Monday, August 29, 2011

Smackdown Quilt Completed

Here we are--my version of I Spy a Four Patch, by Bonnie Hunter.   It was good discipline for me to sit down and finish a quilt in an assigned time; often I diddle and dither and wander away to do something else.  I hope that some child likes this, and I'm sure Debra's quilting will improve it.  Here's a link to Debra's blog where you can see her Smackdown quilt.

Thursday, August 25, 2011

August Quilting Smackdown

Debra Spincic is organizing another quilting smackdown to make quilts for local veterans and their families.  You can read about it on her blog and on Barbara's.  Barbara explains the pattern recommended for this month, and Debra will explain the procedure.  You don't even have to use that pattern though.  I'm going to do I Spy a Four Patch, one of Bonnie Hunter's patterns from, because I cut out the pieces and pulled the fabrics some time ago.  This will make me finish, I hope.  I'll cut strips for the four patches tomorrow and sew this weekend.

Think about joining in.  It should be fun.

Sunday, August 21, 2011

Finally, a Quilt Post!

I finished the blocks for the Athena's Puzzle quilt (in fact with my usual inability to count, I made three extra), and have laid them out on the floor.  It's difficult to deal with something so big; not only is the design wall too small, but so is most of my empty floor space.  I made a few adjustments in the arrangement of blocks after the picture, but that's as good as it's gonna get.

I intended the gold blocks as an accent, and wasn't sure that was a good idea when I began the layout.  Now I like them.  The other problem is the blocks that are so much lighter.  In a perfect world I wouldn't have made those, but the goal here was to use fabric on hand, so they're there, for better or worse.  It feels good to have this progress made; I hope to start sewing blocks together this afternoon.

I tried to take a classic Cat Helper shot, but Florabelle is too ladylike to do anything so crude as walk on the quilt blocks.  She just watched from a polite distance.

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Beautiful British Columbia

First, a few iconic shots:

The view from the top of the Whistler Olympic Ski run--spectacular in 360 degrees.  We took the gondola up, the peak-to-peak gondola between the two peaks, and the chair lift down.  Fun!

Sunset onVancouver Harbor, taken from the dinner cruise boat.

Part of the totem pole display in the atrium of the UBC Museum of Anthropology.  The picture doesn't really convey how powerful these are, especially as the light begins to fade outside.  I remember being stunned by them 30 years ago, and the feeling hasn't changed.  Unfortunately over the years, the landscaping around the museum has changed so that the totem poles no longer seem to be part of their original land and water setting the way I remember.

More Northwest First Nations art:  these are two works by the Haida artist, Bill Reid.  The first one depicts Raven discovering the first men and releasing them from the clam shell.

The second, called Jade Canoe, is depicted on the Canadian twenty dollar bill and stands in the Vancouver Airport.  The picture with me in front of it gives some idea of the scale.  There's a wonderful gallery devoted to this artist's work in downtown Vancouver where we spent several hours, totally fascinated.  The anthropologist Claude Levi-Strauss said that Haida art is one of the five or six great art traditions of the world.  I don't know how to evaluate that statement, but it's thought provoking certainly.

And finally:
 It's not what you think.  This is a bar, in Vancouver's historic Gastown district, shown below.  Originally seedy, it's now trendy and touristy, at least mostly.

And finally:

This is part of the decor of a new-to-me trendy clothing store called All Saints Spitalfields.  Apparently they want a garment factory theme.  Considering what garment factories must really be like, I don't think that's too cute, but the number of old Singer sewing machines is incredible.  There must be several hundred, stacked on floor-to-ceiling shelves and as a backing for displays.

I'm glad to be home although it was a good trip.  Normal life is very satisfying.

Friday, August 05, 2011

Out of Office

A week in Vancouver and some time in Seattle.  See you in a while.