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?


McIrish Annie said...

I thought I was a crazy quilter. That is until I did one itsy bitsy quilt which took forever!!. Love the concept but not for me.

Haven't been to DC since my son was little. Great pictures! definitely would like to take in the FDR memorial

Libby Fife said...

What a really wonderful trip. The FDR quote nearly made me cry (sentiment and hormones). Thanks for showing the pictures; sort of like my own personal travelogue.

PS-I do like some of Bellows's cityscapes. There is a lot going on.

Debra Spincic said...

I don't even remember that embroidery but I am glad you used it. Nice oriental look to your CQ which is refreshing.

One of these days I need to take a museum trip. When I lived in Chic, museums were always on the list of places to go. Not so much here.

Anonymous said...

Love the ring on the CQ! I think you did a marvelous job! But that's coming from someone who does very rudimentary hand sewing.

I haven't been to DC in years. I really want to go! I'd love to go when the cherry blossoms are in bloom.

Thanks for sharing.

Barbara C said...

It's nice to see the FDR memorial. I had a couple of hours to kill once after a conference in DC and spent them at one of the Smithsonian museums dedicated to Native American history. Ever since, I've wanted to go back and really spend time there touring the museums.

Michele Bilyeu said...

Your crazy quilt for AAQI is wonderful...loved the improvisation of the unique hanging ring!Just a tip from experience..measure it ring extended in the count and if it's over 9" x 12", tuck the ring under with a stitch or two, just for the purpose of rules ;)Such photo to see the other bits of sewing and the lovely photos! Fun!!