Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Paula Nedelstern, Bayberry Quilters Guild


This breath taking quilt was on display at the Bayberry Quilt Guild meeting today although with a couple others of Paula Nadelstern's latest kaleidoscope quilts. I first heard her speak and saw her early quilts nearly 30 years ago.  She found her love and her specific skill and has pursued it all this time, making one quilt at a time -- in her two bedroom apartment in the Bronx with the kitchen knee deep in fabric.  She is a an easy and informative speaker, her enthusiasm for her quilts and for teaching her method which sounds easy enough but is, many have found, devilishly difficult to pull off.

She has a wonderful informative website where one can see many more of her works, she's written three major books about how to make kaleidoscope quitls, and she has become enamored of the actual kaleidoscopes and had invited the Cape's largest vender of kaleidoscopes to the meeting with many of his wares. 

In the above quilt, as you can see quickly, she is playing with chaos, with breakin the images -- this is new and for me a little unsettling especially as she showed beside her magnificent "Akron Quilt" which is in wonderful blues  with three large kaleidoscopes, all whole and magnificent.  It was truly a great pleasure to her her talk and see her quilts -- many of which she showed as slides, of course. The one that was selected one o the 100 best quilts of the 20th century she has given to the American Folk Art Museum.

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Just bits and pieces

My sewing room is like rush hour traffic, all starts and stops.  The only think I've finished in the last month besides  few single blocks to swap is this askew log cabin wall hanging.  Each 12 inch block has 30 pieces of fabric and as you can see I chose gray and hot pink.  It was fun to make but, truthfully, it won't hang on the wall very long because every once in a while when I walk past it not really looking at it, my peripheral vision goes a haywire and I feel a bit off kilter.

Right now I have two quilts in need of quilting, not my favorite thing to do, one that needs a lot of rethinking and fixing, and a reversible batik quilt made of 5 inch charms, light on one side, dark on the other, about 1/4 put together.   I'm liking it and it's easy enough but time is not available enough.

That's okay, in the winter season quilting is a part time thing. I have the set of embroidered blocks about a third done -- I must begin doing them again so I can get the rest finished over the winter by working on them a bit each day  -- well, a few days a week -- so I'll have it completed by early next summer as I want it for a show quilt next August.

Monday, September 02, 2013

First Best Friend

By now reminders of my age come not in a trickle as they have for years but in more of a steady drizzle. A little lightening strike happened about ten days ago with the death of Linda Oatman Townsend who was my first best friend. That was first grade (we had no kindergarten in our small school). She became Lin in later life but is always Linda to me. Only 35 or so children in our first grade class and, of them, a large proportion were together right through 12th grade. Only Linda and I went to college from high school. (A few others did later on). Always friends but not "best" friends as the years went on.  She lived in town and I lived on a farm; I couldn't go to her house to play although once or twice she came home with me.

Interests changed, personalities firmed up, boy friends intervened.  In Indiana University we lived in different dorms and never saw one another. Not really again until out 40th high school reunion.  By the 50th (a few years ago) the internet had entered our lives and Linda took on the role of communicator. She had retained strong ties to her home town and to many of our classmates, as I had not. She began emailing monthly updates. A great many of them spoke or cancer, heart attacks, deaths of class members. She, herself, was frail, with COPD. I knew a little about her career s a teacher in Covina, California, but not much.

She went into the hospital to have a hip replacement replaced.  Did well enough to go to rehab a few days after the surgery, then collapsed and died. I have not heard except a conjecture of internal bleeding, a culpable surgeon or hospital.  Whichever, she is being buried in her hometown near her parents.  She had a full and active live in Covina but she was a hometown girl. Our lives have barely touched each other for over 50 years, but I feel nostalgic and wish we had stayed more in touch. The several other deaths of classmates have not struck such a doleful note for me.  And, of course, the sense that she shouldn't have died just yet is sobering. It can happen to any of us.