10 Jul

Sisters 2016

Stitching Post

W00t! I did something totally fun and blog-worthy. At the last minute, I took the Fabric Depot bus to the Sisters Outdoor Quilt Show. It was a serendipitous combo of having the day off work and making a new friend who had an extra ticket.

Sisters is about three hours from Portland, so it was quite nice to turn over the driving (and parking) to the coach. Once at the show, I buddied up with an Instagram friend and we ended up spending the whole day together wandering from eye catching quilt to eye catching quilt. We found out that we had very similar tastes (probably why we follow each other on IG). It was a pleasure, as always when seeing exhibits of any sort with a friend, to talk about what we were seeing and why we liked (or didn’t like it). Overall SOQS is pretty traditional. This year though, Quilt Con had a special exhibit of some of it’s most favored quilts so there was definitely a big Modern influence. The Portland Modern Quilt Guild had a small exhibit too, in which my “Partisan” was hung. Interestingly, I was not that wowed by the art quilts. I think it was because most were literal and for some reason that doesn’t do much for me. SAQA’s Central Oregon pod had an exhibit of their Doors exhibit which was easily the best of the art quilts on display.

Here’s some of my favorites of the day:

Marks DisplayInside The Stitching Post, Valori Wells’ new fabric line Marks was front and center. I have a big ol’ crush on this fabric and I love this display which is chic and naive at the same time. My only purchase besides lunch was a fat quarter set of the blue color way.

Colors 2 The show organizers do a fantastic job of organizing the quilts so that they flow well together, and very often they are enhanced by the colors of the buildings on which they hang or the plantings in front of them. “Daybreak” by Marsha Savage looked particularly nice with the golden sedge grass in front of it.

ColorsA detail of “Freddy Dot Com” by Susan Brennan. This quilt looked so good with the poppies and other flowers in front of it.

 

Buscemi The green and the purple! It was a fun surprise to discover that this one in one of my favorite color combos was made by my friend robin Buscemi, who had given me the bus ticket!

Me and Petal

A big reason for going to the show (besides it being relatively close to me, and the world’s largest outdoor quilt show) was that my quilt, “Partisan,” was part of a special exhibit of The Quilt Block Abstracted by the Portland Modern Quilt Guild. Hanging next to me is “Fallen Petal” by Karen Lee.

DavidsonI’m a sucker for flying geese, so of course I like Heather Davidson’s “Two by Two Dancing Geese” which was also in the PMQG exhibit.

HobbsI also liked this variation on a Lone Star, “Carkai Quilt” by Meredith Hobbs.

 

BondSpeaking of flying geese, I’ve been drooling over this one by Sarah Bond online for what seems like ever. It absolutely holds up in person. It’s beautifully executed and even looks great hung sideways (which I didn’t even notice until a fellow traveller pointed it out to me. This quilt was one of many which represented the best of Quilt Con 2016.

Burnett Two color quilts can be so dramatic, and so classic. The gradation in this one makes it particularly attractive too. “Horseshoes and Hand Grenades” by Rebecca Burnett.  I’m pretty sure it was part of the Quilt Con exhibit too.

ParkesQuilt Con quilt “Night Flight #1” by Heidi Parkes. Big stitch hand quilting and lots of little free pieced bits made this one a lovely mix of rustic and refined.

PeakI failed to get the name or maker of this one but I was struck by the way it echoed the building on which it hung.

Tuazon I also liked “Flounce” by Melanie Tuazon

Royle We rarely get a chance to see the backs of quilts at shows, but outside, and on a breezy (becoming windy) day we caught many glimpses. The richly glowing “Embers” by Stephanie Royle uses all solids on the front but has a fun patterned fabric on the back.

 

Price “Embers” by Mary Kay Price just glowed too.

RabyAnd, in the teacher’s tent, this richly colored quilt by Pam Raby glowed due to the sun behind it. I had the chance to see this one at work and it has such delicious color without the sun, but this outdoor addition added an extra dimension.

ShawAnother teacher quilt was this cheeky “Curious Duck” by Ann Shaw. I see the influence of Ruth B McDowell, who’s work I love, especially in the bold choice of background fabric.

