Wednesday, July 3, 2013

RIP - Jeffrey Gutcheon - Talented Genius


This was a class exercise I did in a class I took from Jeffrey at our Land Of Lincoln Quilt Symposium.

While others are telling stories about Jeffrey I have to share a few of mine!

His books were my first real solid information about quilting when I became a quilter in the 70’s.

Later I got to know him and considered him a friend, a mentor, an mentee and a brat!

Now how can I call anyone with his talents a brat?

Some said he had an abrasive personality – it was only his way of trying to make one realize what he was sharing and never forget it.

He had a strong dislike for coordinated fabric groups, especially when they were done by famous quilters. He also had no use for cutsey calicos, the most readily available fabrics at the time.

Knowing that, my bratiness also came out and I brought the fabrics I thought would get a reaction from him to the workshop.

The workshop started out by his telling us to get out our tracing paper. We all said “Tracing Paper? That was not on the supply list”.

He said his secretary or “our people” must have forgot to type it on the list.

I was in charge of speaker hospitality for the Symposium and had to go down and take care of some business during the class. When I got to “our office” I asked if they had a copy of the supply list he sent. Of course the list was right there and tracing paper was NOT listed.

When I got back to class and told him this he said HE must have forgot to add it …quietly so I was the only one who heard him say it!

We had enough tracing paper to draw out blocks by sharing among the class.

After I drew my 60 degree diamond design I took out my fabrics and said “Now what do you think of these Jeff?”

Expecting a negative reaction from him,  he suggested where I could use each one in the design.

Earlier he had given other class members hard times about their fabric selections, but I guess he knew me well enough to not do that to me.

I had great respect for him and his talents and he respected me.

I could go on and on with other stories about him, but I can’t conclude this “story” about him without saying he was a multi-talented man: an architect, a musician, an author and a quilter.

So rest in peace dear Jeffrey, we miss you.


Bill Volckening said...

What a great tribute, Kay. Thank you for sharing it.

Mary Stori said...

So typical of Jeffrey, his 'relaxed teaching style and his talent as an instuctor to push students to go beyond their own vision.....and to know when he saw talent already!