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October 2023 President’s Piece

Greetings from the USA

For the last 2 weeks we have been on a tour of the Great American Parks. Each day was busy, but we have seen some magnificent scenery.  The most memorable for me would be Monument Valley, Yellowstone and Bryce Canyon. I have learnt quite a bit about the Indian tribes in the various parks and have enjoyed the various museums that have wonderful displays of their lives and culture. The exquisite bead work on clothing and bags, the amazing Turquoise jewellery, the weaving and quill work.

Quilts did not feature at all until we came to a park close to Mt Rushmore National Memorial. We stopped at a monument called Crazy Horse that is still in the process of being carved out of the rockface. When finished it will be bigger than Mt Rushmore. In the Cultural Centre I saw some Star Quilts that were for sale. They were made by women of the Lakota and Cheyanne tribes. Beside the quilts was a piece about the making of the Star Quilt that I thought was very appropriate.

Our tour ended in Las Vegas and of course we had to see some of the sights that we see on TV. In the Bellagio Hotel that is famous for its water fountains, there was a fantastic display of Autumn with the good fairies making dresses etc. The photo shows just a small part of the display that was largely made out of fabric. The flowers in the beds are real.

We are now in Phoenix staying with friends. They took us to the Heard Museum that displays artefacts of Indian life, both ancient and modern. My favourite was a special display of life like dolls (20-30 centimetres high) that depict Indian Life. A mother and her two daughters make these to try and keep the traditions of weaving, quill work and beadwork alive. The photo shows the back of one of the dolls so you can see how fine the work is.

Today, at last I visited two quilt shops in Phoenix. Similar to the ones back home. I just had to buy something so managed 1yard of fabric. I hear the weather has not improved, so I hope you are all keeping well, doing lots of sewing and enjoying the many exhibitions that are on.

Regards Valda, President Aotearoa Quilters