Thursday, November 21, 2013

the two-day post

 morning, Sept 20

Hotel coffee is not normally the best, especially in a styrofoam cup.  But this morning's is just hitting the spot. I need it, too, as I am trying to put some order into the class I just finished teaching.  Twenty-two students of all varieties, from a total newbie who had never stitched two pieces together to a prize-winning quilter; from art quilters to dyed-in-the wool traditionalists.    
Some students had already played around with my book and had found their own path.  Marlene brought in a quilt she had made. The added black and yellow strips pull it together and just make it sing, don't they?

Some of the students brought in leftover pieces from other projects that they wanted to get rid of. These triangle pieces fell into that category.  Jean combined them with strips, some green fabric, and then auditioned them on a maroon background. Uh - no. 
What if we put them together without the background?  Aha - now she was getting somewhere - but they needed space and Jean needed to make some more blocks.  Her dilemma was that she didn't have any more of the triangle motifs.

"Fudge it," I said.   And she figured out how to make it work with a couple of trimmed-off bits and the extra green background fabric. This is how Jean's piece looked when she was done. :-)

I was really happy to see that the students were working with my process but making it part of their own aesthetic.  Thea brought in a piece she had printed, with the goal of using it as the centerpiece (so to speak) of a quilt. This was in the works as we finished up and almost done.

 Eleny got to work almost immediately and created this free-form landscape.

late night, Sept 21

Oh, dear - 24 hours later and I am finally finished with the post I started yesterday morning. Well, better late than never.  Quilt Company East Guild - thanks for the fun!

Tuesday, November 19, 2013


Blogger has been quirky on my iPad, so catching up.  On Sunday, my brother and I headed to the Warhol Museum, which is quite a place.  Pittsburgh is a city of bridges and this is one of the twins we crossed en route. I think it Is elegant.

The Warhol takes up seven floors of this building and there are no photos allowed inside, except on the first floor, where there are no exhibits;the gift shop and the art workshop downstairs. 

Here, people have a chance to silkscreen at shirt so they can get a feel for the process.
You can also do a blotted line drawing, which Andy did in early years.  There is lots to see and learn on the museum website  The man was unbelievably talented and I gained new respect for his diverse body of work.  Here is a guy demonstrating the blotted line technique.
Now, back to class.

Saturday, November 16, 2013

off again

Leaving for Pittsburgh shortly, to teach …and incidentally to visit with my brother Jon, who lives there.  

I'm teaching Strips and Squares: endless design variations, so I decided yesterday to play a little with - yep, strips and - ok, rectangles (which could end up as squares or not).    Didn't get beyond this small pile of rectangles with strips inserted, but maybe something will come of it later this coming week.  

Or maybe you'd like to play around with these rather simple pieces to see what you can come up with.  I'm working in solids (well, hand-dyes which are about as solid as I have) so I can see what I am doing. 

I started with 4 colors, cutting 4" wide strips of each color and trimming a 1" piece off of each so I ended up with a 3" x 6" strip and a 1" x 6" strip of each length of color.  Then I sliced pretty much down the middle and inserted the 1" strips into the 3" strips.  I have 12 of these units all together but if they work out, I'll make more and see where it goes.

I've already sliced and sewed together a couple of these units but can't tell what I will end up with.

In any case, if you feel like experimenting  with 3" strips and 1" strips and you come up with an interesting little piece, let me know.  In the meantime, I am off to the airport.

Thursday, November 14, 2013

working backwards from mid-week

Wednesday -- a leisurely day, at last.  Why does it seem that way?  I was home all day and since soup weather began yesterday, I made soup. Just a dusting, but enough to send me into the kitchen today.

I made three varieties (sorry, no pictures): split pea, just in time for lunch; potato leek & parsnip (a new one for me, but it tasted pretty good), and the requisite chicken soup, which is in a big pot in the fridge.

The only problem is that since I don't like chicken, I have to figure out what to do with the bird once I remove it from the soup. I mean, how much chicken salad can a person eat?? Especially this person.

Yesterday I spent all day in my mother's apartment, selling off all the lovely antique furniture that my children don't want and then part of the lovely and not-so-lovely collection of smaller items my antique-collecting mother had.  I unpacked a stack of plates hidden away, still wrapped in the 1992 newspaper she had used to wrap them in when she moved.  Then I remained to vacuum, tidy up, and do a little staging.  Spent from 8:30 am to 4:30 pm, came home and collapsed.

