Saturday, November 19, 2016

Challenges, after about forty years

This is my most recent "art quilt" aside from the cow on the previous post.  I consider the cow fairly traditional as it's all squares. And I followed a photo I had. This (click on image to enlarge) is called "They Shall Inherit..." It's an exaggerated looked at a world where  there are no people. The buildings (these are all NYC landmarks - from a printed panel) remain but dinosaur-size insects of all colors have taken over. I think of it as the way an infestation of cockroaches suddenly appear and scuttle for cover when a kitchen light has been turned on. 

I like this idea but am not entirely happy with how it turned out. I have a poorly developed artistic sense. It's all in my head and very hard for me to realize in fabric.

I went to a meeting of the Uncommon Threads group this week and, once again, am deeply humbled by the creativity o the others. We are making a group quilt for the guild raffle next summer and each had a section to do. I did my section at the last minute -- a design and method that is deceptively simple using a wonderful fabric pallette that we chose as a group. I am okay with my contribution. I was told approximately what to do and did it. The challenge of the group is to be truly creative in design and execution - that's where I  stumble.

Three others had begun on the next challenge that I had only thought about: combine "art" quilt elements with traditional elements. Two had completed pieces that were stunning in color and fabric choice and delightful to look at. A third had begun sewing a brave hodgepodge of fabrics together to be the basis for a design she had on paper. I had nothing.  Not even an idea.  Happily that was a kick in the pants and, as so often happens, about 4:00 a.m. I was awake and an idea came to me. I am so curious about it, I hope to start on it later today.  Ideas come, carrying them out -- ah, that's the rub.

I had had these bugs in mind for a long time, had saved a page from some magazine with similar bugs in black and white so I knew I could give them antennae and the right number of legs and use interesting fabrics.  When I remembered the NYC fabric it was an easy step to cut it apart so the firey sky would surround and show through.  Now we will see what I can do with my new idea.

Monday, November 14, 2016

Look Carefully, you'll see, (I hope) a cow

Well, a little bit like the Pony-in-there-somewhere joke,  with all those squares, if you look long enough you'll see a cow in there somewhere.  What I need is someone to hold the quilt up so I can get a good straight-on photo and then I think the cow would be obviously. I like sublty but this is just too much and the poor dear Bossy seems to have mostly misplaced her legs. Live and learn -- although, as old as I am, you'd think I'd have learned a lot more by now.  Guess not.  It enticed me and I had to do it.

For almost mid-November the weather was surprisingly nice. One must take advantage of days like this, so I walked around Hathaway's pond (photo at the end) and took pictures of the many autumn colors. Autumn here isn't usually so grandly colored.  Everything seems to have changed all in sync so the woods are full of all the mellow colors-- not the really bright ones except for occasional "burning bushes" in lawns which really are ablaze. Whereas spring tends to have the excitement of anticipation, autumn suggests meditation, not necessarily gloomy. It's a time of fulfillment and satisfaction. Those golds and reds were hiding in the leaves all the time but only now are revealing their hidden beauty.  Think on it!  Think about older people, the ones who really come into their own in their 60s and 70s and 80s -- yes they do.  I know many of them, I'm one of them. It's wonderful glowing golden or rosy against the brown background of all the younger people who are trying to "fit in." And drying up as they do it. Many don't even know that a nice hard frost, a change in their life, will reveal new excitements.

Thursday, November 10, 2016

Going through files, looking under the beds

A call for star quilts to be hung in our local Tumbleweeds Fabric store in January meant to inspire other Bayberry Quilters to make star quilts for next August's show had me pulling bags of quilt down from upper shelves of closets and out from under beds. I wanted to find this one which dates back to about 12 or 14 years. I don't think it's what is in mind really, as it's got 900 pieces and took a large part of a year. But I was challenged by the pattern in a magazine and set to work. I exhibited it in the Empire Quilt Guild (NYC) show in, I think 2004. 

I resurrected several other star quilts. Much as I love the log cabin pattern and have made quite a few, I believe I've made more stars than anything else.  I will send photos of  simpler quilts to the woman collecting them.  But, frankly, I'd love to see this on a wall again.  Quite a few others came to light -- oh, my!  I have more than I should. a great many are wall quilts, not bed size, so they are not candidates for charity needs.

Saturday, November 05, 2016

Muted beauty

I'm mining older photos because I didn't get out and do the photography I thought I might today. Yesterday and today are spectacular. It seems all the trees that could change color waited for some signal so they could all synchronize their costume changes.  This photo isn't really appropriate but I was thinking all day of walking around this pond. I actually didn't do it because I was seaching for the right backing fabric for a quilt (as if I don't have many choices in my stash -- but a coupon was burning a hole in my pocketbook).

I don't remember ever seeing such unbroken aisles of color as I did yesterday and today driving the familiar roads I travel often.  The colors are not as brilliant as they sometimes are but they are blended expertly as only Mother Nature can. Only the evergreens are still green. We had a chilly couple of rainy days and apparently a night when the temperature dropped below freezing and that did it.  Every year is different.  This is a subtly wonderful one.