A Night At the Museum

I’ve had many cool experiences in my life.  Awesome, exciting, fantastic opportunities…..but some go beyond.  Some rock me to the core.  Some fulfill dreams I never dared to dream, and challenge the limits I can’t help but impose on myself, and where God may choose take me.  This is one of those experiences, and I can honestly say it’s one of the proudest of my life.  And when I say proud, I don’t mean boastful or self-indulgent, but I mean a moment where I can feel my grandmother looking down on me from heaven, sitting in God’s lap, and smiling.

Spun 01

Spun 02

Last night was the opening reception for Spun: Adventures in Textiles, the huge new exhibition at the Denver Art Museum, and I am blessed beyond words to have 5 pieces on display, including 2 mini quilts and an embroidery piece on permanent display, a starter block in the community quilt, and an improv pillow cover in the artist’s studio space.

Spun 03

Can you spot my rainbow ticker tape block in this photo??

Spun 04

Here’s the studio where I’ll get to demo some quilting for 3 weekends in May & June.

Spun 05

Samples from all of the demonstrators

Spun 06

Funny to see this pillow I made ages ago, that has been slept on and thrown in pillow fights 1000 times, now displayed as a sample of my work in the studio.

Spun 07

In front of my dress mini and hanky quilt – on permanent display. What a surreal moment.

Spun 08

Click to read more about this little dress mini and the story behind it.

Spun 10

Spun 12

A colorful mini I made from my grandmother’s old hankies, featuring a bit of hand quilting and a scrappy scalloped border. Click the photo so read a bit more about this quilt.

Spun 09

Here’s my Sashiko-inspired embroidery piece. We seem to have a thing in my family for retro glasses!

Spun 11

So- the reception.  This was the first time I’d been to the museum since I dropped off my pieces a couple of months ago, and was my first chance to get a sneak peak at the exhibition before it opens to the public next week.  Live band, delicious comfort food (mac n’ cheese in a shot glass?  I’ll take 9 please.), open bar, hundreds of artists and contributors gathered to celebrate this ground-breaking event.  It’s the largest exhibition in the 120 year history of the museum, which is one of the largest art museums west of Chicago.  Needless to say, it’s exciting.  The exhibit is massive, spanning 3 floors, and covers everything from ancient garments to modern fabric prints, and everything in between, including yarn, weaving, embroidery, crochet and knitting, and yes, quilting.

There are 14 curators, and one of them spoke, offering a brief overview of what the enormous exhibit entails.  She was thanking curators and contributors, sharing about the massive grants they’d received from various foundations…I washed down another bite of chicken chow mein with some red wine, and all of the sudden…”You will see everything from 19th century Navajo weaving, to a quilt made from a World War II parachute.”  Russell;s eyes darted to me through the crowd, my hand flew over my mouth, and the tears began to flow.  All this time I had felt like an imposter, who somehow managed to sneak passed the legitimacy scanner in with all these “real” artists.  C’mon, me?  I’m a stay at home mom who happens to loves to quilt.  I sew at my dining room table in my pajamas while my children liter the house with popcorn and crayons.  I don’t get mentioned by the curator of one of the most renowned art museums in America.  Well last night I did, and it was a moment I’ll never forget.

Comments

  1. Congrats Amy, you know you’ve ‘MADE IT’, when you’re mentioned by the ‘curator of one of the most renowned art museums in America’!! (Like how I snuck you’re own quote at the end??). Lol

  2. I’m so happy for you Amy! I’m sure your grandmother is looking down on you and smiling! If I get to Denver, I’ll be sure to go to this museum.

  3. You are awesome. I got tears in my eyes when I read.
    Thank you for sharing this great moment in your life.
    Take care and have a wonderful day.
    Lena from Sweden

  4. ginacoetzer says:

    Amy , I’m so proud of you . Congratulations . Well done . What a wonderful thing for you to have experienced .

  5. Bravo c’est une belle consécration de votre gentillesse et de votre générosité
    Amitiés
    Cécile ( de France)

  6. Congratulations! It’s wonderful to be appreciated, and you are certainly one talented lady! :o)

  7. Amy, My tears of joy are also flowing for you! What a well deserved Honor.Congratulations!
    Doreen – Virginia

  8. How awesome for you! So nice to hear good things happening to good people.

  9. beth lehman says:

    amy, how fantastic!! and what a fabulous exhibit!! for some reason, it’s hard for so many of us to feel worthy of recognition… and yet of course, you are, as is your work. what a great experience to have had this. (and your outfit and shoes ROCK!)

  10. Congratulations Amy! Tears reading your story! The exhibit sounds amazing…I am wondering how I can get to Denver to see it! I couldn’t be happier for you!

