Monday, August 30, 2010

July August Interpret This

Palais de l'Isle  15" x 17"
Machine pieced and quilted

I jumped at the chance to use Ruth McDowell's piecing methods in creating the medieval castle at the center of this challenge photo.

 Planning the pattern and piecing sequence is like creating a jigsaw puzzle and putting it back together, but once that was done, the piecing went smoothly.  This particular design didn't require curves and only one or two Y seams.  I did learn the importance of clear and complete marking though.  

You can read more about my piece and see the other reveals at the Interpret This! blog.

Friday, August 27, 2010

Me, Men, and Matisse

A while back, I posted a picture of this little piece and reported that my husband and son didn't know what it was, guessing "leaves".  When asked why the leaves were purple,  they were stumped.

More recently, we saw this Matisse painting in an exhibit at the Art Institute of Chicago.

Me:  David, do you know what kind of flowers those are?

David:  No.

Me:  Bob, do you know what kind of flowers those are?

Bob:  No.  (After walking across the room and peering at the label)    Lilacs!

So there you have it.  I'm not comparing myself to Matisse, but isn't it odd?  Same flower, same lack of recognition.

Do you think it would have helped if I'd put my lilacs in a vase?  Or added a label?

And on a totally unrelated note, don't forget the Interpret This reveals beginning today.  Mine will be up Monday afternoon.

Monday, August 23, 2010

Design Wall

I don't usually post the design wall on Monday, but this week I have something on the wall.  It's the same thing, at about the same stage of completion, that was on the wall last Monday too.  I'm still fighting a messed up sleep schedule and a cold, so haven't been very energetic.

This is five orphan blocks which I am putting together for a service quilt.  After I make some more nine patches, there will be an outer border cut from a panel of alphabet flower blocks, also pink, green, and yellow.  That should bring it up to size for a very feminine lap quilt, or I guess, a crib quilt for a little girl.

And speaking of nine-patches, does anyone else find them hard to make when they're cut from scrappy squares?  (I'm not strip piecing because I want more variety than that allows.)  I don't seem to be able to line up the little pieces accurately, and on a small block the mismatches really show up.

Saturday, August 21, 2010

Guild Show

Every year my guild displays quilts in the Mishawaka, Indiana library.  The library has a large open atrium and center hallway which shows the quilts off to great advantage, and the show is enjoyed by all the library patrons and quilters as well.

Although I finished this quilt a while ago, I haven't posted it because it's so large I couldn't get a good picture.  The show is a perfect opportunity.  It's not been a favorite of mine:  the colors are a little sweet, and it's too regular in design, but now that it's been beautifully quilted by Deb Geyer, and I see it hanging here, I do like it.

And while we're looking at blue quilts, isn't this beautiful?  It was made by Michelle Wilson, and I wish I knew the pattern.  She did a wonderful job of choosing batiks; there's enough variety of value and tone to give the pattern definition but still be soft like a batik quilt can be.

Here are two scrappy beauties, by Kathleen Peterson and Fern Hamlin.  The place they were hung didn't allow a very good picture unfortunately, but I love both these quilts--so much movement.

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Highs and Lows of Our Australian Adventure


     Sunset and sunrise on Uluru (Ayers Rock).  The bus pulls in, set up a table with wine and snacks (or coffee) provides a folding stool, and you can watch the moment-by-moment color changes of the rock.

 Ride on the Ghan train from Adelaide to Alice Springs.  This is definitely a railroad adventure.  The entire ride takes two-and-a-half days from the bottom to the top of Australia.  We did 24 hours, stopping at Alice Springs.  The train is quite luxurious, with comfortable compartments and delicious meals, beautifully served.  The scenery was a thrill to me, and we met fascinating people, all Australian.  Visiting this part of their country was an adventure for them too.

     Amazing plants, animals and rock formations in the outback.

  A wonderful performance of The Marriage of Figaro at the Sydney Opera House.  This is the view from one of the lobbies.


   My husband's worsening cough, which finally required an unscheduled visit to the clinic on the cattle station where we were staying.  We walked in with no money or ID, received excellent, immediate, and free care, and two prescription medications.  He had to take it easy for the rest of the trip, resisting every inch of the way.

   After a wonderful flight from Australia on Quantas, we had a cancelled flight from LA to Chicago that meant we were rerouted through Dallas, left there two hours late, and then of course had a major luggage mix-up in Chicago.   Arrival: six hours late.  That's probably par for the course these days.

   It's good to be home!  Now if I could sleep more than an hour at a time...

Tuesday, August 10, 2010


We arrived late Sunday in Chicago, and drove home yesterday morning.  It's good to be back, and will be even better when the laundry is done and the jet lag goes away.

It was also good to find out that my Hoffman Challenge will be in the traveling exhibit!  Thanks to everyone who commented on it.  I was able to read the comments while away, and the friendly word from home was very welcome.

I'll post a bit about the trip in a day or so when I can pry my husband's computer from his hands to access the photos.