Thursday, September 19, 2019

Best laid plans ...

Back in July the Uncommon Threads group planned a workshop day in which to do "sky dyes" and gel prints and other forms of fabric enhancement. But as the day approached it was clear the weather was going to be nasty. So we postponed it until one of the beautiful autumn days that we have here on the Cape, i.e., yesterday.

But all plans are subject to weather. Yesterday was sprinkly, very windy and chilly and the lovely day on the lawn and porch of Kathleen's "Cranacres" home (which is for sale and which has relatively empty spaces, was moved indoors to the utility room. Not to be daunted--fabric was painted and printed, the group had a good business meeting and a nice lunch with an IPad slide show of the American Quilter's Society show in Padukah, KY a week ago that Kathleen attended. Work got gone, we got inspired and we carry on ... never mind what Mother Nature throws our way. The photo above, poor as it is, suggests the work that was done, here by Robin and Kathleen. We are planning a group show at the Cape's premier fabric store, Tumbleweed, for the month of October and we had time for show and tells about what we have been doing since July.

Saturday, September 14, 2019

Mini quilt show

The  lobby of the Academy for Lifelong Learning has wall space and so puts up art shows by members for each six-week segment of classes. At the moment five of  my quilts are on display.
These have mostly been made in the  Uncommon Threads group. From left to right: the "flag" was for a challenge to do something with labels. If you click to enlarge the photo you'll see the "stars" are labels from fresh fruit, and the flag is surrounded by tags from many kinds of products from Chiquita Banana to L.L. Bean and the white strips contain selvages from fabrics. The tree has actual small shells all over it. The challenge was "the sea" and this is based on an actual dead tree on the beach where people put seashells. I call it the "shell tree". The snowy scene is everyones's favorite. It is inspired by a New Yorker cover of people walking their dogs in Central Park after a snow storm. The fourth is one of my favorites. The background was woven of strips of colors that mean autumn leaves to me. The leaves are prints of real maple and oak leaves. There's a small head shot of me. I call it "portrait of myself in the colorful autumn of my life. The summer on the beach photo is a fine way to spend a Sunday morning with the NYTimes crossword puzzle. These are among my favorite smallish art quilts.  And they are getting a good bit of attention.

Saturday, August 31, 2019

End of summer - back to school

What a lovely couple of days, weatherwise.  Perfect end of summer, not too hot, not too cold.  Granddaughter Cori has reached a "Mommie" landmark:  all four of the kids will be in school, at least a part of the week.  She'll have only the dog -- quite a dog!! a Bernese Mountain "puppy", now bigger than the two youngest kids.  But SO cuddly and lovey.

Cori takes photos and now and then sends me some of the kids. I have a new batch, one was posed just for back to school -- the  three oldest ones (Silas, the 3 year old will be doing pre-school a few days a week.) The photos was prompted, they actually enjoy school. (Remember you can enlarge photos by clicking on them)
Actually, they all like school. Their grandmother did a back-to-school celebration last Sunday with waffle sundae treats in the backyard:   crispy waffles, big scoop vanilla ice cream, chocolate syrup, fresh strawberries and a big pile of whipped cream.  No one ever did that for me ... I loved school.

Monday, August 26, 2019

Inspired by a quilt in Springfield

This was not one of the "OH, wow, that is so amazing!" quilts I saw at the Mancusco show last week. I took a photo of it because I immediately realized the blocks are easy to sew and "I can do this" with the plains and prints that I had in my scrap  bags.  I've been working on using up as many scraps as possible. The past week I've been sewing 8 inch square blocks using one plain and one of the print from my scrap bag.  I've made 64 of them and now they are laying on the floor of my sewing room. I'm trying to find a way to give them some of the coherence this quilt has. It's a stretch but at least partly possible.  I will continue to look at the arrangement I've got and shift them around for a day or two. They will have some coherence in colors and the arrangement of implicite diamonds is mostly possible.  I've even got a name already "Some Sense in the Scrap Bag."  I'll get it sewn together in a a few days and probably take a photo before it's quilted or bound (the part of the process that I like least).