  11. Janet Green says:

    Amy,
    Honey I don’t know you but I have followed you since the craftsy BOM? Through your babies and with your beautiful husband those stunning little girls (who will grow up and scare the pants off you) and the one thing I have garnered with all your lovely tidbits is you love your family you have wonderful initiative and above all you are kind and generous. WELL DONE! I am at least 15 yrs older than you so I will say be proud be emotional and enjoy it all.

  12. Amy, I wish I could have been there!! You did us mothers proud. I am a grandmother and she would be so proud. Not only for your love of your art but for being who you are. Not only are you gifted but unassuming, gracious, kind, loving…..these are gifts mothers strive their children to have.

  13. Awwww, you have me crying right along, and so happy and proud for you. I laughed about the litter and popcorn though and sewing at your dining room table part………. keeping it real Amy, that’s what really keeps me coming back. You are such a blessing and it will always come back to you. Thank you for sharing your life. xo

  14. edith mascia says:

    Congratulations Amy! I wanted to cry reading your last comment.

  15. Merrilee says:

    You are too humble! I love the pillow story- so happy to know it was cherished well before the show! And the parachute fabric dress, loved that story when you first blogged about it, and still do. You are a real inspiration- looking forward to your next adventures.

  16. Congratulations! What a lovely, touching post. May God continue to watch over you and bless you!

  17. Joanne Doshan says:

    What an honor for you and you certainly deserve it! Beautiful pieces that you made for this exhibit–truly inspired work. My daughter is going to be in Denver in June and I told her about the museum and the Spun exhibit. It’s on her to-do list for her free time between meetings! Congrats to you!

  18. Congratulations Amy. I love how your work looks.! Never under estimate the power of the right tools in the right hands. It always ends with the most wonderful results. You so deserve this honor! Xxoo

  19. Good for you!

  20. Barbara says:

    How wonderful. I am so happy for you. Now I need to figure out when and how I can get to Denver.

  21. How delightful, Amy! What a blessing for not only you, but for the people who will see your beautiful work and art! Congratulations!!!

  22. Mary Reade says:

    Amy I have just shed a tear reading your Night at the museum blog!! well done you are so worthy, love the way you share your thoughts as much as your quilting, keep it up, Mary

  23. Sheryl Miller says:

    Congratulatios Amy! This is certainly a well deserved honour. You have made your grandmother and all who know you, very proud. I truly admire your work and your stories you share with us. I have learned so much from your Craftsy BOM class – thank you! You have certainly inspired me to quilt and not worry about the little mistakes that I see but others may not.

  24. Becky Greene says:

    Congratulations! I am glad you have received this wonderful recognition and validation of your talent and creativity! Well-deserved!!

  25. please print this out for your happy remembrances album!!!! beautiful! you worked at this and shared with us and if I were out there is would go. it is amazing!

  26. Congrats Amy. I love your moment. I really enjoyed reading this post. You not only sew up a storm, but you are an excellent story teller. I love those times when you feel grandma, I miss mine so. Thanks for sharing.

  27. Kathleen says:

    Congrats. You do deserve it. You are quietly amazing and you share your talents with others.

  28. Elaine Randall says:

    Amazing! So happy for you. You deserve it.

  29. Andrea Williams says:

    What an incredible night you had! It brought me to tears…sniffle sniffle. it just goes to show you how special and talented you truly are. How wonderful it was to share that moment in time with your husband. I love the photograph of him standing looking at your wedding dress…He is so proud of you Amy. I also love your comment about you quilting in your pj’s while your kids litter the house with popcorn and crayons! Too funny…

  30. Cherine says:

    Congratulations, you deserve a mention like that. You’ve been working hard not just as a teacher, quilter, but also as a mom. Couldn’t have happened to a nicer person.
    Cherine in Australia

  31. Bravo! What a wonderful accomplishment. Even through this you continue to inspire me. From one pajama wearing mom to another, congratulations.

  32. Ahhh, your last paragraph brought some tears to my eyes….. Happy for you. And btw – your first picture of the two of you is too cute!:). Kinda love the umbrella, the little yellow dress… The handsome man…. A little more close up and framed…. Your kids will love it…..

  33. I know we don’t know each other – I took your Craftsy 2012 BOM – but I just have to say, with tears streaming down my face, that I am so proud of you!

  34. Dear, dear friends…reading your comments this morning and I’m truly overwhelmed. Your kindness leaves me speechless (and that’s a hard thing to do!). Thank you for allowinge to share. i feel like you’re all here with me, cheering me on! Thanks for the love :)

  35. Oh my God! You must be really proud. What an achievement! You are a great artist and you so deserve this. Congratulations!

