Tuesday, August 07, 2012

does neatness count?

Not for me.  It is well known that my report card from the counselor at Girl Scout camp, when I was 7 and in BrownieLand, said "Rayna keeps a messy cubby."  I am not sure whether that was a self-fulfilling prophecy or whether I was already ME at that age.  

Amazingly, it's Tuesday and the room is still tidy. My bulletin board cum portable home design wall has come in from the front hall and leans happily against the bookcase. 

My Neatness Consultant, Ms. Closet, will be happy to know that I have used masking tape wrapped around my hand to get rid of all those pesky threads on the now-neatly trimmed batting.
As I neatened, I came across one of the pieces I created for my book (where are the other two?????) and threw it at the wall.  It looks better trimmed see below) but the question is "now what??" Does it want to be bigger or will it be a 12"x12" or some such size? Maybe if I find the other two I will have a series - LOL. I gave up trying to decide and took it down from the wall again. 
Before I forget, I was happy to see a package arrive from Quilting Arts TV the other day. It was the series that just finished and includes the program I taped in March.  I have not watched it yet. But I'll get around to it eventually. You may want to do the same - the DVD is now available on Quilting Arts website and has lots of great stuff on it.  I don't know about you, but we don't get QATV in this part of the country so the only way I can see these programs is on the DVD.
Going through the overfilled bookcase, I came across a real treasure that was ahead of the Gee's Bend curve: Signs and Symbols African Images in African-American QuiltsI am thrilled and I am working my way through the fascinating text, which I don't think I ever read thoroughly when I bought the book almost 20 years ago.  It is drop-dead gorgeous.
With hindsight, I see that Maude Southwell Wahlman has interviews with (and pictures of quilts made by) Martha Jane Pettway from Gee's Bend Alabama; Joanna Pettway and Leola Pettway from Boykin, AL, and other artists including Elizabeth and Joyce Scott.  The book was out of print for years but has been reissued (different cover, different layout and i'm not sure whether all 160 photos are still there).
But you might want to add it to your collection if you didn't buy it in 1993.

Finally, this afternoon I finished sewing down the facing on the quilt I finished most recently. Perhaps tomorrow, when the light is good, I can get an accurate photo of the color.  


14 comments:

Lisa Chin said...

I'm so glad to hear that neatness doesn't count. I'd never get anything done if I had to be perfectly neat!

Maude's book looks wonderful. It's always fun to read things from people who are ahead of their time.

Gerrie said...

Neatness? What is that? Something for non-creative types.

Sandra Wyman said...

Neatness is so arid!
About to do a spot of freeforming in my very untidy studio. Glad to hear I'm not the only one who has batting covered in threads.

HollyM said...

I received a complimentary copy too, only because I have a UFO featured there. Still it was exciting to see it and my name. We sometimes get the shows here but years behind. I'll save it for some rainy days.

HollyM said...

I forgot to mention that I like the little block. It seems like the flowers are peaking through the strips.

Dianne Koppisch Hricko said...

Great news that Signs and Symbols is being reissued. I was fortunate to see that show and used it and the book as inspiration for teaching high school kids how to build up watercolors. The works were so beautiful and so improvisational it was a jawdroppingly inspirational show. It was also my first introduction to the quilt police who were standing in front of me at the museum and literally could not see the forest for the trees. They saw only the lack of technical refinement and non of the amazingly powerful and daring design choices, elegant use of color etc. etc. Great show, great book. Thanks for jugging my memory.

Dianne Koppisch Hricko said...

Oops you jogged my memory and I meant none of the amazingly powerful, not non.

Typing has never been a strong suit.

Nina-Marie said...

I always thought that the fact that I'm naturally messy - especially when I'm creating and the fact that I love a neat environment around me and create better when its neat around me - was a cruel joke of God's! Love this post!

printaphilic said...

Neatness for troglodytes...just shove it in the corner. I do it all the time.

Eva said...

Now I'm a bit puzzled -- are you in Italy now? Your scedule said so...

Unknown said...

I just saw a free quilt pattern on the AQS website that says "Housework Makes You Ugly."
And a I have a little plaqye that says something like bored women have clean houses. You can see where I stand.

Margaret Cooter said...

Love the little block - especially with the batting round it; how about matting and mounting and framing it (in whatever order is appropriate)?

Cathy Bargar said...

Haven't you heard? Messy is the new neat! Good news for us "Mess Monsters", as one of my twin daughters calls the other. When I was in elementary school, we lived in Canada, where perhaps there was even more emphasis on neatness as a cardinal virtue, and Desk Neatness (or not) was an area of great concern on report cards. "Keeps a messy desk" was a recurring blot on my otherwise exemplary record. I had many desirable features in those days, such as "speaks with a loud and clear tone when giving oral reports" and "perfect spelling" and "Perhaps she will grow up to be a fine Shakespearean actress - loves to be on stage, best memorization skills in the school" (well, at least *I* thought those were among my better report card reports; maybe they weren't meant that way). But the messy desk situation was of far greater interest to my teachers than my fine loud voice or memory skills.

Cathy Bargar said...

And oh yeah, I love Signs and Symbols too - I think that those of us who do seat-of-pants (oops, I mean improvisational) quiltmaking owe a great deal to the African American ways of working. Perhaps without the whole Gee's Bend phenomenon we wouldn't even have known we could do this stuff, and instead of being applauded as "art quilters" we would have just been considered messy people who couldn't sew straight and didn't understand what "went with" what.