Moving back to Monday -- went into NY to Cécile Trentini's opening at the Art Quilt Gallery. (Here we are at dinner after the opening)

So busy chatting (surprise) that I took only a couple of pictures.  Well, ok - three.  I only had my iPhone with me, so couldn't get a great photo of these - but they are mono prints sliced up and re-ordered and each is different from the others.

Here is her famous "Daily Beauty," which is the piece on which she based her book by the same name.  It is gorgeous in person! 

Cécile's motifs are squares and circles, handled in a variety of ways.  When we went to dinner after the opening we walked past a donut shop and I had to take this photo -- it fit right into the evening's visuals.

I started to pack for my Saturday trip to Pittsburgh but gave up after I started reading Tracy Chevalier's latest book, The Last Runaway.  I guess I am back to my normal schedule because I have stayed up late to finish the book and it is almost 2:am EST.  But aha - I have no obligations tomorrow and I can sleep late.  Will I figure out what to do with that soup chicken?  Maybe.  But I will also have to finish packing supplies.  See 'ya.

Sunday, November 10, 2013

end of week 1 at home

First of all -- I can't thank you enough for all the birthday wishes - they brightened my day immeasurably -- as did these birthday flowers on my kitchen table.

 The rest of the week was less bright: by Wednesday night, my left knee was aching and by Thursday, I had decided it was bursitis brought on by all the traipsing around London and Paris for two weeks. (ok, no wise cracks, dear readers).

The doctor confirmed it was an inflammation of the bursa and sent me home with instructions to rest my leg, ice my knee, and take a prescription anti-inflammatory each day.  Oh, great. 

Friday, I wrapped an ace bandage around my knee and went to Brooklyn to see an old friend, followed by an evening with Emma and her parents.  I managed, although going down the subway stairs was a bit dicey.

I think the drugs are making me tired because I never left the house on Saturday and have been sleeping the weekend away and trying to remember to ice my knee.  It is much better.

While the trees are past their sell-by date, my woods are still a bit colorful, even as they lose their leaves.  If this were a painting, I would think it was trite.  

I have been attempting to sort through the zillion photos my mother left behind -- but I have neither time nor patience.  This will be a busy week.  Monday, Nov 11 I am going to Cécile Trentini's opening at The Art Quilt Gallery in NY from 6-7:30 pm and am looking forward to it!  If you're in the NY Metro area, drop in to see the exhibit.  She has come all the way from Zurich for the opening.

Off to ice my knee again so I can walk in NY again tomorrow, and then again on Friday when I go in again for a belated birthday lunch.  Never too late:-)).  

Monday, November 04, 2013

real world again

ARGH - I am glad to be back at my computer: blogging on the iPad is not as user-friendly and I think it loaded my posts in reverse order.  Oh, well.  

One more photo I forgot to load from that wonderful store that had the Pantone mugs: yep, iPhone covers in Pantone colors.  Oh,my.  I need to scour the Internet for these goodies.
We took the Eurostar back to London on Wednesday and my cousins France & Edmond met us at the Gare du Nord to take us to a goodbye lunch at the Terminus du Nord. Elegant and the food was outstanding. I have to say that outside of the croissants au buerre, the coffee, and the ficelles, the food was mostly just ok and not inexpensive.

The best meals we had were the falafel on the Rue des Rosiers,
the tagine and couscous we had the first night with France & Edmond, and then at the Terminus Nord across from the station before we took the Eurostar back to London.
 Didn't have the other seafood but the oysters were lovely.  What a treat!

Got home and dropped off the face of the earth? Uh - not exactly. But I still haven't caugt up on sleep. While we were in London, the clocks changed to standard time.  Then we got home and it was still daylight savings time for 48 hours before our clocks changed to standard time. Where am I?   I slept for 12 hours on Thursday night, was up at 4:am on Saturday, and have been hungry at all the wrong times again. ARGH. 
Since yesterday, I have been throwing away papers in my sewing room.  Read an article on clutter this morning that reminded me I am turning into my mother the hoarder.  The article says you should ask yourself "does it enhance my life?" and if not, out it goes.  Do I have my work cut out for me! I am trying to make room for my sewing machine...

soup weather in June and a little more

DISCLAIMER: Blogger is giving me grief tonight, which you will see by the varying sizes of the type. Ye p, soup weather and it's ...