Pillows · Quilt Shows · This-and-That

This and That • February 2022 • Sticky Issues

It’s February, so I’m leading with hearts…quilted hearts.

My first finish for February, and it seems, like the whole of 2022. The sludge I’m walking through these days seems to be rather marshy and thick, filled with Instagram rabbit holes, fascinating detours, some sighing and looking out the window, but certainly, no energy to Get My Stuff Done (best video ever). All of this is to say, I’m celebrating this pillow’s completion.

It’s month two of a new year for the Gridster Bee, and Shelley has autumn leaves on her mind, as did all the people doing the Riley Blake sampler quilt. I was off to a great start.

Not.

I wasn’t the only one having trouble with getting this block together, and I wonder if it was the pattern? My 7th grade Home Ec. teacher taught me that one–that sometimes it IS the pattern and not us.

Got it right, but that wasn’t the first mistake I’d made, either. Back to the pattern thing.

This popped up. It must explain why my energy level is so low, if I’m only getting about three hours of sleep per day. It’s because I’ve been writing patterns. One pattern is massively overdue (Borders for Tannenbaum), but I’ve finished the third draft and it’s 12 pages (I like to explain things). The other is the ongoing (and upcoming) release of Part 2 of Heart’s Garden. I have had hundreds of people get their free download of the Part 1, so look for the next installment very soon. Very Soon. Now to address two sticky issues.

Sticky Thing #1
In my last Road to California blogpost, I celebrated Linda Anderson’s quilt art. I still celebrate it, but my friend Dot commented on how one of the photos in her recent Piecework Magazine was a twin, a clone, to one of Linda’s quilts.

The above photo in Piecework, taken by Eric Sebastian Mindling.

I didn’t see any attribution on Linda’s title cards at the exhibits, so as realization slowly dawned that perhaps this quilt might have been a quilty copy of someone’s photo, I began looking for other similar examples. I found the following photograph online:

I couldn’t find a direct link to it, but it seemed to lead to Eric Sebastian Mindling, who has lived over twenty years in Oaxaca. You can see it behind Linda’s head in the photograph I took of her. I wrote in that post about the moving picture of the mother and child. I found that one on Mindling’s website. And here, below is another photo from Mindling:

This one is Linda’s.

I wrote back and forth to Dot about this copying without attribution. Dot offered, “Perhaps Linda was on one of his tours, and they both took photos of Maria at the same time”? But there are too many instances where the poses are exactly the same, the perspective the same.

When we enter any quilt contest now, we are asked to identify the sources of our inspiration. When I submitted SHINE: The Circles Quilt, I mentioned the ceiling of that church in Ljubljana, Croatia with all its painted circles. I don’t think it takes anything away from any of our creations to acknowledge the spark that led us to our make our quilt. In Linda’s case, and the way quilt shows are run now, if we use someone’s pattern or use a photo, we have to get their permission. It’s a mystery as to why this was not done in this instance, as the quilts are beautiful in their own right, even if they were taken from someone else’s photo.

Sticky Thing #2

This is the title of Mary Fons latest contribution to the quilt world, and is from the short video she recently put up on YouTube. Fons is commenting on the trend that has been around for a few years now: of cutting up old quilts to be re-made into clothing. She has some hilarious examples, some designer examples, some hideous examples. I get that not every quilt is beautiful (I’ve known that for a quite a while), and doesn’t deserve the “heirloom” treatment of a museum storage in acid-free tissue. But does that mean we are all destined for the scrap heap? The cutting room floor? The comment I put up there in support of Mary’s video was quickly rebutted by someone else. I wrote back to the commentor:

“But [Mary’s] larger point, which often seems to be subsumed in many of these tit-for-tat [comment] responses, was the query: is our craft merely to be a tool for someone else’s particular novelty, fame and glory? Or do our quilts, from now and back into the ages, have value by themselves? Can we acknowledge them and revere them or are we quilters just part of the excessive consumer machinery? Perhaps both, but I prefer to think that what I spend time on, and what my mother and grandmother spent time on, have value, and carry their particular history.”