 

Beebe “Eichler Homes” by Mickey Beebe. I think this was part of a special exhibit of quilts using Moda fabrics. The whole quilt is made from the Grunge line, which is one of my favorite blenders. I think this design might have been too stark with simple solids, but the subtle colors in Grunge add just enough variation. I also loved all the little trees between the houses.

ModaAnother Moda quilt was this one titled “Just a Speck/Lolies.” I love that this is a Pineapple Log Cabin but the charcoal line and the fantastic circular quilting move the focus away from the center of the pineapple and out to the corners creating an unexpected secondary focus that becomes the primary.

 

Cobb This one was so simple, but so intriguing. At first I thought the floral was more concentrated in the center diagonal of the quilt, and scattered toward the edges, but it was just a trick of the effect of the turquoise blocks. The way the squares advance and recede is really fun. Plus, the quilting was simple, but perfect.

SchmidtI’ve seen versions of this X and + quilt in more Modern or novelty prints where it’s bubbly and fun. I enjoyed seeing it in mostly batiks for a slightly more grown-up look.

Cobb 2 This one, “Patches in Light” by Susan Cobb caught my eye because of it’s clever use of a Marcia Derse fabric. Usually Derse’s hand painted-looking fabrics are used more like one would use batiks. But pairing them here with a solid looking background and the navy accents (not to mention the little citron surprises) gives a much lighter, modulated look.

BlaylockFun “Dots” by Myra Blaylock. All hand appliquéd.

Fellows I love the quilting on “Love and Gillies B-17” by Colin Fellows. It so perfectly accentuates the quilt and is beautifully executed. By the way, out in the sun, quilting really shone.

Potter I liked the simplicity but intricacy of this one, “A Wink of Red” by Terry Potter.

Goose FootThere were quite a few vintage quilts, like Goose Foot from the collection of Sally Rogers. With different fabrics it could be very Modern.

Moran B There were lots of quilts by Grande Dame Freddy Moran. Most were raw edge appliqué, loosely free-motion quilted, and had barely finished edges. But they were exuberant and so obviously about the color and composition and the fabric itself (oh, the fabric! Where does she find these wild things? I want to shop with Freddy!). I could’t help but get the feeling that her quilts were saying, “Hey, I’ve been quilting forever and I’ve earned the right to do whatever the hell I want!” And I love that.

DyerAnother quilt that bucked tradition was this one coordinated by Wynde Dyer. It is made of tarp and was created by at risk youth at Caldera Art Center under Dyer’s tutelage. It was rejected by the quilt show for technical reasons (weight, materials?) but a local bookshop was kind enough to give it space.

And finally, The One That Shouldn’t Work, “Not So Lone Star” by Patrick Wilson.WilsonI just love this more is more Lone Star. I found Australian aboriginal print fabric, Erin Michaels paint by number designs, stripes, Kaffe Fasset, novelty sunflowers and more. Only the very brave would pull that variety out of their stash or a quilt shop’s shelves and know they’d work together.

Wilson det

I talked to others about whether the corner stars were necessary, or if the floral background really worked. I noted that without one or both of those elements, it would just be a classic Lone Star. There’s something about the way everything is competing and yet blending that, in my eyes, make this so striking.

 

25 Jan

Portland SAQA Outing

The Portland chapter, or pod, of Studio Art Quilt Associates (to which I belong) is well attended and very active. Back in November or so, the group arranged to meet at the Portland Art Museum for a docent led tour of the Seeing Nature exhibit. It was great to get out of the routine of meeting in community center rooms and surround ourselves with inspirational art. It was even better to hear insight and connections from our well practiced docent. I highly recommend that groups similar to ours look to their local museum(s) and schedule a group tour once in a while. It’s inspiring and a fun change from the usual. I look forward to the next time Portland SAQA does this again.

Portland Museum 3

Portland Museum 4

 

I loved the way people’s outfits were matching the varied artworks!

 

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Portland Museum 7

 

A small painting by Klimt was reproduced writ large on a stairwell window. I think it looks even better than the original.

Portland Museum 6

 

Terry, Gerrie, Suzie and I took a little extra time to check out the Paradise, Fallen Fruit exhibit. It looked chaotic and “too much” at first, but once we realized that each wall had a unifying theme, then we started to draw connections between the individual works and the chaos became a conversation. It was very different, and quite interesting.

