Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Turkey day

One might compare the rather lean and mean looking threesome in the header with those watermelon shaped turkeys in the supermarket or in your oven. 

Like large parts of the US, Cape Cod has a growing population of wild turkeys.  This small group wandered across my lawn last spring just as the final snow was thawing.  Some people I know have had groups as large as 20 in their yards.  We are by no means rural, this lawn is bordered by West Main Street and a very busy artery called Pitcher's Way.  Lots of traffic.  I more often see groups of turkeys near areas that have large amounts of woods nearby. (I am often amazed and pleased that although Cape Cod is densely populated, it still has lots of areas thick with trees.)

I  never saw a wild turkey until I was in my 40s. Since then they have become populous enough that I am not surprised when I see them. I am a bit nervous driving on some roads in areas with houses on large tracts that have plenty of woods for the turkeys roost in. I've just written a humorous short story about someone who hit one on a road.  They are very much on my mind this time of year.
(Also on my mind is what the breeders have done with their domestic cousins with breasts so large (and meaty) they can hardly stand on their much shorter legs.

Sunday, November 09, 2014

Work in Progress

Sometimes I see a quilt in a magazine that I just have to make right away.  This isn't one of those but I saw one of those yesterday while I was having a Starbuck's coffee and an orange-cranberry scone at Barnes & Noble. I have a sneaky habit of looking through quilt magazines I know I'm not going to buy  because, perchance, I might see something exciting.  I did. In a Quilt Mania magazine from France which I think costs $14.95 (maybe a dollar or two less but still too much). That quilt will surface on this blog in about three months.  And I'll say no more, there's a lot of sewing involved. But thanks to modern day methods it will look like there was a lot more sewing than will actually have to happen.

This quilt-- the current WIP on my design wall is almost all pieced, it'll take one morning to finish piecing.  I like it a lot, as a matter of fact. The snowball blocks are mixed in equal parts with nine patch blocks (each of which has a white central square).  I think this counts as a "modern" quilt because I'm using a traditional pair of blocks with a great deal of white and very bright "today" colors.

Feeling as I do about the quilt-to-be that's only an embryo in my brain  (and a quick sketch on a piece of paper) this quilt will be  pieced and then put aside while I work on the other.  Fair enough, I think.
But there's just one other thing: I have many small half-square triangles with white and the bright colors that will become a part of the border for this quilt.  I should sew them together and add them to the quilt before I lay it aside.  Ah, me ....  the imagination outruns the time available.

To complicate my sewing life -- which is habitually what I do -- I found a very fun panel with alphabet squares each of which is illustrated with a character from the Dr. Seuss stories.  I have lately been giving Dr. Seuss books to my great-grandchildren -- an underhanded way to wedge in "real" books and not the cartoon-y things they see on a screen -- no, they don't have TV either but they make much use of a computer.  So I want to turn those blocks into a nice puffy quilt that they can all play with as they desire.  It won't take a lot of time and I have plenty of bright fabric around to strip between the squares. So I'd like to get that done before Christmas.  I think I'll have some time the middle of December. Sigh!

Friday, November 07, 2014

Beautiful Thread Painting

From A Quilters Gathering in Manchester, NH two examples of wonderful thread painting by Jodi Scaltreto of Hillsboro, NH. The fox is called "El Zoro" and the cat is called "Fig". As you see Zoro was awarded a ribbon. I think both were delightful.

This show seemed smaller than in the past and had fewer venders. The attendance was scanty, I thought.  However many very craftsmanly, beautifully made quilts were on view.  Most were "contemporary traditional", the majority of the colors were bright, nearly all were heavily machine quilted -- some very elegantly and far too many too heavily, adding nothing to the over all concept of the quilt. 

There were a few that could be called "modern" quilts in the fairly minimalist vein but the two that come to mind were the same design suggesting to me that both quilters took the same workshop  and copied the workshop leader's design. This is seen frequently in this kind of quilt show. 

Besides the very busy long arm quilting, many designs were fussy, too much happening, too busy.  This is a pervasive problem whenever I look at winners from the big shows -- it's the style-de-jour. I like that the fox and the cat have fairly simple backgrounds and the quilting in the foreground of the cat is simply done on a home machine as is the background, nothing to distract from the focus. 

My quilt Marginalized Poets was the only piece that was a bit bewilderingly "arty". Some people read the explanation and "got it" many did not give it more than a glance. That's to be expected.  The theme was Poetry but there was very little nod toward poetry.  I expected quilts that were inspired by specific poems -- I expected at least a couple of quilts with diverging roads in the woods -- but there were none. The theme did not inspire.  Poetry is exciting only to a handful of people.  I'm glad I know a handful although of the many people I know who write "poetry" few have an interest in reading or hearing poetry read beyond their own exercise of expression.  Nothing wrong with expressing yourself in a form that looks on the page like poetry.  But ... well that's another subject.