Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Karen Eckmeier, the lucky lizard quilter

Karen Eckmeier, was the speaker today at the Bayberry Quilt Guild meeting. She has won big awards for her work at the annual Houston Quilt show.  As she talked it would seem her work is simple and easy for anyone to do -- I don't think so. When I went up at intermission to look at the pieces she had brought along they are majorly complicated.  She says she just plays with fabric ad builds her tiny towns easily -- with roofs, houses an windows.  Hardly "just".  These are highly complex constructions, arranged with a great design sense and a wonderful eye for color.  They are balanced, whimsical, extremely detailed and breath taking when one is standing close to them.

Besides her tiny towns she talked about her landscapes -- which are, indeed small quilts.  They are comprehensible to me,  I can see how she does them and I can see the appeal of "accidental" landscapes, not knowing at the outset just what kinds of curves and lines you are going to cut -- but first you arrive at your work table with a selection of fabrics that will work well together and you experiment for a few years to get the sense of just what kinds of curving lines will work. 
Her work is fascinating and I can well understand why it was award prizes.  Her talk did not at all convince me this is something I want to try.  

The guild's theme for next summer's show will be "scrap quilts".  Delightfully during the show and tell period at the meeting 80% of the quilts shown were scrap quilts --- not because of the theme but because that's what the women happened to make.  Many were stunning.  I think the next guild show will be a  delight -- the more so since I like scrap quilts more than any other kind of quilts.

Saturday, October 19, 2013

Busy but Beautiful Autumn

Blame this unusually beautiful autumn for my lack of posts to this blog.  Also blame how busy I have been - but part of that has been taking every opportunity I could to walk on the beach, until today, it has been barefoot although earlier in the week my toes got very chilled. So it's time for the sneakers again  and that's a sign.  The rose hips are a sign, in fact, this photo was take about a month ago and the hips have had enough chilly night to have shriveled and lost their smooth skinned loveliness -- not unlike a number of women I know.

I've had little time for quilting because I am very busy with the Academy for Lifelong Learning at the Cape Cod Community college, taking classes and teaching my writing skills class. Besides which this is the time my very, very competent committee is helping edit the submissions for the 2013 "Reflections" anthology of student writing. It's both fun and frustrating -- fun because people have such a variety of things to write about, frustrating because the rules of punctuation and, in too many cases, good grammar have long been forgotten -- shriveled, perhaps like the rose hips. That's why I decided few years ago to teach a skills class.  But I will quickly admit that some of the committee members are teaching me rules of punctuation and grammar that even the good old Word program seems to ignore. 

Quilting has not entirely gone bye-the-bye.  I've made blocks for my guild's BOM and for swaps -- mostly black and white blocks because collecting them leads to interesting quilts.  And I have a couple of special projects in the works, one a double sided batik quilt with dark, rich colors on one side and light and bright colors on the other.  It's about half done.  I love best the active part of choosing which color will go beside which. Although these are not scraps of batiks but 5 inch squares, it is the same process as scrap quilting when every piece added is a decision.