Monday, June 27, 2011

Remember Paducah?

Long ago, I said I would post some more photos from the AQS Show in Paducah.  So here they are, better late than never.  I've put off this post for several reasons, one of which is that I don't have many pictures.  I'm impatient, and photograph only what really catches my attention, and so finish without much to show.  Accordingly, this is a very personal set of photos, not intended to be inclusive, and you're also going to get my opinions, not necessarily so humble.

There are certain popular themes or styles in the quilts at this show, one of which is the Baltimore Album style appliqued quilt.  You'll see no pictures of these because I have none.  I find the design so static and predictable I tend to pass these quilts by quickly.  This is unfair to the beautiful workmanship, I know, but they get the admiration they deserve from many other people.

Another popular type is the medallion quilt.  They're also static, by definition, but here's one I loved.

The Lily Bloomed
Fusako Takido

 She's created movement with the curving stems of the lilies and the pattern on the fabric in those tiny triangles.  The soft color scheme sets this quilt apart too, and grabbed my eye.

I love the way the Japanese quilters breathe so much life into these regular designs by their fabric choices and fussy cutting.  The colors are subtle usually, it's the pattern that does the work.
Yaeko Noguchi

In the Future
Hiroko Miyamoto

I love the op art effect of this one.
A Beam of Hope
Kayoko Hata

Then there are the landscape quilts, not a favorite of mine, but this one was stunning.  Unfortunately it was at the back of the booth, so I couldn't get close to it to see how it's done.
Winterberries on a Winter's Green
Patricia A. Bruno
The color of that sky is glorious--a perfect winter dawn.

And there's whimsy:  I love this one.

A Day in the Life of a Diner Booth
Linda Cantrell

Finally, here a few done with special techniques that appeal to me.  An effective use of altered photos in this one, along with beautiful quilting.  Could it be that I'm partial to winter scenes?  Hmm.
Feel the Chill
Nancy Sterett Martin

She really has a created a feeling of chill.

The fabric designs of the animals and plants in this one are screen printed and stamped.
Memories of Edgewood Farm-Hinton, Iowa
Hallie H. O'Kelly

And a painted fabric piece by Inge Mardal and Steen Hougs.  This one is notable for the totally unsentimental, almost disturbing quality of the image.  It reminds me of a Magritte.  As my sister said, "What are they going to do with those little boys?"
Separate Ways

And finally in no particular category and for no reason except it's such fun:

Some Assembly Required
Margie Engel

Click to see the embellishments.  As well as hundreds of buttons, there are zippers, snaps, hooks, etc.  A totally delightful quilt!

I hope you've enjoyed this totally biased selection of the best of the best.  As you see, sometimes the judges agree with my choices, and sometimes they didn't.  Quelle domage.

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

More Catching Up, or a Data Dump

How's that for a catchy title?  If you're still with me, I'll start with the quilting things.

Several weeks ago I started this crazy quilt piece for Alz quilts, and finally finished it before leaving for my trip to Washington, D.C.  I think this will be the last one of these I ever do.  Although I did lots of embroidery years ago, I no longer remember any of the stitches, and have to constantly look them up, and the work isn't very good. This one has more embellishment than I can usually stand, all handwork except for Debra's machine embroidery motif.  The fabric is scraps of kimono silks, left from other projects.  The orange fringe in the upper left is actually selvage from one of the fabrics.

I like the hanging ring.  In the spirit of crazy repurposing, I've used a copy of the "one ring", complete with magical runes, saved from an old Lord of the Rings bookmark.

Yesterday afternoon, I finally went back to the Greek Key quilt, and made a bit of progress.  Something clicked and I finally understood Bonnie Hunter's beginners and enders concept, so I also made a pile of triangle squares for my endless scrap quilt.  Maybe I can get the Greek Key blocks done this week.

And here comes the data dump:  What I liked best from my trip to D.C. and northern Virginia.  For the first time, I took the Tourmobile that goes around the National Mall, and was able to go to the Tidal Basin to have a look at the Jefferson Memorial and the new memorial to FDR.  The view back across to the Washington Monument is spectacular.

The FDR memorial is beautiful, a small park of its own, with sculptures illustrating him and his presidency, and quotations from his speeches.  I hope you can click and read the inscription here next to the relief depicting men in a bread line.

I also visited the new Museum of the American Indian on the Mall.  As you can see, it looks nothing like the other buildings, and is landscaped so that it's not visible from the center of the mall.  Their artifacts are stunning, and the cafeteria serves delicious native food from various regions of the country.

  At the National Gallery, I skipped the big Gaugin show for the regular collection, and found this wonderful painting by George Bellows.  Bellows is one of my favorite painters.  He's one of the Ash Can School of early 20th century realists, and this painting of NYC fits that description.  I love the way he reduces part of the figures so that they're almost abstract shapes and makes others jump out with splashes of unexpected color.  Although this photo I took with my cell phone isn't very good, I think you can get an impression of his work.

Last, but not least, we had a wonderful visit to old friends, highlighted by a trip to wineries in the Blue Ridge.  We had a delicious picnic lunch and wine of course on this deck.  Beautiful scenery, and even better company.

A funny P.S.:  While we were out to dinner one night, my cosmetic bag decided to tumble off the shelf into the toilet.  It turned out that the nearest CVS where I could buy replacements was in the Watergate building. How's that for an unexpected visit to a historic site?

Sunday, June 12, 2011

A Visit with Ami Simms

Hee-r-e'-s Ami:

Her talk was hysterically funny.  She described her early quilting adventures: not knowing about seam allowances, so the Lone Star Block came out much smaller than expected, not knowing how to miter a corner, so each one was bad in a different way, the sheets (including the label) used for backing.  A memorable line: It's easy to get small quilting stitches.  Use cotton thread, fabric, and batting, and boil it.

And here's a selection of the guild's quilts for the Alzheimer's Quilt Initiative:

A fairly small percentage of the members participated, but still the quilts made a good display, and will certainly sell well and help the cause.  The color challenge is a good idea; it forces people to stretch, and not choose the currently popular colors.  This was one of our best meetings ever.

Wednesday, June 08, 2011

Hello Again

I never thought I'd be one of those people who say, "I can't believe how long it's been since I posted," but here I am.  No interesting excuses.  I've been traveling, doing family things, entertaining house guests, and trying to keep ahead of the Center of Entropy which is my house and yard.  Thank those of you who emailed to see what was up with me.

On the family front, my grandchildren came for the Memorial Day weekend, and here they are using Grandma's glue and fabric scraps to create a multi-media work of art.

And in the housekeeping area, I'm gradually moving part of my stash to this old cabinet my husband salvaged from the chemistry labs.  If it's good to re-purpose fabric, it should be equally good to re-purpose furniture, even though the resulting studio doesn't look like an article from Quilter's Home.

The only thing happening creatively is this little piece for Alz Quilts.

Ami Simms is speaking at our guild tomorrow night, and in preparation, everyone drew a crayon from a basket and is challenged to make an Alz Quilt using that color predominantly.  My color was red orange, and as you see, I'm barely within the rules.  Art has a mind of its own, right?  The binding will be orange, and the backing too.  Maybe that counts.

I hope there's a good response to the challenge and a large turnout for the meeting.  It's terrific that we're having an outside speaker, and especially such a notable one.