Watch the video. See what you think.
Happy Quilting!

Quilt Shows

Road to California • Part III (final)

Do I start with the stellar and then move to the sort of interesting?

Or, do I lead with the one that everyone breezed through, and finish with the exhibit where everyone lingered?

I’ll do it that way, but first — thank you for all your fun comments; I appreciate them, and am happy to know that you are enjoying seeing Road’s quilts. Another reader (thank you, Dot!) tipped me off to Accuquilt’s run-down of the show in between talking about the virtues of their product. They seemed to really like my Wealth of Days quilt (maybe because they have a die for cutting Flying Geese). My quilter, Kelley Bachi, was also complimented, which made me pleased. We’re at 4:01, in this segment. We’re at 16:04 in this segment. Blink and you’ll miss the quilt, but you’ll see others.

First, the exhibit where I rarely saw people. Sugary and saccharine-sweet, the Diana exhibit took up a large space on both sides of one of the main aisles, and like past Cherrywood Challenges, people made smallish square quilts on a theme. But unlike the last one I saw — of Bob, the painter — no one was lingering here. Here’s a sampling.

My least favorites above don’t have names associated with them. The really least favorite out of the whole exhibit? My, my, I couldn’t say as there were so many to choose from. If you see a name label above, it was one of the few lovely ones. I noticed that the jewelry was often done to excess perfection.

As a reminder: click on any image to make it larger, then hit the small X in the upper right to return to this page.

And then there was the amazing exhibit of the quilts from Linda Anderson (I apologize for the any distortion in the photos; all the quilts were perfectly flat and squared up). Every year Linda puts another masterpiece in Road to California, and I always try to find it. She has her background in painting, and uses that skill, along with raw edge appliqué and free motion quilting, to create these masterpieces.

The figure/s in each quilt draw the viewer in to find clues as to how they are thinking or feeling, or what they are doing. One year, when my grown daughter was really ill, Linda had a beautiful quilt of a mother and daughter that seemed to say to me, “It will be all right.” I mentioned that to Linda and she knew the quilt (not in this group). I was so glad that Road hung her quilts in a special exhibit.

Maria’s Tree, by Linda Anderson

And that’s a wrap for Road to California 2022!

UPDATE: Please see this post for commentary on Anderson’s quilts and correct attribution.

Mystery Quilt · Quilt Shows

Road to California 2022 • Part II

Road Two of Road to California Quilts. You may want to do this in two bites, but we still have Part III coming, focusing on some specialty exhibits (it’s shorter). Click on any image to make it larger, then hit the small X in the upper right to return to this page.

Thought I’d lead with a high-impact quilt.

I just want to know how she kept track of all the circles. Sometimes I wish they’d tell us how long a quilt took, but maybe I don’t want to know.

I liked the shape of the White Spotted Rose Anemone, by Kelly Spell. I kept wondering what the next wave of covid quilting was going to look like, and perhaps these curves against those lines might be an indication: texture?

Now I know what to do with all those labels in my notions drawer that I’ve been saving. I’m pretty sure I could get a pincushion covered…

Road to California has lights at the base of each quilt, and those lower lights really give a sculptural quality to the stitching.

I have a such admiration for all the detail in this quilt:

All those little houses everywhere, and patchwork flags! As a reminder: click on any image to make it larger, then hit the small X in the upper right to return to this page.

Click to see the teensy-weensy strips in this pineapple block. It was in an exhibit labeled Pride.

I appreciate the humor in this quilt. The exhibit was titled Conspiracy Theory Challenge, and most were clever but political (so.tired.of.that). So I focused in on this scene with cows being lifted heavenward by UFOs.