  36. Marcia R says:

    Your post gave me chills! So awesome! And we knew you when. :)

  37. You deserve to be busting with pride. I can’t wait to visit the exhibit. Very honored to know you.

  38. Sally from CA says:

    Amy–it sounds like a thrilling moment for you, and yes, you deserve it. I live in So. Ca. and will be in Denver next week, so will try to come to the museum. What days will you doing demonstrations?

    • Hi Sally! I’ll be there weekend after next, plus the following 2 weekends, Sat & Sun 12-3. Would be so cool to meet you!

  39. You are awesome. I am so happy for you.

  40. Congratulations and hugs to you Amy all the way from Mexico. woo hoo!!!!!

  41. Stephanie says:

    Wow that is a great honor! Congrats! Great story also!

  42. Susan L. says:

    Oh Amy! It made me cry to imagine that you would ever, ever think of yourself as an imposter! Your work is beautiful and so is your spirit. Talent comes in all shapes and sizes and is always legitimate. Thank you for sharing your passion with all of us – you have already taught me so much!

  43. Bethany says:

    Thank you for sharing your beautiful experience and amazing art! This post brought tears to my eyes!
    XO

  44. Deborah Marshall says:

    Congratulations Amy! How awesome! What a tear-inducing, monumental, special event! Your grandmother is indeed looking down on you and smiling from heaven!

  45. Bravo, friend!! That is so exciting! What special moments- an honor for sure to be included in this project.I love the timelessness of quilting. Even modern quilting is history in the making!

  46. Just one word: congratulations. I’m happy to see that far away in USA, crafting and sewing is considered a form of art, here in Italy, such things are considered barely some housewives’s hobby, without any valor at all!!!

  47. I am in tears here, feeling so happy for you… and I don’t even know you “in real life”. However, the “you” that I do know from your blog shows a very talented woman, who gives God the glory for all things in her life. No, it doesn’t just show that, your blog radiates it. I got goosebumps reading the part of you feeling like an imposter. I know that feeling all to well, so I completely related to that. You, aren’t allowed to say that though… because you are a quilting rockstar in my world. :) Congratulations on being able to share your some of your family history within the context of your talented work.

  48. Wow. I’m so very happy for you, Amy! I have tears in my eyes now from reading this post. How beautiful!

  49. It looks absolutely amazing, huge congrats!

  50. Wow! that’s awesome! Congratulations Amy!
    Well deserved!

  51. How totally exciting! Thrilled for you! (Playing the Sew South cheer for you! :-)

  52. That is so neat! I have a big lump in my throat and tears in my eyes. Your grandmother is surely smiling down on you from heaven. :) What a wonderful way to honor her.

  53. So amazing! What a choice experience. I’m sure your grandfather and grandmother are so proud, what a family legacy that you have preserved for your posterity! Kudos!!!

  54. Bet Courey says:

    AMY, My heart is smiling for you at this outstanding accomplishment. I loved the photos and indeed your Grandmother is smiling too. CONGRATULATIONS. Bet Courey

  55. Congrats on your big night!!
    It’s very interesting how they displayed the quilts and other objects. How did they get the parachute quilt to stand up like that? Is it fixed to some kind of board?

  56. Congratulations! That is so awesome :) I can’t wait to check out the exhibit and your Quilt Studio demo on the 25th!

  57. Amy, what an honor!!! I have been with you since Craftsy 2012 bom and now the sbc. Even though we’ve never met, I honestly feel that I know you. You are such a sweet, talented, and creative person. You definitely deserve all the accolades which are and will be coming! Enjoy this time. Your post really touched me, by the way:)

  58. ack. tears sprung to my eyes as I read the last paragraph. my heart did a little flip because I know that feeling has got to be amazing! validation! you ARE an artist and a mama and a wife. so happy for you!

  59. Local girl makes good! How wonderful that your art will be part of the permanent display. I was also delighted to see a friend of mine in the photo of you with your hanky/wedding dress quilts – the lady in the polka dot jacket to the left in the photo is a very creative quilter, and has made some AMAZING crazy quilts. I think the wedding dress quilt and its story are perfect for this exhibit. Congratulations!

  60. Sandra Louise says:

    Amy, I got tears in my eyes, too. Seeing your story and wonderful quilt makes me appreciate how dreams really do come true. Congratulations!

  61. This is amazing! I’m so excited for you and I can’t wait to see the exhibit!

  62. Chrissy says:

    Amy, what an awesome accomplishment. I have to admit to tearing up when I read they mentioned the parachute quilt. Congratulations!

