Thursday, April 20, 2017

buried in fabric

Not literally, of course.  But overwhelmed.  Boxes and drawers and bins!  I brought two shopping bags of fabric to my Modern Quilt Guild meeting tonight  and put the piles on the "free" table. A lot was gone in a flash; the rest can go into charity quilts. 

The hardest part are the boxes and boxes of strips and some scraps: wide, narrow, hand-dyed,hand-printed,commercial. Most have been cut free-hand; some are frayed.  All of them need to be ironed, I think. But my modern guild wouldn't know what to do with them. They make a lot of quilts using patterns.

There is no end, it seems. I have left a huge bag of strips (mostly Helene Davis' beautiful hand-dyes) in Florida, but I simply don't have room to cart these back and I know I will cut more, because that's what I do. Sigh... do I close my eyes and send them to the landfill? Or do I stuff a manila envelope and send them off to you for some therapy sewing?  

I am chafing at the bit to play with fabric but instead, I am trying (in vain, it seems) to declutter and at least make the place look neat.  In addition, I am getting sidetracked.  
This is not a big surprise.

I already have baggies of my grandmother's fabrics from the 1940's and 50's: scraps she brought home from the dress factory where she worked.  Then, this morning, I found a whole shopping bag containing the remnants of a blanket cover she had made from the woven plaids and some stripes.  It was so worn, she had patched it in layers. I had started to take it apart, probably decades ago and I took more of it apart today. I'm challenging myself to use it in a modern quilt.
And there were aprons in that bag that my Nanny had made.  I remember my mother wearing this one.  1940's fabric. Pocket. Ruffle. See how easy it is to get sidetracked?

And here I sit, blogging instead of straightening up. Procrastinating? Resting? Both, I guess.

I emptied my trunk of fabulous vintage blocks dating from the turn of (the 20th) century up through the 1930's.  And I haven't even attacked a drawer of my own orphan blocks.

My quilts are another story.  At some point I will be having a studio sale because I will not have room to store them all. 

In the meantime, I have been invited to have a show of 12 quilts at the Northern Star Quilt Guild show in Connecticut, May 5-6.  They are rolled up and ready to be picked up this weekend by the curator.  On Sunday, May 6 I will be giving an artist's walk/commentary at some point in the afternoon.  If you are in the area, here's where Northern Star's show, World of Quilts, will be located. Come say hello!  

O'Neill Center

Western Connecticut State University West Side Campus
43 Lake Ave. Extension Danbury, CT 06811 

If you want an envelope of therapy strips, raise your hand and I'll let the random number generator do its work.

In fact, even if you don't want them, leave me a comment. Comments always perk me up!

Wednesday, April 19, 2017

Trash & Treasures

I opened the trunk and it was a Pandora's Box.  Out flew a pile of antique blocks and vintage fabrics I had forgotten were there.  They spent two days on the coffee table in the livingroom and today, I sorted, catalogued,researched, and organized. I have bags of antique blocks I will never have time to do anything with. Some date from the 1860's-80's, others from 1900-1910, and others from the 1930's.  

There was yardage, too. I found two yards and a little bit more, of bark cloth that I bought decades ago and never used.  It is gorgeous.  
At some point, when I  have cleared up the rest of the mess, I will have some of these wonderful fabrics, scraps, and blocks for sale.  I simply don't have the room for 40+ years of accumulated fabrics.

On that note, I am turning into a pumpkin.  Good night!

Wednesday, April 12, 2017

haha - I have just inspired myself.

We got home Sunday night, and on Monday I started emptying out a storage closet in the basement.  I will tell you that I have been shredding papers for two straight days -- many of them dating back to the last century.  My garage is full of shredded and unshredded paper.

A little while ago I walked into my sewing room for the first time since I got home and was delighted to be greeted by this little unit on the design wall.  What a nice surprise!  I made it when I was teaching in Switzerland and wanted to illurstrate somehing (but what??). Now I am inspired to do more of these!

I happen to have a plastic baggie with more of the brown,black,and white units and I will have to take a creativity break and play a bit.  Enough with the shredding!  But right now,
 I am bleary-eyed.  It will take me a year to clean out this house - believe me! 

Tomorrow is bulk pickup, so the mouldy deck chairs are going, along with whatever else I can foist on the garbage men. In fact, I had better take them out tonight.  Off I go...

Tuesday, April 11, 2017

Color, Pattern, & Inspiration

There are infinite sources of visual inspiration for those of us who are artists; it's just a matter of seeing. Where do your inspirations come from?

Mine come from everywhere because I see pattern in almost everything.  Oddly enough, somewhere along the line I started collecting/taking photos of carpets and upholstery fabrics, thinking I might use them someday as inspiration for my own work.  In all this time, I have used only one as a jumping-off point.

Somehow, these images...

morphed into this idea, which never actually went anywhere.  

I'm particularly fascinated with hotel carpets, which run the gamut.  Since I frequently stay in hotels, I take pictures of the ones that interest me for one reason or another.  This past weekend, I hit the jackpot with these two inspirations for modern quilts.

this was in the hallway
 this was in our room.
Here is another hotel hallway carpet I have seen several times.

But remember - inspiration, not iimitation.  Put the images aside and forget about them for a while.  Somewhere along the line, they might surface in a different way.

Saturday, April 08, 2017

Heading north

It has been a busy, hectic, somewhat stressful - but lively, Palm Beach winter. I had both ancient/ugly bathrooms renovated, which took twice as long (of course) as I had hoped.  We finally have a modern master bath and guest bath.  We took out the tub in the master; the peeling ceilings have been fixed, clear shower doors installed, the tile replaced, linen cupboard installed in master bath...etc.  Still have to deal with the window, add artwork and mirrors to both bathrooms, but basically, they are done. And the showers are delicious!

The last 3 days before we left, the painters were here and covered up the ugly, 30 year old peach paint in the whole apartment with a lovely light gray. All the stress, mess, and aggro were worth it.

So here we are, heading north again with the other snowbirds and a plethora of vehicles that should have their own road! This does not include horse trailers or humungous RVs dragging cars, motorcycles, bikes, and boats; or the truck fire that tied up traffic for 10 miles. Never a dull moment on I-95. 

We are in Durham, getting ready to go to dinner with our friend Marni.  To be continued.

buried in fabric

Not literally, of course.  But overwhelmed.  Boxes and drawers and bins!  I brought two shopping bags of fabric to my Modern Quilt Guild ...