Saturday, August 24, 2013

"My" Geese and the Little Goose Girl

The Canadian geese are back and in large numbers.  In the spring we had 10 to 12 that arrived in the morning and feasted on the lawn for a while. Then they disappeared for about a month. They were nesting somewhere.  (There are two small ponds not far away and I think they nest there.) Then one day this Mama Goose was in the yard with five goslings (one independent gosling was out of picture range). I didn't see them arrive or leave but I assume they walked. Clearly the goslings don't have feathers enough to fly. 

In the past two weeks we've suddenly had 30 and more geese in the yard, often in the morning for breakfast then they they go away and come back in the afternoon. The lawn usually has many small, light feathers floating about after they leave. So it seems clear many of the new flock  are this year's chicks, now with feathers but still shedding some of the fluffy chest feathers. They are picturesque but they leave deposits of poop all over the lawn. I tell visitors to "beware the land mines." 

Some residents don't like them. One woman has been out two afternoons this week shoo-ing them  away. The first day she  got them all into the parking lot and went inside. About two minutes later I saw them, almost in formation, march back onto the lawn like an army invading with great determination. Soon the woman  was back with a broom. This time she herded them to the road -- actually stopped traffic, as she  got them into the lawn across the way (which is not residential but commerical). They stayed. But they were back the next afternoon and so was she with her broom.

The first contingent have just arrived this afternoon.  I'll watch for their fate. I thought of the Grimm tale of the "Little Goose Girl" but couldn't remember anything except the title. So I have just looked it up.  This is the link for anyone who wants to be reminded in the last few lines just how aptly names those two tale collecting brothers are. 

Monday, August 19, 2013

More International Quilts

Three more favorite quilts from the International Mancusco Quilt Show in Manchester, Vermont which I saw last Thursday.  The purple cow at the top was my all around favorite -- just because it was so much fun to look at.  This is not a cartoon cow.  This is a very real cow, except she's purple. It's the quilt I came home saying, "I wish I'd done that"

The bear is especially wonderful and something I know I could never do. The title is "Fishing Hole" and it's by Barbara McKie, an art quilter whose career I've watched for many years.  The bear and much of the water are tread painted.  She is wonderfully skilled at thread painting.  She had also a delightful quilt with  nine different scenes of a squirrel at a bird feeder. It was also in last year's show and I didn't get a decent photo of it so I'm not showing it.  I probably think it's even more fun than the purple cow.

The bottom quilt is an experiment if design and fabric that I think worked beautifully. It has the pleasure of feeling like an improvization although it may have been carefully thought out.  Putting it on plain black background make the colors and pattern pop and the yellow strips give the feeling that it is more than an improv; it's a well planned piece of art.

Friday, August 16, 2013

Mancusco International Quilt Show, Manchester, VT

The International Quilt Show is my favorite -- except for  Quilt National which is way out in Athens, Ohio and which I haven't seen for several years.  This is a Mancsco show that travels to 6 or 8 venues in the US and is truly international.  There are many American quilts but also (each year a different balance of) quilts from other countries. Japan is always well represented and the Japanese craftsmanship is probably the best in the world -- and they are creative too!  There were wonderful groups of quilts from Germany, Israel, Australia, Canada, England and, as always, fascinatingly different quilts from South Africa.  Here are some of my pictures. I'll input more tomorrow also.
The rhinoceros is rendered real, although it is not photograhic - this is what art can do!  I'd love to live with this ancient looking beast in my living room. This quilt was called "Tiptoe-ing into the Future."

The raven photo didn't photograph as vividly as I wished, but I found bird and Chinese "chops" an evocative quilt.

I photographed the circles because I'm working on a circle quilt although quite different, but the fringe-y method of sewing them together is fascinating.  I'm thinking of making a quilt of 5x5 squares (no circles) that will be reversible and this might be a good way to put them together. One side would be very textured and the other would not be textured. That interests me. Besides it would be easy.

I didn't take time to note down the quilters' names, which I should have done, but I was lazy.  Apologies all around -- to quilters and viewers.

Thursday, August 08, 2013

Challenge Quilts -- My EsCAPE

The Challenge theme for this year's Bayberry Quilt show was "My EsCAPE"  A great many were beach themed.  The viewer's choice was a delightful scene on a beach, a very corpulent woman walking a dog. The actual quilter is not at all that size, but she has a sense of humor. Her note said her dream was to have a "dog beach" where she could take her dog.

This is my entry, which also is beachy.  I love the occasional Sunday when I can sit on the beach and work on the NYTimes crossword puzzle.  Rachel took the photo which I printed on fabric and then added the water, sand and a bit of beach grass (as we were asked to use some green). I actually hand quilted the whole quilt -- but it's only 20 x22 including the border.  I looked for an appropriate border fabric but found none, so I printed actual crossword puzzle on fabric as well. 

I wish I'd taken more photos, but I didn't.  I seem to have A LOT of quilt photos on my photo file, and I really don't go back and look at them very often.  There are JUST SO MANY wonderful quilts in the world.  And so many of them inspire me.

Sunday, August 04, 2013

More Bright Quilts from the Bayberry Show

I should apologize to the makers of these quilts for not noting their names -- but I didn't.

The top left is a "Stack and Whack" quilt and she named it "Because it's so much fun."  Which is exactly how I feel about Bethany Reynold's trademarked technique when I can find an appropriate fabric as was found for this quilt.  The patterns that appear a you sew are always a bit surprising and always delight me. The fabric on the border is the one from which all those whirligigs were cut.  And the various background blocks for the whirligigs are well chosen.

The other two seem a great deal alike but they ARE different in their own way.  These, too, I find wonderful fun to make.  As in the top one, they work best when they are all about the same clear hue.  When one begins mixing too many prints with too many colors in different hues they get a little muddy which happened in the bottom one, but it is still a delight to look at.  I really, really love scrap quilts or ones that appear to have been made of scraps.  The black one in the previous post is of the same sort -- all those strips in the diamonds are surely scraps.  I can hardly wait to make another strip quilt similar to that one. 
The orange-y quilt is a Chinese Coins with a well selected stripe to separate the strips of "coins" It's bright and fun but, to me, too pretty, too planned, too careful. That is my taste, I'm sure others would love this quilt. My question that comes up every time I see this kind of quilt is why?  Why is it called "coins" when real Chinese coins are round, as are most coins the world over.  And paper money is this rectangular shape.  Just asking?

Friday, August 02, 2013

A dramatic quilt

The Bayberry Guild's annual show is up and running. I have only two small quilts in it this year: the woven quilt I posted here a couple of months ago and a quilt for the challenge.  I don't have a photo yet so I'll leave that for couple of days. 

I'm getting a little jaded about traditional quilts and did not enjoy the show as much as it probably deserved because a great deal of the workmanship was excellent.  The quilt pictured here is very simple, indeed. Strip pieced triangles are arranged in diamonds and separated by plain black.  It is exactly the kind of scrap quilt I like best -- very, very scrappy,  very simple in design and very dramatic over all.  I feel inspired to make one similar to this -- it would be impossible to make a copy of it and I wouldn't want to, of course. I have plenty of scapes in many colors and designs.

I took a few other photos, partly to remember a quilting design  and because one had extensive hand embroidery.

Besides this one I am inspired by a couple of second hand books I picked up with paper piecing designs. I really love quilt shows but I  prefer a lot of art quilting and, as always and everywhere, that is rare.