Archive for November, 2007

Giving Thanks

We plow the fields, and scatter the good seed on the land,
But it is fed and watered by God’s almighty hand;
He sends the snow in winter, the warmth to swell the grain,
The breezes and the sunshine, and soft refreshing rain.

He only is the Maker of all things near and far;
He paints the wayside flower, He lights the evening star;
The winds and waves obey Him, by Him the birds are fed;
Much more to us, His children, He gives our daily bread.

We thank Thee, then, O Father, for all things bright and good,
The seed time and the harvest, our life, our health, and food;
No gifts have we to offer, for all Thy love imparts,
But that which Thou desirest, our humble, thankful hearts.

All good gifts around us are sent from heaven above,
Then thank the Lord, O thank the Lord for all His love.

Matthias Claudius, 1782, translated by Jane M. Campbell, 1861

Fractured… quilt that is.

fractured quilt pieces

This is what I’ve been working on lately. original photo for fractured quiltIt’s part of a fractured quilt challenge in which each participant gets the same image (in this case, a lovely flower) and each interprets it in her own way. We were asked to do all four pieces. When we return them to the moderator, she will baste them together with others so there are four different artists represented in each complete whole. Then she sends them back out and we get to quilt and keep it. Here’s a picture of the original photo by Sam Oth. Oh, and for the record, the deadline is Dec 1st – I’m way ahead of schedule. Now all I have to do is get it in the mail.

Winter is here

We woke up to snow yesterday. We were expecting flurries and snow showers but were surprised to see the ground covered and the wind whipping along. I wondered if perhaps the storm to the north had dipped a little further south than expected. I had errands in town and set out cautiously down the hill. These two photos tell the story:

second snowsecond snow?

They were taken about 10 minutes and three miles apart, with about 850 feet change in elevation. It was crazy to see snow covered cars in town where there was no snow. And it was crazy to drive back up the hill, back into winter. We still have snow cover today, even on the driveway in some places. Ah, just a little taste of things to come.

Construction Complete… almost

putting down the base coatThe pavers came today. It seems like we’ve been waiting for them to show up forever. They came last week to do the prep work and they arrived today with several rollers, trucks and the paving machine. The plan was to put down the base coat and then finish with the top coat and be done. The base coat went down without a hitch, at least until they went to do the final roll. Water began seeping up through the asphalt – not good. We’ve had a freeze/thaw cycle going on lately as the weather has been getting colder. There’s been a lot of moisture in the ground – even walking on the road left footprints. So it really wasn’t a shock to me that there might be some water coming up when pressure is applied.

Anyway, after consultation, we decided to postpone the top coat until after mud season next spring in case there is some heaving and cracking thanks to said water. We’ll be finished one day…

Houston Quilt Festival

I had pretty much resigned myself to stay home, even though I had work hanging in the show. But the offer of sharing a friend’s room prompted me to do the planning to make it happen. It is hard to describe the Houston experience. I’ve been to the show once before so I had some idea of what to expect. But knowing that I allowed only two days to see everything sent me into panic mode when I picked up my tickets on Friday morning. The plan was to see the quilts on Friday and to do the vendors and see any remaining quilts on Saturday. Halfway through Friday I realized it was doable as long as I didn’t walk into every vendor’s booth and I was able to relax and enjoy the show. And what a show it was!

Houston Quilt Festival show floorThese photos are from several windows overlooking the Convention Center floor. I took them while waiting for the doors to open. Once the flood of people began, the aisles were never this clear, especially in the vendor area. There were 20 “aisles” of quilts, though they were arranged more in “rooms” than rows, and 20 aisles of vendors selling everything including sewing machines and cabinetry, notions, Houston Quilt Festival vendorscommercial and hand dyed fabrics in cotton, wool and silk, sewing related antiques and jewelry, new products and tools, and all manner of beads and embellishments. In a word: overload.

The quilts were outstanding – can’t really say enough. I had the privilege of meeting some artists that were just names to me and it was wonderful to add a face and personality. And seeing the work in person is so different than photos in a book or on a website.

I’m so glad I went!

First Snow of the Season

first snow 2007We’ve had our first snow. Granted, it wasn’t much but it did cover the deck and garden surfaces. The snow was actually hail-like – small pellets that made it look like someone emptied a beanbag chair on the lawn. It was cold enough up on our hill to stick around for almost 24 hours. We had light flurries yesterday and Okemo mountain has started making snow in preparation for their Nov 16th opening. Winter is definitely just around the corner.

first snow 2007

2007 Journal Quilt

I participated in the Journal Quilt Project again this year. Karey Bresenhan of Quilts, Inc began the project as a special exhibit for the annual IQA show in Houston. Originally, it involved making one small 8.5″x11″ quilt each month for one year. The small format and regular nature of the production allowed artists to experiment and challenge themselves to create and grow. This year, the last year for the project, the format was slightly different – a larger size (17″x22″) and only one was required, not the usual one/month.

Here is my quilt, the original photograph, and the artist statement that accompanied my piece.

2007 Journal QuiltThe vast majority of my work up to this point has been representational. I find myself getting more and more detailed rather than simplifying and abstracting. As a result, I wanted to try to work in the abstract arena for this journal quilt.

The first step was to learn a little about artists who work in the abstract. I have a friend who is a docent at the National Gallery of Art in Washington, DC, and even though the abstract wing is not his favorite, he conceded to take me there and share what he knows about the “who, how, and why”. I learned much more than I could retain and came away fascinated by the color field painters, the likes of Mark Rothko, Barnett Newman, Ellsworth Kelley, and Jules Olitski. I was intrigued with their expansive canvases and large areas of pure color.

HibiscusI chose a close-up photograph of a hibiscus that I took in Hawaii as my inspiration and decided to try the color field approach adding simplified elements from the photo. Several times I had to stop myself from adding more detail and being more true to the actual flower. The idea was to hint at the subject and compose a piece that was balanced and responsive.


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