Thursday, March 04, 2010

sidetracked again

I came across two phrases this week that I wanted to talk about.  One that I hate: "eye candy."  I especially hate when somebody's artwork is referred to with that phrase.  I think it is demeaning. Somebody referred to the book 500 Quilts as eye candy; I haven't seen the book but don't have any interest in seeing something described that way. Lots of definitions out there:

eye candy (visual images that are pleasing to see but are intellectually undemanding) "he wanted to put some eye candy on their web site"
Slang: a person or thing that is visually pleasing or superficially attractive and lacking depth of intellect or meaning.

'Nuff said.

The other phrase I heard this week was "the architecture of sleep."  It struck me as poetic, although the subject is hardly that. It refers to the sleep cycles we all go through, but I love it.

The week was a blur till yesterday, when I escaped again to my real studio. Sigh of relief!  I carried a huge bag of leftover blocks; many several decades old.  I intended  to spread them out, sort them,and see if there was fodder for reinventing them into something funky, along the lines of the Cinderella quilts I wrote about in the current issue of Art Quilting Studio.

Alas, so much for good intentions. My roommate Francesca was in and since we hadn't seen each other in weeks, we spent the first hour yakking and catching up.  Then it was lunchtime. By the time she got down to printmaking and I sorted the blocks, half the day was gone. I found, after all, that even though I don't do that stuff any more, I was too attached to the older blocks to touch them. Orphans I had made as experiments, just to see if I could make a block from the Kansas City Star.
Fabric choices a bit bizzare but I love these blocks. The left one incorporates vintage 30's fabric I used to buy at house sales, the plaid from blanket covers my Nanny made, and  some orange I think was a repro.

Some were pieced by hand, but most were machine pieced. I love these block patterns, too.  Would I ever make them again? Not likely. obviously, the one on the upper left was from my Nanny's blanket covers. The fabrics were scraps she brought home from the dress factory where she worked during and after the war.  So how can I do anything with them?  The other non-vintage ones, maybe.
I happen to love this pattern, too - and the block contains fabric from an apron my Nanny made.  But WHAT was I thinking? The colors are horrible and that green border has got to go.
Blocks with truck fabric left from Josh's first quilt; a bevy of assorted log cabin blocks, and a bunch of string pieced squares left from several quilts; scraps of the newspaper to which I had sewn them still caught in the stitching.

I threw the string blocks at the wall and then decided to trim them and sew them together.  One of my studio mates walked in, saw these blocks on the wall and said in a shocked tone, "these are so traditional!"
Maybe the center of a quilt for Miss Emma to play on?  We'll see. Two weeks old today.

17 comments:

Gerrie said...

I adore that photo of the new family with Emma looking adoringly at her mom. So sweet. She really is precious. I am in awe of the traditional blocks that you have. The string quilt would make a wonderful quilt for Emma.

Eva said...

The block with the green border shows a change. In the border, there are the patterns you work with now; tradition is overcome.
And you are so right.
Beware of eye candy, it leads to eye diabetes.

Diane Wright said...

I think you are on to something.
It would be a great Emma quilt.

Sujatha said...

I have wondered if you ever made traditional quilts...I dont know much about them but I like 'em because you made them!! The quilt for Emma looks lovely...and so does the family pic.
And I agree about eye candy...

yarngoddess said...

The Quilt for Emma should include some of the fabric from your Nanny. Tradition! There is a place for it even in your life.

I just ache to hold that baby. She is so tiny; her daddy's hand covers her like a shield and she is so adoring her mommy. Hope you go visit often even when you are not invited.

:Diane

bj parady said...

You just defined the reason that I too dislike the phrase eye candy. May it be banished from the lexicon of art.

Libby Fife said...

Tiny baby goodness:)

I do love a good string quilt so thanks.

Your bit about eye candy reminded me that I get annoyed by stuff like that. I also tend to attach a male/female spin to it; just defensive I guess.

Architecture of sleep? Sleep can be very structured. I have the same sleep problems every year, at the same time:(

Connie Rose said...

I love the photo of the new family!

Bill said...

Phrases that bug the bejezz out of me.

"...on a regular basis..." what's wrong with "regularly?"

Sherryl said...

I am the guilty party for using the phrase "eye candy". For me, it has NO negative connotations. I am reminded of being in a candy store where the myriad of colors play with your senses and are treats for the eye. To me it means good stuff. Guess it depends on where you are coming from. I don't associate it with gender.. I use other words for that. I promise to be more careful in the future but I respectfully disagree with you.

Emma is a beauty and I am sure would love to play on your "traditional" block piece.

Hope you guys are starting to thaw out.

Approachable Art said...

I have honest admiration for those of you who can cut and sew blocks together that look so complicated.

I love that last photo of your kids and Emma... Emma looks like she's gazing up at Mom and I know they can't smile at this age, but in all the photos you've posted she has such a pleasant expression... sort of a pre-smiling stage where she's still really happy and showing it. Fun. :D

Jill said...

Ugh...'eye candy'...right up there with 'bling' in my opinion...

Debra said...

I love the old blocks too; especially the ones with real personal meaning. Art can draw on the past and even with pieces from the past included. It doesn't always have to be new and "improved".

I've never met a string quilt I didn't love. They always look fresh and contemporary to me!

wlstarn said...

Can't say that I love the phrase "eye candy" but I can tell you that flipping through 500 Art Quilts is somewhat akin to being a kid in a candy store: so many awesome quilts, it's hard to take them all in at once.

Fibra Artysta said...

Loved your article in Art Quilting Studio! I really enjoyed reading it. :)

And I'm not a big fan of the "eye candy" phrase either. Its always felt like a somewhat apathetic phrase to me.

Barbara said...

I'm still working on terminology here. What does "throwing pieces at the wall" mean? I love the kaleidoscope effect of putting all those memories in one piece.

Emma seems to be thriving!

Cindy Cooksey said...

Emma is just a few months older than Samantha. Such a cutie - and you're lucky she's sooo close in Brooklyn! ;-)

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