Saturday, August 20, 2016

Annual International Quilt Show

This amazing thread painted quilt was BEST OF SHOW, at the Mancusco World Quilt New England  show at Manchester, New Hampshire which Rachel and I attended Thursday. The title is "Three Watchers. The quilter from South Africa is Kathryn Hamer Fox. The photo color is a little faded compared to the actual quilt.  It was about 4x6 foot.  We thought it was stunning.

We always go to that show because the  international quilts chosen are often wonderful. Most are not traditional, and most are art quilts of very, very high craftsmanship.

Ms. Fox also did a Rhino quilt  called "Once There Were" Click the photos to see it entirely.

As you can see in both, the backgrounds are various fabrics.  She underlay her thread painting with fabric also. I would love to have a photo catalog of the international entries in the show but no such exists and I've found that photographing more than the most memorable is pointless. Not that there weren't many excellent quilts by American quilters.

Mancuso is a large organization that mounts this international show in about a dozen venues around the USA each year.  In the Radison in Manchester there are two quite large exhibition rooms and they fill both,  (that includes a great many venders). Various area quilt guilds are invited to show special groups and there are always several special exhibitions on themes. We did not take time to look at venders and we missed some of the American exhibits because our time was limited.

Two especially noticable quilts, one from Israel and one from South Africa used a online program where a photo can be pixelated and printed out as a pattern for making a quilt. The result is a little like the paintings of Chuck Close. The one from Israel was of Leonardo's David (just his head). As we were watching it a woman showed us that if we look at it on the Iphone screen, we could see the  picture much more clearly than when standing 3 feet away. This was very true of the David (below) which was done in  one inch fabric squares and even more so with a Mandella portrait that was done inch and a half squares.  I photographed only David. Going through the program I cannot figure out what this was named and therefore can't list the artist's name.  If you click on any of these photos they will enlarge somewhat.  This was a magnificent quilt show and it was well attended. I wish more people understood that such shows are ART EXHIBITS to a very large extent. And quilting all around the world has moved from utility to self-expression on a very high level.


Sunday, August 07, 2016

My favorite quilt


This quilt by Robin Mcguire, entitled "Migrants" is my favorite from the Bayberry Quilt show that was taken down yesterday.  The photo doesn't really show that the black lines you see in the foreground is a plastic strip tied and clipped so that it mimics barbed wire. Before the show I knew this was going to be my favorite, because Robin is a very talented artist who is in the Uncommon Threads art quilt group that I am priviledged to belong to.  I think it was the only overtly political statement in the show.

The show was quite successful, financially, I suspect (because it was very well attended Thursday and Friday although not so much so yesterday (another perfect beach day). There were some 300 quilts -- a few antique, about 1/3 full bed size (between king and double width) and the others were smaller -- a slightly surprising majority of smaller quilts, mostly meant to be wall quilts.  There were some spectacular traditional quilts and many more modern and nontraditional quilts. The workmanship was high quality, the use of color outstanding.  It was a delight to walk through ... more than once.

I'll post a few other quilts in a few days.

Sunday, July 31, 2016

Only some summer flowers

The whole of Cape Cod seems to be covered with flowers -- roses, hydrangas predominate, but day lilies (and other lilies -- the buttery yellow ones especially) are everywhere. So are roses of Sharon and various varieties of daisies, plus sunflowers and much more.

The new header is my revived hanging plant on my patio which I think is called a draconia (I may be wrong).  For Mother's Day 2015 I was given two of these lush plants which I had not seen before but which were suddenly in everyone's hanging pots and baskets. They had dozens of flowers when bought (mid-May) and they continued flowering until frost was near.  Then my daughter took them to winter on her sun porch (where a 5-year old geranium is still putting forth blossoms having been rescued the same way.) The draconia returned, sans flower in June, grew healthily but without flowers until last week. Now the heartier of the two has several flowers and the second has one flower with buds promising more. This is not the kind of abundance they first exhibited but I'm happy with their hot pink boldness among the very healthy greenery and have been giving them drinks of water laced with Flower-Miracle Gro.  I have no green thumb but I have a certain respect for late bloomers who do the best they can.  I haven't seen many other draconia this year although they seemed to have been everywhere last year.

