was one of eight teachers nominated by The Professional Quilter magazine for its Teacher of the Year Award.

On Saturday, April 27, 2019, Etzel taught a workshop to some of the members at the Pennsdale First United Methodist Church on the new Kite Revue. Participants made a table runner with a pyramid of colorful scraps and piecing.

"There is no right way to tackle a project. But, by understanding ourselves and our working styles, we'll define the only way that feels right. A wide variety of quilts will reveal that we are not all cut from the same cloth."

The SVQG was formed in 1993 by a small group of women interested in quilt making and welcomes anyone who wants to come and gather in friendship to promote and preserve the art as well as improve their skills.

Another workshop is being planned for May.



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