  63. What a marvelous honor, so happy for you. It looks like a fantastic museum.

  64. How amazing you are. I’m so happy for you and shed my tears of joy for you. Yours is the blog I read faithfully with every post. Love the pics of your children and husband. I loved the 2012 BOM and now sbc. Now I have to finagle a visit with my sister near Denver to see this amazing show. Thank you so much for sharing your life with all of us!

  65. Hi Amy! Thanks for sharing! What a nice story you now have to pass to your kids in the future… I love the dress with parachute fabric story. You also were gorgeous wearing that yellow skirt!

  66. Karen H says:

    That is SO awesome, Amy! I am honoured, and encouraged, to have you teaching me way down in li’l ole NEW ZEALAND! Stay-at-home mum’s CAN still achieve their dreams!

  67. So proud for you, such a well deserved honor! Sounds like an amazing night! I’m in Denver through June, so I can’t wait to check out the exhibit.

  68. June Winters says:

    What a wonderful honor for you to have your work displayed and appreciated! I was thrilled for you! Have to say I eagerly read all your posts with great enjoyment and would like to thank you for sharing your family and your projects with us.

  69. I loved the Denver Art Museum when I lived in Denver and I think I love them even more now that I know they have such great taste! Seriously, I am so proud to know you and that your excellent work is representing quilting. Amazing!

  70. Wonderful! I got some goosebumps seeing people examine your work while you stood right there, and then you made my eyes well up writing about crying yourself. What a moment! Thanks for sharing this.

  71. Heather Shore says:

    Amy
    Before I even started to read this, the first thing I thought of was how Proud Grandma Helen would be of you!

  72. Amy,
    Congrats you are so deserving of the honor.Sharing the gifts and talents God has blessed you with and giving Him the credit. I finally finished my 2012 BOM , my first quilt.

  73. Heather Shore says:

    I wish I could come see you & the exhibition!

  74. ylmommyx4 says:

    “wipes a tear from her eyes”, that’s me reading this post especially the last paragraph. Well deserved Amy…you are a sweet and very talented woman! Congratulations! I applaud you from afar. xoxo

  75. Congratulations on the Denver museum experience. Will the paper piece wedding dress pattern ever be for sale. I am sure others have inquired. Love the blog. Janet

  76. Congrats to the stay-at-home mom in her pjs!!! Thank you for sharing with us. Felt like I was there!

  77. Congratulations…now you know why we all follow your blog….thanks for all the inspiration!!

  78. Congratulations Amy. The exhibition looks stunning and you are a truly great artist; you should be proud.

  79. Christine says:

    Congratulations! Never doubt the depth and beauty of your talent. You were an inspiration even before the curator mentioned you.

  80. Tears. You are an artist sweet thing. So happy for you I could burst! I know you will cherish it all. XO, Kim :)

  81. Florence Young says:

    I have hankies like you had and didn’t know what to do with them-now I do–thanks. The piece is very pretty-sounds like you had plenty of fun. Thanks for sharing–Flo

  82. Tana Lewis says:

    Congratulations……I am so very pleased for you and shed a few tears as I read of your blog. Your Grandmamma would be so pleased and Grandpa will burst his buttons to know that the WWII parachute fabric was put in such a wonderful work of art and on display at such a great museum. Enjoy your memories of an enchanted evening. Smiles and hugs……..

  83. Laura Hall says:

    so proud of you…love following your blog…adore the wonderful photos you take of your creations…keep up the fantastic work you do…even if it’s in your pj’s!

  84. Janice Stockwell says:

    I have tears in my eyes….I don’t even know you except through your blog and Craftsy BOM, but I’m so happy for you . That parachute material…Oh, my…so touching that you thought to make a dress mini quilt with it . That was inspired and you do deserve to be mentioned by a museum curator. Congratulations!

  85. What a sweet story about your museum experience. I can tell just from the photos that your work deserves to be on display in a museum. Congratulations!

  86. Sandra Robben says:

    Congratulations! When you can tell your own story with your Quilting, that’s when you are a genuine artist. You made it. All the best from the Netherlands, Sandra

  87. Wow! Congratulations. That is really neat.

  88. Oh, how wonderful! You humility and real life give inspiration to all quilters out there. You deserve a place at the top! Congratulations!

  89. How awesome is this? Congrats!

  90. Amy, I feel SO glad for you and the honor you deserved! Now you know is not luxury or great resources what makes a wonderful artist, but the passion and love you put in everything you do. I remember those fond days watching and enjoying Craftsy 2012 BOM’s videos and realizing I can understand spoken English so well from a great teacher!

