Wednesday, February 1, 2012

A Day with AnnaMaria Horner and the LAMQG meeting. (on cloud nine)

Ok, so if you have ever had a conversation with me in the past 6 years about designers that I love, you will know that my short list will undoubtedly include the much beloved AnnaMaria Horner.  I learned about her and loved what she was doing before I was really sewing, even.  My pal, Tori, saw an article about Anna in a magazine and passed it on to me while I was a textile designer, dreaming of someday doing something a little less corporate, a little more wild and free. (I worked in Interiors, which can sometimes be a study of trying to make neutrals look amazing. I got to work on some unbelievably cool projects with amazing design firms and designers, but the life as a corporate designer was hard on the soul) To know my work now is to know that I love love love bright colors and pattern and really, I always have.
When I read about Anna, and saw her work, so many years ago, I remember thinking, "wait, you can be a textile designer and do awesome stuff?" My heart stopped. I think I remember writing her a gushing letter about how even though we're only a few years apart that I wanted to be her when I grew up. I'm not a big "fan" of that many people. Even when we attend Jay's Hollywood work parties, or hang out with our Entertainment Industry friends, I avoid fan-speak.  It's just awkward. (and also generally quite inappropriate in our circles in Los Angeles)
But when I learned Anna was coming to our guild for a meeting, I freaked. And then when I got the email announcing she was teaching a class at my friend's quilt shop (Sew Modern), my heart lept. Literally, I ran out of the Friday performance that my kids were doing at school (I didn't miss their parts!) and signed up as quickly as I could for the class. What was I going to make when I got there? What was the class for? I didn't care!!!! I got in.
Well,  yesterday was the class. And I completely gushed when I met her. I think it's the only time in my life I have done that. Anna was gracious and laughed and said, "so if I was teaching cookie baking, you'd be here?" my answer: YES.
The class, though, was great! And two LAMQG friends were there among the other women too, which made it more fun as we all sewed up our Multi-Tasker totes.
 (Great bag, I'm gonna make more). Plus, besides being with Anna, I got to soak up all the laughter, knowledge, and sewing. I got to know sweet Julie, and Jennifer is always good for a laugh.

Here's the thing. You all know what I have been through. You know that I need to laugh like I need air right now. At the guild meeting last night, which was basically a few hours that included listening to Anna's presentation (go on, we want to hear it all!) and a 48 hour reunion with my retreat buddies - along with all the fun that a LAMQG meeting always is... well... I was grinning ear to ear.
My pal, Latifah, said to me "Liberty, you look like a different person after this weekend. It shows on your face." And I can't help but to JOY-fully receive and nod to that comment. Jay sees it too. And I'm not the only one who had a much needed boost of happy, this weekend. Hollie is saying the same kinds of things.
Someone said it right yesterday, "this guild is special. It's like the best sorority you've ever heard of."

I just can't believe that I am a part of such an amazing group of women. And that just a few years ago, it started because two blogging friends (Alissa and Latifah) decided to make up something called The Modern Quilt Guild. Because they did, (and also because they are kind, warm and lovely women, too) I have the most diverse, encouraging, tight-knit group of friends that I have had since college. I've gotten to take classes with people I have admired from afar (Denyse, Angela, AnnaMaria), I have seen the work of fellow members (Patsy, Ramona, Jennifer, and so many more!) that have inspired me, taught me new techniques and taken my creative work to new levels.

And right now, most importantly, I'm smiling. I've filled up on hugs and tears, fabric and coffee with these women over the past few years. They've been so amazing to listen and cry with me over my last 2 years' journey - and now they are instrumental in helping me to walk out of a dark forest.
I've rambled all over in writing this post... but that's where I am at. Grateful, happy, inspired, and encouraged!
Remember this post? And the photo that started "Re-building Joy"?  Well, I am a month in. And I'm happy to announce that I'm somewhere in between the photos...
Not all the way there, but I'm on my way, guys. Thanks for walking this journey with me.


nat said...

I can hear the joy in your writing voice here; makes me smile :)

Melissa said...

I'm with Natalie - I can hear it. :) You're not only rebuilding joy, you're rebuilding Liberty. And that's a good thing.

I am, of course, more than slightly jealous that you get to soak up the LAMQG goodness, but I am OH SO GLAD for you that you get to soak it up. That kind of love and experience and people...good for the soul. :)

Hollie said...

That's awesome Liberty! Seriously, you had me grinning from ear to ear in my office reading your post and it filled me with warm fuzzies. I am so happy you're finding your joy again!



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