I just spent an inspiring day with an absolutely amazing man. And about 200 other quilters.
Most of you probably already know that Ricky Tims is a quilting legend. Today, I found out that he is also a fabulous teacher, storyteller, and musician (including composer, pianist, conductor, and singer).
Ricky Tims is on a Canadian tour, and he started right here in Ottawa, courtesy of The Running Stitch. The day was filled with 3 lectures - on applique techniques, quilt design, and finishing. Thank goodness he gave us notes to take home, because there was so much information there, I'll need to refer back to it many times. The lectures were interspersed with stories about his background - how he started quilting (on a 1956 machine from Sears-Roebuck that belonged to his Grannie), how he ended up in Colorado (seems it was a better choice than Missouri), and his journey from white trash to 5-star (when carp became "silverfin", and a delicacy according to a Louisiana chef).
This picture isn't great quality, but I wouldn't have dreamt of distracting him with a flash on the camera.
The evening closed with a 2 hour concert, featuring several of Ricky's compositions. Including one composed "on the fly" based on 4 notes provided by an audience member. I am amazed. I am in awe. And I haven't decided if I'm inspired to "go forth and quilt", or dismayed that my work could never equal what I saw today.
I'm sure inspiration will win out. But for tonight, I will settle for a general feeling of awe. And I'll think healing thoughts for Ricky & Justin's dog Raisin, who is not well while Ricky is away on tour.