Sunday, August 27, 2017

Crocheted spider webs

Went to Highfield Hall in Falmouth, Cape Cod to see a fiber art show yesterday.  They had just closed to prepare for a wedding that afternoon so I'll have to go back to see the show. However, outdoors, they had two shows: one was 20 various fairy houses in the gardens and woods -- ho-hum. In a grand grove of big old trees was a exhibition of crocheted spider webs. They were a good idea and very attractively hung. I'm not a fan of crocheting and can't quite get beyond Victorian doilies and antimasscars.  Here are a couple of photos -- aren't the trees wonderful? During a past visit another fiber artist had knitted "sweaters" for the tree trunks in bright colors. Since I did not get into the main building I do not have material with the name of the crochet artist . I will get that when I go back later this week; she and her hours of work deserve reognition..

Sunday, May 28, 2017

Quilt Finished

This quilt of interlocking asterisks was just finished, quilting, binding and all. I could have entered it in the upcoming Bayberry Quilt show with the theme of Stars, after all the very name "asterisk" means star. But I didn't know when I would complete it and didn't want to push myself. It's really a winter time quilt and will be put away until about October.  I enjoyed the piecing with scraps and did not specifically try to make the connecting "petals" match.  

It has the look of a "modern" quilt but, in fact ,is not. I saw the design in one of the quilt magazines (probably Quilters Newsletter) with a pattern for the petals and the layout. The original was designed by a quilter and published in a St. Louis newspaper in the 1950s. I didn't keep the article or I would give more specifics including the designer's name.  I love using my collection of scraps and I enjoy the way the asterisks go together.

Saturday, May 13, 2017

Rushing Mother's Day

Four generation celebrated Mother's Day with a brunch out. The older three of us have made it a habit for a few years but this year Stella, at three and a half, joined us. This is not my favorite photo of myself and Stella will say the same in a few years but Rachel and Cory are happy with the photo ... my first with a selfie stick. 

Cory is "into" photography and takes very nice pictures. I'm so old fashioned I had never seen a real selfie stick before. Anyway, the day was chilly but the sun came out part of the time and we went to a "hide-away" breakfast-brunch place called Jack's Outback which is literally out back of the main drag of Yarmouth Port, its driveway so hidden I'm never sure I know where it is. It's very popular and we had to wait for a table.  Which was okay but if we go back another year we'll remember to make a reservation.

Much of the Cape is at absolutely prime spring beauty. We wait so impatiently all of March for the two or three weeks in April when everything awakes. Driving the narrow roads past homes with all sorts of flowering plants and trees is unbelievably beautiful. Last week when I used that road a couple of times -- going even further along it to other towns) the forsythia was fading, the daffodils, narcissus, tulips and azelas were gorgeous. Today they were mostly gone, replaced by cherry and other flowering trees that were full to bursting with flowers --thanks to lots of rain  in the past several days. Magnolia and lilacs were flowering too and everywhere the grass is succulently green and the newest leaves are tender and promising.  It's entirely appropriate that Mother's day should be celebrated at such a time of bloom and birth.

Thursday, May 04, 2017

Blue States quilt to offset previous Trumpiana quilt

This is a companion to the red quilt -- same size, same number of small squares (36). For this, the group callenge was to use paper.  There are half a dozen photos, some of which are hard to see in this picture (click and enlarge - which helps a bit), a couple are partly covered by the tulle "rainbow" across the top. 

I wanted a relatively tranquil quilt contrasting the "hot" an "in your face" red one. The pictures have their meanings too. On the right edge, one up from the bottom the somewhat confusing pictures is of people watching a "virtual reality" movie with those big goggles on.

I found that I could adhere the pictures, cut from magazines, to lightweight interfacing with thinned glue. The pictures became stiff enough and secure enough to be sewed on.  Of course these art quilts are not meant to be washed.

Tuesday, April 11, 2017

Machine Quilting Expo

Not a good photo but a very good quilt.  This was best of show at the Machine Quilting Expo last Thursday in Manchester, NH. The excellent, and appropriate, machine quilting doesn't show at all in the photo. I say "appropriate" because in previous shows I've seen too many quilts so ostentatiously over-quilted I thought technology had trumped (or should that be a capital T?) good taste.  I am not a fan of long arm machine quilting -- although I saw many examples of it in this show that were beautiful and pushing me to change my conservative attitude.

Unfortuantely I no longer have my program book to give name of the quilter.  The design, I was surprised to see, is a "Modern" one that, in fact, I like a lot. This artist has a sense of humor andmay be making a statement about the environment, either consciously or unconsciously.

For me quilt shows are almost as good as museum visits. The artistry and technical brilliance of many quilters is amazing, a whole area of art making that is unknown to many, many people.  A one-man show by Mark Sherman had about 15 quilts, showing many styles Sherman experimented with. I understand his impulse to try his hand at portraiture, various takes on traditional patterns, many new ideas. I admire a person who has the time and creativity to come up with a great variety of quilts, and most of them at last 40x40.

I think there were over 100 quilts in the show. Some were  so complex and, at the same time, technically so perfect, that the only word is amazing.  I was glad to have endured a miserable bus ride (8 hours of grayness and continuous rain). The quilts I saw further fired my enthusiasm for quilting, while forcing me to recognize that I am nowhere near their league ... and in fact I don't aspire to be. I enjoy my forays into visual arts in the form of quilt making but i don't have a personality that would lead me to do this kind of quilting.

Sunday, April 02, 2017

APRIL is National Poetry Month

I've made a few quilts that illustrate poems.  This one was easy.  The poem, that is on the quilt is by William Carlos Williams -- a very short poem that many people have memorized.  (It doesn't take a lot of brain power.) 

So much depends
on a red wheelbarrow
glazed with rain water
beside the white chickens.

Wednesday, March 15, 2017

New art quilt

This is a kind of breakthrough -- at least a new direction -- me.  The challenge was to make a quilt with "metallic" in it.  Actually I have many fabrics with metallic print. I was happy to have a chance to use some. I made half a paper piece star -- didn't like it. Chucked it. That happened twice more and then I made a set of 18 little stars and put them together.  And didn't like that either.  Out it went. I decided stars weren't "in the stars" for me this time.  In a fit pique I pulled out all my red fabrics that had some metallic on them and I made four 9-patch blocks, simple, plain old 9-patch.  That was okay but not very interesting although I like the fagrics . So I quilted it very simply and dug through my collection of fabrics with metallic and found one with a swirly design. I cut it up into four segments and decided to applique them on with couched gold piping.  This is what I came up with.  And I even found a name that suits me although I will not explain the metaphor that is intended.  The name is "Trumpiana".  I have never made a truly abstract expressionist quilt before. I think it's far from perfectly executed but actually it makes me feel good. I expresses what has been on my mind.   I wish the photo were better but I don't have a camera that will make it better.   I think this is a new direction for me,  already I'm thinking of making one that's in blue fabrics (mostly without metallic designs. I don't know if it will be another 9-patch or something else traditional with something untraditional about it.  But I have a name in mind already so they can be a pair so I'll definitely try to make it the same sizes with is about 40x44.  More on that score in the indefinite future.