Friday, March 7, 2014

February fun

 February has been a very exciting month for me busy with all sorts of quilting and art gallery events and March continues to be full of events to anticipate with excitement and joy. The snows have been many and the cold extreme. Each time the weather gets bad it then clears up and goes back to our average weather and brings back hope that spring is really on the way.

I had the honor of putting my crazy quilt on display and explaining it at the National Museum of Women in the Arts with my pals from Wash. DC Modern Quilt Guild.
We spent a few hours talking and working our hand made quilt projects. I think we were all amazed at the antique English paper pieced blocks and quilt top that Jessie got from her friend up in Pennsylvania. It was fun to have one antique quilt to touch and examine up close in a museum full of quilts off limits to the hand. On a Friday afternoon I met my new guild friend Cassandra and led a tour and discussion of the quilts in our "Stitched" exhibition at the Anacostia Arts Center for a group of about 15 women from the local shelter. They were very excited to try some piecing and quilting in their creativity workshop after our talk. I also got a tour of their great new building and home down the street.

Cassandra snapped this shot of me explaining my Shoo fly Orange Slice quilt. I hardly knew how to make a Half Square Triangle block when I made that quilt and I was explaining how I managed to get it to work.
Next came an artist talk with my new friends in the Man on Man show at doris-mae also on the cusp of a big snow storm during a warm spell that changed over to icy cold that same night. Keith came along and helped set up chairs for the talk. John's beautiful embroidery figures seen here which led the talk towards pornography and how that inspires gay men. The women seemed very interested in how gays present figures that are more appealing to them than the men in straight pornography. We also talked about how hand work and women's work is part of our identity and how women like our grand mother's influenced us to appreciate the fine work as a proud creative expression.
My colorful autobiographical Yo yo quilt got lots of love ever since this show opened. It's full of pieces of fabric I collected over the forty odd years it took me to assemble all the little circles to make it big enough to cover my queen sized bed. I think it casts a magical spell on people who see it just like the one I saw in 1967 cast on me when visiting Mom and Dad's college friends Brad & Winnie Day in Connecticut. Too bad it takes so long to make them by hand. Maybe that is part of the magic in hand made quilts is the labor and love and care that goes into creating them imparts a certain mysterious magical aura for these works of art.
"add a border" totally tubular block is growing 

Hungarian blue pinwheels
I am encouraged by the responses to my quilting and after spending the first part of the year getting the two exhibitions mounted I have begun some new work. Elizabeth Poti sent me some fine hand made Hungarian fabric in a classic royal blue and white print that has me thinking pinwheels. I began working it up earlier this week. Then I went back to a block from the Add A Boarder group on that I kept to work up into a medallion using orange and purple and magenta with touches of gray and green... and I have a few scrappy log cabin blocks I am playing with in oranges and purples too! So the quilt block piecing bug is back and the cold weather is just more inspiration to keep building warmth with fabrics. I am looking forward to a weekend lecture and pop up quilt fabric shop at the Anacostia Arts Center next Saturday. More info about that here on DC Modern Quilt Guild's blog.

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