A perfect quilt for this year, but I think the message does not just stop there. That’s one of the interesting things about quilt shows. I see the expression of quilters being themselves, making their art the way they see it. We have all kinds in a show like Road (which is why it is one of my favorites). They strive to represent art, modern, traditional and I like that many quilts which I’d never see are sent to this show. I get to “meet” a lot of new quilters who have chosen the motto “Be You.”

Love the phone in the back pocket, along with scissors.

Pretty sure that fish lady is made of milagros, but not certain. This one and the one below appear to be about 17″ tall, a foot wide, but I’m guessing.

I love the little peoples everywhere.

Last of the smallish quilts. I thought her treatment of the “fringe” was lovely.

This was such an interesting quilt, made with six colors, and shades of gray, black and white.

Making a whole cloth quilt seems like such a challenge.

I loved the eyes, so I made that the big image in this gallery of Road quilts. The full quilt is on the lower left. I never saw the back of the piece; wish I had!

Not square! (big smile)

Colors!! No, they don’t have chains to keep the quilts from running away. Something about protecting the quilts and fire-marshall-said-so business.

Simple shapes, bold colors, value contrast, great design = smashing quilt.

This quilt, made and quilted by Zena Thorpe, is titled Connectivity. I kept zeroing in to see the quilting, as well as the appliqué. She doesn’t say how she did it, but it looks handsewn. Beautiful work.

We’re almost done!

I also wish they’d put the size of quilts on the title card. I’m guessing this is about 24″ tall. Gorgeous work by both artists.

I’ve been focusing on gardens lately [with the Mystery Quilt of Heart’s Garden I’m hosting (free! on this website!]) so I really loved all the details of Hanne Lohde’s quilt in memory of her summer home in Denmark.

And the final quilt in this post is from Janet Stone–who else to lead us out? By the way, it was also a big prize winner at Houston 2021, and their photo is quite a bit better than mine.

And that’s a wrap for this segment. Next post I’ll have the Cherrywood Diana Quilts, a few pieces of clothing, and quilts from artist Linda Anderson.

Thanks for all your comments last go-round. I tripped on my stairs and slugged the wall accidentally, so haven’t had use of my right hand for a few days, but I didn’t want you to think I hadn’t enjoyed your comments. The hand is getting better. I said to my husband, I may be older, but now it is obvious to me that all the guys in the movies are pulling their punches and not making contact. Now that we never leave our homes, does this mean we’ll have higher incidents of injuries in the home? Hope not. We don’t need to add one more thing to our list of Bad Stuff for the Covid Years.

And speaking of that, I also find it interesting that I didn’t see any visual representations of covid. Not one. I’ve always enjoyed Becky Goldsmith’s covid quilt (above), made right at the beginning of our pandemic, and since we are just past the 2nd anniversary of the first diagnosed case of covid, I thought we’d see more. I once drew up a sketch, but decided I didn’t want to spend my time making it. If I do anything, I’ll do hers (it’s a free download on her website; link above).

I’ve had several hundred downloads of the free mystery quilt-a-long of Heart’s Garden, so those of you who are making that, good luck with your EPP sewing. Our hashtag Instagram online is:

Yes, with the heart. I’m finalizing Part II of the mystery, which will drop in February.

Happy Quilting!

Quilt Shows

Road to California 2022 • Part I

I Hear America Singing, Quilt #252

My friend Laurel and I headed up to Road to California 2022 Tuesday afternoon, one hour earlier than the “VIP” admissions. We know this show often has slow check-ins and we wanted to get our badges and show bag and figure out where our class was tomorrow. We had time to sit and reflect before it opened on how our own numbers of local quilters has shrunk, through moves or losing interest. One year we gathered almost 20 people for a dinner at a local restaurant; now it was down to just us two, eating our brought-from-home sandwiches, waiting for the abbreviated quilt show to open.

Wealth of Days, Quilt #247

Road to California is a well-established quilt show, running for more than two decades. I have had mostly perfect attendance, ever since moving to Southern California — except for last year, when it was cancelled. Laurel called this year “a year to take a breath” and get your bearings again. When they opened up, we hightailed it to the quilt show area so I could see my quilts. They were still setting up, so the overhead lights were on, a departure from 2020 when I was last here. Everything was so well lighted; we loved it.

