Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Journal Quilts for memories

    Except for one tv segment on Boston's The Good Day Show, I don't believe I ever quilted until I saw an enticing sign in the Cambridge Quilt Shop advertising a journal quilt workshop. Geri Barr from Australia had our group layering fabric backing, batting and top to commemorate a memorable or significant event each week in our lives. If you type "journal quilt" in the search area in the top left of this page you can see I have written many times about these. Better still, my website has two very long pages of these journal quilts.

     I missed making these small, 2- hour 8" x 8" quilts that start out as 10" x 10." I hope to get back to them...one a week. This week I am remembering 8-year-old Hannah's asking me fairly recently if I got my ears pierced:
"No, Hannah, but if I ever get up my nerve, I'll have you and Erika go with me."
"Oh never mind," she said. "Don't worry. You only have about ten years left and it would just be a waste!"
"Only ten years?" I asked.
"Oh, or twenty," she recovered, a bit red-faced.

      After layering and adding ideas, I pin the three layers together to quilt them. Next, I place the "sandwich" under a posterboard frame, the center of which is 8" x 8," draw and sew along the markings. I then cut off the edges with pinking shears. Fiskars work very well. After making do in the past, I finally got good markers: Sewline yellow fabric pencil for dark fabrics and The Fine Line blue marker for light fabrics. Both markers rinse out immediately and beautifully with water. Remember to only spend 2 hours on these. They are "sketches" or fodder for something else. If you spend much more time on them, you may cease to create one a week.

        I wanted 3-D flapping ears and the flying clocks. I use multicolored thread for the writing hints. I have two suitcases full of these soft quilted memories and am starting a third.

Friday, March 15, 2013

Communication: a group posting

      Our 12" x 12" quilt group Material Mavens had Reveal Day today. Our topic the past month was Communication. Below find my posting, but you can go to the MM site to see all contributions of the 15 members of the group.  All quilts should be up by midnight. It is fun to see how many versions of Communication are created. The new topic is also listed. Canyon will be challenging, but I have some ideas. At the MM site, I wrote the following:

      The same day “communication" was announced as our theme, I strangely happened to applique birch trees in doubles. The branches started reaching out to touch to communicate. My brain said they stood for both our virtual and our face-to-face lives. We live two lives in one. However trite the image, my brain refused to entertain any other expression of the topic.

      Today we have circles of friendship and families we see regularly, but just as important and real are the virtual friendships, families and lives we enjoy only via the Internet. It has been said that 4 out of 5 Internet users have developed new lives online in virtual worlds. It is interesting to think how communication differentiates these worlds. Presence, with its diverse elements, communicates as much as words in the physical world, while in the virtual world, communication is both focused and limited by the shared interests.  Communication is never easy, face-to-face, but may be more difficult online; thus, the emergence of emoji, the Japanese term for the picture characters or emoticons that we use to clarify or stand for our facial expressions in real life. ☺ But that is another quilt!

A teaser: Are the communicating birches virtual or real? That is the paradox in all representational art.      Note: This quilt is mounted to stretched canvas in a manner demonstrated in my February 13, 2013 blog posting on Linda Drawing Time.

Friday, March 8, 2013

Museum Weekend in NYC: Met and MoMA

       Some people go to Florida, but we drive to NYC. I wanted to see the Matisse: In Search of True Painting at the Met. The Metropolitan Museum of Art has  Selected Highlights, videos and much more up at its site. Matisse painted the same subject, people and scenes, over and over in search of the best painting, the best expression of his emotion, not precise realism, but simplification. You will enjoy viewing the highlights. I want to try those series myself.

      After also visiting the City Quilter for fabric and the Neue Gallery for their apple strudel and coffee. we hobbled home to recover for a visit from the grandchildren the next day. Beth had suggested we go to MoMA for their interactive opportunities. Immediately on admittance to the Museum of Modern Art, the three children donned free audio guides and blissfully sought out numbers on paintings to learn more. They LOVED the modern art., even the conceptual. After lunch we went to the interactive education area where they made their own art.

       Later, I picked up my English art magazine at the Hudson stand, took the kids to buy a book at Postman's and got two art books What is Art? and The Visual Language of Drawing: Lessons on the Art of Seeing. With this lovely snow blizzard I should be able to get in some reading when not on my Wii :-)  I had no idea how out of shape I was after walking the streets of NYC.

Note: Artist friend Kathy Borkowski-Byrne arrived in NYC just as we were leaving and mailed me the Met photo at the top of the page!

Click on the photos to enlarge.

P.S. How could I forget! (EASY)   We stopped off in New Haven to see the recently fabulously renovated Yale art galleries and the museum of British art. What a gift shop at the latter.

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Books in Bloom: surprise bouquets

       If you wanted to create a floral bouquet to call attention to a book you enjoyed, which book comes to mind?  Dianthe cleverly chose two wedding bouquets from the book Elizabeth the Queen: The Life of a Modern Monarch by Sally Bedell Smith to share at Books in Bloom, a festive evening and weekend at the local library. This collaboration of the  Garden Club and the Friends of the Library presented floral arrangements alongside books to support library programs: free museum passes and Author and Music series. Below are the two bouquets that ended up at my house a week later (still in good shape) that I wanted to show you. The gardenias have passed (not the scent) and there is more movement in their construction than my photograph captured.

Sarah and Camilla's wedding bouquets reproduced by Dianthe Eisendrath 

        Almost everyone loves a wedding and on holding these, I felt like marching down the aisle again. On the left you see Sarah (Fergie) 's wedding bouquet and on the right, Camilla's. Central is the book's subject. Dianthe displayed the following text from the book to call people's attention to two festive occasions mentioned in the book and the Queen's attitude:

       Dianthe wrote, "Americans have little fondness or respect for Sarah Ferguson or Camilla Parker Bowles. When you read 'Elizabeth the Queen', her celebratory sense on each occasion will become more clear." 

       Near Sarah's bouquet Dianthe shared from the book:  "Elizabeth II was charmed by Sarah, who loved to stalk, shoot and fish at Balmoral (castle in Scotland) - all of which gave her an automatic edge over Diana." Fergie regularly rode with the Queen, and "felt favored and blessed...I was robust and jolly and not too highly strung." ..."She's very sharp and clever", said Princess Michael of Kent,"and she has made very great friends with the Queen."

       Under Camilla's wedding bouquet, Dianthe pulled from the book, "Everyone was in high spirits at the reception hosted by the Prince's (Charles) mother in the state apartments at the castle (Windsor)." The Queen gave a rousing toast "to a huge roar of approval", and kissed Camilla off on her honeymoon. "The Queen recognized her good qualities: humor, resilience, warmth, common sense, and above all devotion to Charles. Camilla enjoyed the field sports so important to the royal family and she embraced all their traditions. Through years of vilification, Camilla maintained a discreet silence, which also impressed the Queen."

        Families are always complicated and amusing. I am fortunate to live in a town of book, flower and music lovers among people who support library offerings. Now to smell those roses, gardenias, that Dianthe must have had fun putting together!
I took a photo of the table that came out in the newspaper yesterday so you could see more!
The original Citizen-Herald Wicked photo is by Joanna Kaselis Tzouvelis. I photographed my newspaper page to show you how Dianthe set up and the gorgeous gardenias filling out the bouquet.