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House of quilts

Artist shares passion, expertise with Linden Ponds neighbors

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May 24th, 2011

Joanne Goverman s talent can be found in splays of color behind closed doors, stacked on shelves, and spread over her bed. This is a house of quilts, she says of her Linden Ponds apartment home in Hingham, Mass. For Goverman, quilting is a visual art where fabric is its medium. An expert in the art, Goverman knows well the lure of colors and textures. I love fabric: like touching it, like seeing it; I love color, she explains, in the energetic, fast-talking manner that proves her passion. I could never make a two-color quilt. That much is clear from the kaleidoscope of colors in her latest quilt, an elaborate design featuring rabbits and geometric shapes.

Perfecting the craft

Goverman has always had an affinity for crafts, a love of working with her hands that she quelled at one time by working as a jeweler in Westchester, N.Y. But she had wanted to learn to quilt, and so she perfected her craft by taking courses while her children were away at school and her husband was busy at work. Goverman learned to quilt by hand and on a sewing machine. She creates appliqu , or sewing one piece on top of another, and piece quilts, which are more one-dimensional. Apartment homes starting at $192,000. Life at Linden Ponds is affordable! Call 1-800-316-4072 for all the details. A day without quilting would look like a day without sunshine, she says. When she and her husband moved to Cape Cod, Goverman parlayed her expertise into teaching. She wrote lessons and taught groups in workshops, schools, and in her house. In total, she estimates she has taught at least 1,000 people, a number that is sure to grow. The people that you meet are the nicest. I ve never met a quilter I didn t like, she says. Quilting is people.

Sharing talent, ideas

Since moving to Linden Ponds about four and a half years ago, Goverman has joined the community s needlework group, which meets every Tuesday afternoon in the art room at the Derby Clubhouse. Between 5 and 20 people gather to work on a variety of crafts. Participants work on individual projects such as table runners, tree skirts, and handbags, but as a whole they contribute to charity by making at least three quilts each month for children at South Shore Hospital in Weymouth, Mass. We re so lucky to have that room. In all the years I ve been quilting, I don t think I ve ever had a better setup, Goverman says of the room, which has a number of large tables as well as extra sewing machines. Participants also have the option of bringing their own materials, and they have access to the group s creativity. You feed off one another, Goverman says. People work differently; ideas of colors are different. Though Goverman does not hold any formal instruction sessions at Linden Ponds, she is happy to show anyone who wants to learn. Vivian Bleakney, one of the needlework group s members, says, She shares her years of quilting knowledge with the sewing group. She s so generous with her knowledge about quilting. Goverman points to the stack of quilting magazines resting on her quilted bedspread and says, It s always new. Bleakney adds of Goverman, Her work is just exquisite, but at the same time she s trying to learn new things. Goverman typically is at work on two or three quilts at any given time, but she also finds time to work for Linden Ponds Treasure Chest, the community s second-hand store that raises money to put back into the community. Goverman also appears on Linden Ponds in-house TV station each month to talk about new items at the Treasure Chest and is a member of the community s book club. But quilting is what I do, Goverman reminds.

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