Picties and Verities, Quilt #243
I snuck my mask off for this one.

We explored the quilts (more at the bottom of this post), shopped the vendors and headed home to get some sleep before our class the next day.

We live about 35 minutes from the show, so I picked up Laurel and off we went. Our class was being taught in a different hotel, so we loaded the wagon, went in and found our places. I had said to Laurel that I was very “covid-nervous” and might have to leave if people weren’t wearing their masks, or taking precautions. We are still under mask mandates here in California, but I got a seat near the door and we left the doors open for ventilation, and class started.

The class was Posh Penelope, taught by Helen and Jenny from Sew Kind of Wonderful — really lovely teachers. At the beginning of class they passed out little goodie kits for us–so welcome! I’d precut and prepped so after the demos, I started right in.

I hadn’t heard from my daughter that morning, and I checked on her IG Story and saw this. Just when I am thinking we’re going to get out of this in good shape! In texting my other children, I found out my son and his family had it last week, another son offered up that his 16 yo daughter had it. Laurel had been tracking news of her BIL who has been in the hospital for over a week, with covid. I felt surrounded by covid, but took a deep breath and kept quilting. It’s still here, but we were at Road — and I consider that a deep breath and a leap back into life.

We took our lunches outside to this gazebo–in the old days we would have cranked away at the sewing machines inside; now we escape to the beauties of the world a little more often.

And then class was over. No, I don’t know what that fabric is I used for the blue, but I plan to make this quilt a few scrappy blocks at a time. It’s such a great pattern, and using their rulers makes it easy. We went back over to the convention center, to grab the last couple of hours of the day. It’s about half the size in terms of vendors, with no large tent this time. I thanked a lot of the vendors for coming, knowing that it’s a hard time for this sort of thing. The quilt show is also smaller, so I was happy to get my quilts in.

Here are some of the quilts we saw: so much beautiful work. Click on any image to make it larger, then hit the small X in the upper right to return to this page.

If you have $75,000, this could be yours.

That border!

I don’t have the maker info; I will get it and update this later.

This is a miniature, made out of old sari, and each of the those pieces are about an 1/8″ wide. Here’s the larger view:

I love this title…and the quilt.

I will admit to really loving this one.

I think I am through with the animal section.

Having gone to Guatemala in 2019 to see my sister Cynthia, I could relate to this one a lot, as Cynthia took us to a specialty textiles shop that had handwoven textiles, with a woman out front doing a demonstration of weaving with a hip loom.

The back of the quilt

About the colors: from standing there, I would say the color was a slightly blue/red, with red being predominant, but when I got in closer, the camera would convert it to magenta. This was a highly detailed quilt, full of wonderful appliqué.

Okay, I know you were waiting for a Janet Stone Quilt. She works with the alphabet, for those who don’t know her work, and always includes a sheep/lamb/ewe somewhere in the quilt. This has them all in abundance.

Back of the quilt. I learned about her thread color, about when she switches threads, and that I continue to stand in awe of her work.

Zina Clark: Love in the Time of Coronavirus and Murder Hornets. If you’d like to purchase it, the price is $3700.

About Going to to a Quilt Show During Covid

I’m writing this long explanation not only for the record of this time, but also because of the questions on Instagram I’ve been asked about how I felt about being there at a quilt show during a covid surge. You have to know, first, that I spent most of 2020 in my house. We timed grocery store runs to every other week and scurried home. When I got the first vaccine in January of 2021 it was like an answer to a prayer, and I received the second one on Valentine’s Day. More mostly staying at home after our “easy summer” ended, and we still watch covid numbers. So yes, you could say I’m a bit anxious about covid.