  91. Jeannet Jonker says:

    Congratulations! I’ve been bitten by the QuiltBug since I saw your 2012 BOM at Craftsy. You explain things so well for a novice like me. Your enthusiasm has inspired me to go on a Sampler course in my new hometown, here in Groningen, The Netherlands. My sampler is ready to quilt now. After that I will be doing your BOM2012. In 3 weeks time I will be in Denver (we’re making a trip from SFO to Denver) and I’m definitely going to visit Spun, now I’ve seen your blog.

  92. So VERY happy for you, Amy. To be able to experience this had to be incredible. Not only the display but the recognition were well deserved after all of your work. CONGRATULATIONS!!!

  93. Amy I am so happy for you – what an inspiration to all us other imposters out here. I’ve had some the same feelings and afraid to venture out. I got teary eyed for you – How truly special.

  94. Audrey Pearson says:

    Congratulations Amy! I cried too as I read your post TWICE once for myself and the second time to my husband. You are so deserving of this honor! Your love of family and all things frilly wonky and colorful is a beacon for women young and old — er like me :)

  95. Congratulations on your accomplishment. I really dig the wedding dress quilt. It’s so unique, and a wonderful story will always be behind it.

  96. Laura Mattick says:

    Congratulations. Your story about the parachute quilt and the tour guide brought tears to my eyes.

  97. Congratulations!!!!!

  98. Susan Santistevan says:

    Amy, I love reading your blog! I laugh alot and learn a ton, and every now and then I am moved to tears. This is one of those posts. Thank you so much for sharing with your readers the emotions that you were experiencing throughout this process – your excitement, your honor at being involved and also your vulnerable, open honesty about not being worthy to be in the same classification with “real” artists. I can’t wait to grab Chelsea and come down to see the exhibit and you – at one of your demos. Congratulations!

  99. Amy, congratulations! You put so much positive creative energy out into the world– I’m delighted that you are experiencing a wave of love and recognition back to you. May this be the first of many opportunities for you to feel how very legitimate your art is!

  100. What a lovely gift God gave you. How thrilling. If I ever get to go to Denver again I will have to check out the museum it looks stunning!

  101. I was lucky enough to get a press preview of the SPUN exhibit and your piece was the one I loved most. I wrote a blog post for Sew News magazine and posted it on our fan page. A reader saw the photo I took and listed your name. I was so overwhelmed by the whole exhibit I forgot to list your credit. I did however amend my post. Such a sweet tribute. Thank you!

  102. amazing. love your history. gorgeousness.

  103. So many Congrats Amy! Your fans are proud of you too! :-)

  104. Susanne says:

    Congratulations Amy!! You deserve to be recognized. You are one of my favorite teachers ever. If I ever get to Denver; I will certainly go to see it.

  105. This share is truly touching! I teared up reading the romantic story behind the dress, and smiles of a GI buying up parachute material for his future bride’s wedding dress (that he expected her to sew!) Your skills were preordained and generations in the making!

    I work directly across from the DAM and I’ll be sure to stop in and see your display! Kudos! What a wonderful feather in your cap.

  106. Thanks for sharing this wonderful moment in your life. I was enjoying the pictures and admiring your pieces when I got to the last paragraph. I actually cried when I read about your amazement of having your work mentioned by the curator. We are quilters and sewist because that is how we express our creativity. We are fortunate that our art can be done in the midst of our lives with our families around us. Congratulations! The recognition is well deserved.

  107. Congratulations, Amy! You are a inspiration! I’m very happy and proud for you, because you deserve it! ( I got teary eyed of joy!) Hug from Portugal.

  108. I’m in Denver this week visiting my son and his family. We decided to go downtown for a festival. While there, we stumbled upon the art museum…I was pleasantly surprised to see your work! Wow! Bravo! And Cheers! I’m sure it’s a wonderful feeling.

  109. Wow, Amy. My tears are flowing for you right now, too. Awesome. Congratulations!

  110. yes, Congratulations! I am crying as well just thinking of that moment for you because so many of us think exactly as you did until the curator mentioned you specifically!! Wow! Thank you for doing a fabulous job on your projects and representing your grandparents and being a loving wife and great MOM!!!

  111. I saw the exhibit this past Wednesday… it was great! And pretty cool to see your work in person. :) Congratulations!

Trackbacks

  1. [...] You can listen to the broadcast live HERE, and read about my once-in-a-lifetime experience with the museum HERE. [...]

  2. [...] to be on during the same hour as Amy Gibson of Stitchery Dickory Dock. Amy was talking about some work she had displayed in the Denver Art Museum’s Spun Exhibit. Well, you know my mom was [...]