Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Tat Days, part 2

Yesterday I spent my blog writing time working on a newsletter article for my lace guild on the topic of Tat Days. The rest of the evening was gobbled up preparing The Sprout's preschool gear, nursing hubby's headcold and making home-made chicken soup.

So (if you don't mind?) I would like to beg off my usual Tatting Tea Tuesday routine to share the Tat Day article with you.

Tomorrow expect a post reviewing the Tatting Tea Tuesday "rules" for newcomers. 

Without further adieu...

Classes, contest and camaraderie at Tat Days
Classes, contests and camaraderie punctuated the 8th annual Palmetto Tat Days, held on August 27-28, 2010, in Toccoa, Georgia. IsDihara attended with her family and reports back with highlights of the two-day event.

There is much to be excited about if you are a tatter, like me, attending her first Tat Days conference. Hosted by the Palmetto Tatters Guild, this annual event welcomed 75 tatters and their guests, spouses and friends from around the world. 

What a marvelous, tat-in adventure it was! My first impressions were of warm welcomes, adding faces and names to dozens of online friends, incredible classes, shopping and more.

Eight teachers and assistants shared techniques, tips and patterns in more than 30 classes, plus early bird and night owl tatting sessions. Outside of class, games like Tatting Jeopardy, Tat Off! (a speed tatting contest) and a door prize game kept everyone in stitches. 

If you came to tat, you had plenty of opportunity to do it nonstop. But learning and levity were also on tap as tatters reunited with long-distance friends or put faces to names for the first time. The atmosphere was very much like a family get-together.

I marveled at seeing more than one or two tatters in the same room, interacting and learning together. I was amazed at the silent auction items, the Mary Konior display and the display of tatted works people brought just to show and tell. Each year one show-and-tell project is awarded a People’s Choice prize and another prize is awarded for Best of Show.

In addition to the display items, the tatting people wore on their bodies and the laces flying off their shuttles and needles were gorgeous. Tatted hats, vests, lanyards and jewelry were but a smattering of the lace modeled around the site.

The crazy quilt drawing and live auction was a huge success. It raised a record-breaking $3,200 for the Tat Days Scholarship fund! The quilts were incredible: one king-size, one baby, two lap-size and another special Elvis-themed lap quilt.

The vending room was filled with threads, tools, trinkets and books galore! It was a veritable lace-making Shangri-la. It didn’t take long for me to exhaust my pocket money, but the opportunity to browse, touch, compare and pet the threads was priceless.

On January 16, 2010, a famous tatter passed away. Mary Konior is world-renowned for her tatting books and her lacework. It is quite safe to say that if you find a circle of tatters working patterns, you will usually find one of Mary’s books. 

Sue Hanson flew over from the UK to share a display of Mary’s tatted lace for the last time. The executors of Mrs. Konior’s estate had petitioned the display to be returned so it could be sold at auction. It was bittersweet to see her lace legacy for the first time and know that it was for the last time.

In summary, everyone I met at Tat Days was more wonderful than I could ever have imagined. It was an incredible experience from start to finish and I heartily encourage anyone to attend next year.

7 comments:

Karrieann said...

Bravo! Well done article! Made me felt like I was there!
OH! Wait.. I was there! LOL.. thanks for letting me relive the memories through your blog posting!

Did you see! Next years Tat Days will be at the same place on September 23-24 2011!
(resource: http://tattingwithsharren.blogspot.com/)

***squeals in excitement***

Happy Bluebird said...

Nice article - I wish I lived just a tad closer! Thanks for sharing the experience :)

Gina said...

I'm glad I got to see and touch Mary Konior's lace a few years ago when Sue was at Hector. I hope it goes to a museum where it will be cared for as well as Sue cared for it.

Tatskool said...

Great article. You are a gifted writer. I can picture it all.

tattrldy said...

Love your article! One day I hope to attend. Thanks for sharing your experience there.
Sorry to hear the spouse was sick. Hope he's better soon.

Fox said...

Nice! One day I too would love to attend.

I am pleased to see you know that the cold-cure-all actually does work!
Fox ; )

Lily said...

Beautifully written!

It IS sad that Mary K. is no longer here to tat and create new books. We will not have to worry though, Mary Konior's tatting legacy will always live on!