But I’d been boosted, I’d upgraded to KN94 masks (no more cute homemade cloth ones anymore) and it was time to put my toe back in the quilt world. I felt keenly like I wanted to support Road to California and those vendors and teachers who were brave enough to come here. During an Omicron surge.

I agonized, and talked to my husband (question: do you want me to sleep in the guest room? answer: no), and decided if I limited my time, going in spurts, it would be manageable. The convention center has tall ceilings, they had a mask mandate (about 99% were heeding that), and I saw the beginning of the dip in the charts. But still, here was the info from the week before in San Bernardino, where Road was being held:

Coming to Road was easier for me, because I drove. (I plan to drive next month to QuiltCon, too.) Because this was a “take a breath” time, there was less of everything: some holes in the convention center floor where a vendor had maybe pulled out, quilt exhibits that felt like they were stretching to fill the space, rather than oodles of individual quilts. But I felt okay, after an initial nervousness. I also wanted to do a trial run before heading to Phoenix and QuiltCon in February; my roommate has decided to cancel, so my husband is now going with me. I’m not upset by this; I thought it might be me canceling. It’s a tough time.

I will be going again on Saturday afternoon, to study the quilts one last time, then wait around for my quilts at the end of the show. I’ll post more photos of the show later (I still have quite few to share).

So, Happy January.
Happy Road to California time!

Gridsters · Quilt Shows · This-and-That

I can hardly waits • This and That August 2021

I open the page in my calendar for the new month and write in family birthdays and decorate the squares with a looping border, even though all the people I celebrate live far away from me and I won’t be getting together with them, singing songs and having slices of cake. Next, I write in the mundane: car service, dr. appointments, reminders for a hair cut (which lately has been a fraught experience). And then I notice: Where are my I can hardly waits?

This idea came from Annie Mumolo, in an interview in the LATimes

“My dad calls them the “I can hardly waits.” He says there came a point when he turned 40 and he felt like all of his “I can hardly waits” were over, and then what do you do? I can hardly wait to get married, I can hardly wait to have kids, whatever your hardly wait is.” 

The interview is worth the read, if only for Wiig’s and Mumulo’s description of middle-aged women who are kind of “invisible,” but I was most struck with this idea of the I can hardly waits, and by naming them, I realized mine had all but evaporated over the last two years. Yearly, my husband and I had penciled in travel dates on the calendar. We’d circled squares for visits to family, notable achievement celebrations and so on. We sorta-kinda had one coming this fall for a conference in Ann Arbor, but that’s turned into a virtual conference with the rise of the Delta variant.

Which leads me to registering for QuiltCon. (You knew I’d get here eventually.) It’s an annual ritual of controlled mayhem. The management at QuiltCon is always looking for a way to reduce the bloodshed, wailing and gnashing of teeth that happens at the moment the registration site opens. They’d changed this year to the people who manage ComicCon registration, but apparently the new people (Configio) didn’t read the specs, didn’t allot sufficient bandwith/server space/whatever and so the whole thing was The Worse One Yet. I imagine Configio treated “all those nice little quilters” much like the women in the movie Barb & Star, who are “kind of invisible,” “aren’t on TikTok” and are an “unrepresented portion of the population” (from here).

I got on at 7:00 a.m., which was our time here on the West Coast. It’s always good to have a registation buddy to rant text with, so Simone was in Northern California doing the same thing. She got through to the registration portion before me, at about 7:15ish. I tried every which way, but saw these too often:

Finally, by 7:44, I had two of my classes. I went back in three more times over Wednesday, and by the afternoon, I had all my lectures and classes. Here is my schedule, if you are interested:

Yes, I know I clipped short the foundation piecing class on Saturday to go and hear Tighe, but I figure (since I’m in the age group of Barb & Star) I’ll be sort of <all done> by the time 3 p.m. rolls around. If not, I’ll be late to the lecture, or miss it. Here is a class that made me laugh:

I actually have one of these going, stashed away in my sewing room, along with a vintage family apron for inspiration.