Thursday, July 28, 2016

Just a glance

Now and then something catches the eye, often I say "I wish I had my camera."  I did have my camera a couple of days ago when I looked at the window shade  as I got up and saw this graceful shadow of a fast-growing branch of the forsythia just outside my bedroom widow.

I immediately thought that if I wanted I could use it as part of a quilt  design ... I don't know if I will, but I'll print it and add it to my somewhat unruly stack of ideas. I go through the stack now and then but rarely use those saved ideas.  For me the momentary impulse is more consuming that something I thought would be a good idea ... still I think would be a good idea but... but there are a lot of ideas and only so much time.  This I know: I'll never run out of ideas. 

I'm afraid I absolutely cannot understand people who don't see good ideas for designs, for quilts, for paintings, for short stories all around themselves.  In fact, I don't really understand people who keep scrap books of drawings and so on. I guess I don't even understand Pinterest ... But then I'm a different generation. I didn't grow up with constant visual input from TV and then from the Internet. Why should that make a difference?  I don't really know, maybe it doesn't. Maybe it's just that we are all different  and react to the world around us differently .  Viva la difference!

Thursday, July 21, 2016

Little flowers


I couldn't resist taking these two pictures of tiny, tiny flowers (weeds?!) growing in the very dry lawn. The pictures are very nearly actual size. 

The top picture is a lovely star shaped "flower" with very minute little purple flowers nestled in the grass around. Anyone who is really a gardener or botanist can tell that the top (white) flower is actually the dried remnant of a dandelion.  I thought it was very pretty,






And here is a dandelion in flower, familiar to all of us, but very small (same size as it's mate (brother, cousin?) in the top picture. They were within inches of one another.

I have noticed these and other very small flowers in my badly cared for lawn (it's only mowed by a lawn care company) which needs grass planted at whatever the appropriate time is.  It needs to be watered but we are approaching drought conditions and many Cape communities have banned grass watering. Hyannis has not done so yet, I think they are remiss in that area.  Looking out my window or sitting on my little patio beside a lush lawn is a pretty thing to do .... but I'm glad it isn't being watered. 

Monday, July 04, 2016

A young celebrant this July 4th

Little Silas is almost for months old, but you can see he is already patriotic and happily celebrating the red, white and blue, even waving a flag.

His mama is my granddaugher Cori who likes taking photos of the children (he has three older siblings). She also makes baby shoes and sells them on Etsy, his elfin footwear is an example.

When I saw him this afternoon at a family cookout he was still wearing the shorts but not the drapery.  I think he was also more wide awake and happier early in the morning.

Here on Cape Cod we are enjoying perfect holiday weather, a cloudless sky, a nice breeze most of the day. A delicious family cookout and tonight, when (his mama hopes) Silas will be soundly asleep, a fireworks display.

We are by no means alone; it look as if every driveway in town has several extra cars parked in it; I  suspect the population of our little peninsula has double in the last couple of days.

Saturday, June 18, 2016

Rose everywhere

The season  marches along predictably.  The summer solstice is upon us and the spring flowers are gone. In the past two week roses have burst into bloom all over town. These are along a fence of a home -- one of many, many.  They are fragrant!  Which is somewhat remarkable today. But I literally "smelled the roses" as I stooped to get a nice close photo.  The rhododendruns are still out but beginning to fade.  The kousa dogwoods which are so abundant you'd think they were native to the area (they're Asian) are magnificent tall towers of white blooms.  On the beaches the rosa rugosas are in full bloom, pink, red and white -- they too are fragrant, being wild and natural. Soon the hydrangeas will add blue and purple and fuschia to the mix.  This is a very, very beautiful place!