Saturday, August 17, 2019

International Quilt Show, Manusco, Springfield. MASS

This is not the whole picture of this quilt, I was especially stunned at the almost hidden giraffe drinking but also fascinated by the colors of the blocks along the side as I have a paper-pieced pattern for that twisted log cabin block.  The annual International Quilt show managed by Mancusco that Rachel and I have been attending in Manchester, NH has moved to Springfield, Mass. It's somewhat farther for us to drive but we don't have to go through the Boston. All thruways and easy to find.  It was SPECTACULAR, the workmanship was magnificent and the colors, as you see here, stunning. There were quilts from the US, Canada, England, Germany, Israel, So. Africa, Australia and New Zealand. (plenty of vendors too but we ignored them), over 300 quilts, one "oh, wow!" after. The revolution in art quilting is little known to the public at large although there was a good attendance. I didn't take a lot of photos because I know I will not attempt this sort of quilting but looking at it thrills me. Here are a couple other photos -- one with the sweetness of simplicity and the other (the root vegetables) so full of creative embellishment, it's just a WOW!
Remember, if you click the photo it will enlarge.
The ones with elegant simplicity were a visual relief after the ones, like the carrots which were very complex. Note how elegant the quilting of the white background is.

Friday, August 09, 2019

Bayberry Quilt Show, current

The annual Bayberry Quilt Guild show is currently taking place at the conference center in Hyannis  (quite close to where I live) Over 250 quilts are on display.  They are an example of the art of modern quilting; there are some traditional bed quilts and many untraditional quilts both meant for bed and for display. Workmanship is mostly excellent, choice of color and design is bright, beautiful and sometimes surprising. Techniques go from a few (just a  few) quilts which are entirely hand made to many new designs and techniques using the latest sewing and quilting machines and the high quality, brilliantly designed modern fabric. I have not take photographs that show the range of what is on display.  Today the Cape Cod Times featured  three color photos from the show.  Below are some photos -- largely from the small art quilt group called Uncommon Threads of which I'm a member.
Our most artistically brilliant member, Robin McGuire is the "featured quilter of the year" with  display of nearly twenty quilts have astonished visitors and brought praise from the curator of Cape
Cod's major art museum. These photos are poor quality and only hint at what the work looks like. I will attempt to get more and better photos tomorrow.
 These are two of three exhibits of work by the Uncommon Threads group. To tell the truth in the top photo, I have forgotten who did the two on the let. The big sunflower with a button center in mine.  In quilts in the bottom photo were from a challenge in the group to make a piece inspired by a well known artist. The top is by Meredith called "Georgia's landscape." The dark middle piece was also inspired by O'Keefe although I don't remember what painting, the colorful piece on the right is Elaine inspired by Matisse. The bottom pieces which are seashells are mine and also inspired by O'Keefe, and Kathleen did the piece on the right inspired by Peter Maxx.

There  is a third small exhibit of some of he  postcards we made in a postcard challenge.  (We meet approximately once a month and  make something to a "challenge" or prompt with no rules about style, size, material.

Below are a couple of quilts from  the show. The bicycle wheels are astonishingly complex quilt piecing as well as clever use of the bicycle theme. The other is a more traditional quilt with an ocean theme -- there are several quilts in the show with reference to the ocean.  Possibly I will have more photos to post tomorrow. This is not at all an adequate sampling.  Remember a click on the photo enlarges it.

Tuesday, July 30, 2019

Seventh new quilt this summer

This is the 7th quilt I've finished  since mid-May, The one of strips that is a few posts down was sewn together in the fall and I only quilted the top--in the simplest wavy horizonal way possible, which took a good part of a morning.

The others were from scratch -- and scraps! This new one finished day before yesterday used up about 90% of my collection of 5x5 inch "charm" squares.There are a total of 320 and not many duplicates. Up close the variety of designs fascinates me.  This one will go on my bed ... when the weather cools down so I actually need a quilt at night ... because I love looking at the various things fabric designers do.

I had the binding fabric for at least five years and thought I might never use it -- it has a diagonal strip in a darker tone of blue. Whether I had enough was, shall we say, an educated guess because I decided that measuring and calculating was just too tedious. As it turned out I had a piece about 4x6 inches left over. That was amazing .... and simply lucky. The back has a a different green fabric on each of the squares (of 16 charms per square) so I made a nice dent in my over-abundant stash of green fabrics.

Even with so many quilts made of scraps and stash, I still have far more than I need and will keep on making scrap quilts although I may pause now and work on something more complex. One quilt I have in mind uses selvages because the one selvage quilt I made merely dented my bag of selvages. And I have another strip quilt in mind that could be a quickie ... there's no end of the possibilities.  Of course!