Marsha Chartrand

Manchester Quilter to be Featured at International Show

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Rossie Hutchinson is shown with three of her quilts. Together, they are the samples for a class she will be teaching at QuiltCon 2016 in mid-February. The class is called "Intermediate Improv: Crosses, Cabins, and Colors."

Rossie Hutchinson of Manchester is shown with three of her quilts. Together, they are the samples for a class she will be teaching at QuiltCon 2016 in mid-February. The class is called “Intermediate Improv: Crosses, Cabins, and Colors.”

Necessity, as they say, may well be the mother of invention.

Manchester resident Rossie Hutchinson, an intern and assistant at the Manchester Community Resource Center, says she got started in quilting because, “I couldn’t afford to buy the sort of thing I liked, but I could afford to make it!”

Rossie’s mother taught her to sew when she was young; she says she’s always loved fabrics, so just “a little reading” helped her to get off and quilting.

That simple beginning led to new opportunities for self expression that culminate next month as Rossie’s work will be featured at QuiltCon 2016. QuiltCon is the third annual international modern quilt show that will be held Feb. 18–21 in Pasadena, Calif. The event is sponsored by the Modern Quilt Guild (MQG), a nonprofit organization that supports and encourages the growth and development of modern quilting.

Two of Rossie’s quilts were chosen from a pool of more than 1,800 entries for this year’s show. Only 350 quilts will be featured in this highly competitive four-day event.

“I’m honored to have my work displayed at this show,” she says. “It’s always a joy to share my work.”

“The quality of quilts this year is astounding,” says Heather Grant, director of marketing and programming for the MQG. “The quilters who will exhibit at the show are truly setting the bar for modern quilting around the world. We are excited to share their work on this scale and showcase the talent of the modern quilting community.”

Rossie’s joy in self-expression and in making useful objects have found the perfect combination in quilt-making. She has been quilting for more than ten years and teaching her improvisational piecing methods for the last five.

Rossie's website says, "My name is Rossie (rhymes with bossy) and I quilt like it's my job." Hutchinson is a member of the Ann Arbor Modern Quilt Guild, which is always open to new members; information about them can be found at a2mqg.blogspot.com

Rossie’s website says, “My name is Rossie (rhymes with bossy) and I quilt like it’s my job.” Hutchinson is a member of the Ann Arbor Modern Quilt Guild, which is always open to new members; information about them can be found here.

Asked how her quilt styles differ from traditional quilting, Rossie said, “For me, modern quilting is defined mostly by the aesthetic. (My) quilts tend not to be made up of blocks that are repeated in a grid. Instead, they have a very loose or a very minimal look. It’s similar to the difference between classic and modern architecture, in that it all builds on the same fundamentals, but the outcome looks different.”

Although Rossie will be teaching classes based on three of her quilts during QuiltCon, she is not currently teaching any local classes. “I used to teach regularly at Pink Castle Fabrics in Ann Arbor,” she says, “but they’ve since closed their classroom.” She primarily writes patterns and teaches a limited number of classes, but also occasionally sells quilts via her website.

Rossie has been a driving force in the national and international modern quilting community since early in her quilting career. She started reaching out to like-minded quilters online via a Flickr group called Fresh Modern Quilts in 2008, and has been involved in the Modern Quilt Guild since its inception a year or so later. She recommends that anyone interested in the history of modern quilting check out Rachel May’s book, “Quilting with a Modern Slant,” in which she is, naturally, profiled.

This is the third annual QuiltCon and Rossie has exhibited each year. She also attends annual shows in Houston, Chicago, and Grand Rapids. “It’s thousands of people who all take immense pleasure in the same small thing in which you take immense pleasure … what’s not to love?” she says.

Her advice to someone interested in beginning quilting? “Start with a simple pattern and believe in yourself! With a basic sewing machine and the ability to watch YouTube, anyone can make a quilt.”

Sounds simple, doesn’t it? Why not get started?

Learn more about QuiltCon here.

Stacks of quilts represent some of the work that Rossie Hutchinson has created.

Stacks of quilts represent some of the work that Rossie Hutchinson has created.

An "autumn quilt" that Rossie Hutchinson created is an example of her modern quilting style.

An “autumn quilt” that Rossie Hutchinson created is an example of her modern quilting style.

 

 

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