Many athletes had a lot of I can hardly waits with the Olympics this past two weeks. The Washington Post put up an array of photos that were fascinating. Here are a few:

This month’s blocks for our Gridster Bee are a combination of three flying geese (cut the colorful part 2.5″ x 4.5″ then snowball on two low-volume corner blocks 2.5″ square). Strips on the side were added (cut 1.5″ x 6.5″). Although Linda only asked for four blocks, once I got started in my scrap drawer I couldn’t stop.

And in ankle news, at almost 6 weeks I’m getting there, walking on it a little bit, going to get a pedicure, although I was really careful to let my pedicurist know not to touch the sore spot. We had moderate success in that goal, and I cut it short to go home. I also got a hair cut yesterday, trying to salvage the over-processed mess from the last stylist. This new person is my third to try after my regular guy moved to Florida. And yes, I know. it’s pretty pathetic if your I can hardly waits consists of a visit to a hair salon.

not mine! It’s Posh Penelope from Sew Kind of Wonderful

I looked at Road to California classes (coming in January) and thought Sew Kind of Wonderful’s Posh Penelope was lovely, but do I really want to add another project to the pile waiting to become quilts? Not really.

I have a lot of the not reallys going on lately, and not too many of the I can hardly waits. However: I have a pattern I just finished writing last night for a workshop I’m teaching in September to the Santa Clarita Quilt Guild, my very last Guild presentation and workshop. I’ll be teaching Blossom and if you are interested in seeing if they have any openings, let me know. I’ve taught for them before and they are a super guild with lots of lovely quilters. That and QuiltCon are the I can hardly waits right now for me.

Happy Quilting!

Quilt Shows

Scrappy Quilts from Road to California 2020 • Road to California, Part II

Road to California had several special exhibits and the array of quilts in Sisterhood of Scraps reminded me of what the great architect Mies van der Rohe so exquisitely said: More is More.  Oh wait, did he say Less is More?  But I do know he did say “God is in the details,” and boy, do these scrappy quilts have some details.  Enjoy.

Road2CA2020_ScrappySign.jpg

Road2CA2020_13Road2CA2020_13a

Road2CA2020_17Road2CA2020_17a

And my favorite:

Road2CA2020_20aRoad2CA2020_20b

Right after this I walked up the aisle and purchased a big stack of 5″ charm squares of shirting fabrics, inspired by this quilt.  If Primitive Gatherings had stocked orange 5″ squares, I would have bought them, too.  Now if I could only find them, but our house is a bit of a disaster, as we had five painters here for two weeks, scraping icky popcorn texture off our ceilings, and repainting nearly everything that didn’t move.

First they spray the ceiling with water, let it soak in, then start scraping.  Let it dry overnight, then “mud” or spackle all the divots, then spray on a light texture (I would have liked flat ceilings but that cost more).  I tried to sew in the kitchen the first week, but by Day 3, when I could draw a heart on the top of my Featherweight Sewing Machine case, I knew it was time to give up that idea.  So I gathered up some hand-sewing and  retreated to the garden, even though it was 65 degrees outside.  The lower left photo shows the progression of the mess in the front/living room by the end, and the the last photo on Day 11 shows them spraying my sewing desk in my bedroom, which by now looks a lot like the living room: a disaster.  My painter brought in a house cleaner for that last day, when they finished everything and took away all the plastic; I helped her get the initial cleaning finished, but I can tell I’ll be doing a lot more of it, as scraping the ceilings brings a LOT of dust.

PaintingHouse2020_7

This is currently the sewing room.  Right.

I have to the let the paint cure for two weeks before I can put things on shelves, and of course, it’s appalling to see your fabric collection All At Once and in Boxes, so it become apparent that there will be some culling of the collection going on as I put things away.  I plan to be fully finished before we start on our kitchen remodel.

Oh, just kidding.

Heart Qult Goldsmith

Here’s your Valentine’s Day gift for today, found*here.*