Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Odds and Ends

Well, I'm not going to Houston (but it's fun to read the adventures of people who are there), and I'm not going to my guild retreat this weekend. Instead we are having house guests, old friends who are coming for a few days. It's a case of wanting to be two or three people! Saturday the guys will go to the football game, and Jean and I are driving into Chicago to see the SOFA show. SOFA stands for Sculpture Objects Functional Art, and as you can see from the link it's a super-duper art show with galleries from all over the world displaying artists' work. Last time I went, one of the galleries had some quilts by Nancy Crow, so that was interesting. Everything is great fun to look at, especially the jewelry, and totally unaffordable for most of us. The place is always packed with affluent looking, artsily dressed types, which is also great for people watching.

I've also been working slowly on the orchid quilt. I didn't like the whole fabric background, so I changed to blocks, which seemed like a good idea at the time and was much easier to work with, but when put together seem too stark. So I'm auditioning this striped, woodsy looking fabric for sash and border, and I think I like it. It blends the colors and restores some of the mysterious quality that I lost in the changes. The shapes in the left border may be appliqued on. This is still brewing because I don't have time to think about it at the moment. In this picture the color scheme sure looks like the 70's, doesn't it? Not so much in reality, I think.

And finally--I checked an interesting book out of the library: Quilting Masterclass from That Patchwork Place. It's a collection of quilts, mostly contemporary and "arty", by various quilters, with some comments about technique (although not as much as blurbs for the book promise). I loved the book. There are familiar quilts from familiar names like Judy Dales, Katie P. M., Carol Bryer Fallert, Ruth McDowell, but there are many others from the U.S. as well as the U.K., Australia, and South Africa that were unfamiliar to me. It's always good to get out of the rut created by looking at the same quilt magazines, patterns, and even some shows, to form a fresh perspective. I highly recommend this book.

Monday, October 29, 2007

A Campus Tour

On a beautiful day last week, I took my camera to the Notre Dame campus to give you a glimpse of what, according to some statistics, is Indiana's largest tourist attraction. My husband has taught at Notre Dame for years, my older son and daughter-in-law went there, and when my children were young we lived a few blocks away. On fall evenings we could hear the band practicing and sometimes my husband and the boys would ride their bikes over to watch practice. (My son later played in the ND band, and met his wife there, so early influence can be important!) The place has changed a great deal since then, but here are a few pictures of the classic ND sites, and a few of some of the newer buildings.

We start with the first view of the campus, the open area leading up to the Administration Building, the famous Golden Dome. If it has another name, I don't know what it is. It's just the Dome, and Notre Dame graduates are Domers.

The Basilica of the Sacred Heart. It's beautiful inside, painted in French Baroque style, but I was in a hurry.

A closer view of the Dome, with a statue of St. Joseph in the foreground. Supposedly he's saying, "It's ok, Mary. If you jump, I'll catch you!"

Here's one of the newer landmarks. It's war memorial, dedicated to Notre Dame graduates killed in all wars. Naturally, it's called "Stonehenge." That's the library in the background.

Here's the south side of the Hesburgh library tower. The mural is constructed of Indiana limestone and represents Jesus teaching. I think the official title is something like "The Word of Life," but since the library lines up perfectly behind the north goal of the football stadium and was totally visible to all fans, the mural is always called "Touchdown Jesus."

Neighborhood children used to fly kites on this quadrangle. It's part of the new construction which has made the campus almost unrecognizable to anyone who hasn't seen it recently. The building to the left is the new business school, and to the right is the De Bartolo performing arts center. An ugly building, but a fabulous arts center. It has a movie theater with state of the art projection and sound, two concert/recital halls, a theater, and an organ recital hall (including pipe organ). Although all are under one roof they were built on separate foundations to prevent any sound transfer when two events are happening at the same time.

And one more new building--an appropriate final stop, as it is for many visitors. This is the new bookstore. If anyone was here in the past they might remember the old bookstore on the south quad. That's gone, and here's what we've got instead. A gothic temple to merchandising, packed with every Notre Dame souvenir item you can imagine, and some books too.

People either love Notre Dame, or hate it. Either way, hope you enjoyed the tour. And notice--I didn't mention the football team's season!

Friday, October 19, 2007

What the Heck?

It's an angel--

It's the ears of a mutant rabbit--

It's a frog leg--

Actually, it's a ghost orchid.

And maybe it's the composition of a quilt. I'm not liking this very much.

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Sheer Applique

Does anyone know any tips about appliqueing sheers (net, tulle) to a quilt top? What kind of machine stitching, how do you mark the pattern on the sheer, what kind of thread, etc? I know Libby Lehman has done this, but I have the old edition of her book, and there's nothing in there about it. I'm assuming that you use zig zag or satin stitch with a stabilizer, and the color of thread would depend on the effect you want. I'd appreciate any info anyone has.

Tuesday, October 02, 2007

Thanks, Officer

I drove back from Missouri yesterday, a perfectly smooth drive, 10 hours, not much traffic even in the dread I80-94 stretch south of Chicago. Then I hit the Indiana tollroad, almost home, happily engrossed in a book on tape. Suddenly, a state patrolman appeared, lights flashing. I couldn't believe he meant me; I could see my cruise control standing on 72 (the speed limit is 70). He didn't go around though, so I pulled over. "Ma'am, do you know why I stopped you today?" "No, I have no idea." "I clocked you at 85 in the left hand lane." I expressed amazement, but handed over the papers, and of course, he wrote me a ticket, which is going to cost BIG BUCKS! I have never had any kind of ticket in all my many years of driving, so this is a shock. Also scary. I have no memory of doing what he said in this particular instance, but I know what must have happened. I suppose I pulled around trucks, who are exceeding the truck speed limit (65) of course. You have to speed up to pass them, and if you try to go around them gradually without exceeding the speed limit, someone runs up on your rear bumper. So faster and faster without being aware of it. I've become so familiar with this long drive that I make it on remote control, and this is clearly not a good thing. So the moral is, don't listen to a really interesting book, and stay behind the *&&^% trucks!