Portland Museum 2

 

This wall reminded me of the work of Kehinde Wiley. Mostly, I think it’s the pattern and color.

Portland Museum 1

01 Jan

Portland 4T

Happy New Year!

Our holiday celebrations are over, guests have returned home, and house emergencies have been dealt with, so now’s a good time to get back to blogging and to catch up on a few things.

Back in October or November, before Portland broke records for the rainiest December and we didn’t want to leave our house, we had some fun exploring our new city. Through some local friends we had heard about the Four T Trail and decided to give it a try.

4T train 2

The first T is for train. We actually started with a bus, but that’s not part of the official tour. The bus took us from near our house to Downtown, where we caught the light rail MAX train to the Zoo. The Portland MAX is frequent, and clean, and a great way to get around town.

 

4T train

 

From the Zoo, we headed to the second T, the trail. This one made me laugh because it almost looks like we’re supposed to walk onto the freeway.

4T trailhead

But no, the well marked trail leads you into the forest. Portland is kind of awesome in that you can be in the middle of a large urban area and still feel like you’re hiking deep in the woods. Well, for a city girl like me it’s a nice change of scenery without a lot of effort and that counts for a lot.

 

4T trail 1

Partway through the Trail section, hikers are rewarded with a spectacular view of Portland from Council Crest Park. This park was a great find for us since it’s an easy 10 minute drive from our house and has now become a definite stop on our “places to take guests” list.

 

4T Crest view

From Council Crest, the trail dips back into the forested park. Or, if pressed for time, one can stick to residential streets and knock some time off the trek. We did this, but while the houses are fun to ogle, the streets are narrow and winding and without much shoulder, which meant we really had to watch for cars. We’d not choose the shortcut again.

 

4T tram

At the end of the trail is the third T, the arial Tram. This ski-resort style gondola shuttles people between the two OHSU (Oregon Health and Sciences University) campuses — one at the top of a hill, one at the waterfront.

 

4T tram view

Once again, the views were superb.

 

4T trolley 2

At the bottom of the tram was the Trolley, AKA Portland Streetcar, and the fourth T on the trek. The trolley took us back downtown where we started. Had we not needed to get back home by a certain hour, we would have stopped along the way for some of the great food Portland is famous for. No fear, we enjoyed this interesting way to see the variety that Portland has to offer, so we’ll definitely be doing it again. Summer visitors, you’ve been warned. Bring comfy walking shoes!

06 Oct

Sewing Expo 2014

Friday, I went to the Original Sewing and Quilt Expo in Fredericksburg, VA to volunteer at the SAQA table and see whatever there was to see. I went last year and I think this year may actually have been better. It seemed like tree might have been more people, or the layout was better, or maybe it was my imagination. Anyway, I had an enjoyable day, mostly hanging out and chatting with my pal Lorie when there weren’t people coming up to talk to us about SAQA (definitely more people were actually joining the association this year, whereas last year was mostly just talking).

The SAQA exhibit is Metaphors on Aging, which I had seen in Portland at Quilt!Knit!Stitch! There were other more traditional quilt exhibits too. The two that caught my eye were Quilt as Desired and The Double Wedding Ring Challenge.

Kansas vintage quilt top machine quilted by Kelly Cline
Apparently I only took photos of one Quilt as Desired quilt, although there were several I really liked. This one is Kansas by Kelly Cline. The exhibit is curated by Marry Kerr. She gave vintage quilt tops to some of the best long arm machine quilters and asked them to quilt the tops “as desired.” The result is a lovely new life for some old quilts.

Kansas detail. Vintage quilt top machine quoted by Kelly Cline
Kansas, detail

The other exhibit I liked was the International Double Wedding Ring Challenge from NYC MOD and Victoria Findlay Wolf. Can I just say out loud that I bow down to Victoria Findlay Wolf. You are a quilting machine, woman! The sheer number of quilts she makes is amazing, they are not small, and every single one is beautifully made! Quality AND quantity — not easy. Plus, she coordinated a challenge which is the exhibit at Expo, wrote a book, and had a solo show this summer. Victoria’s Big Red was there, as were a varied selection from the Challenge.

Jeff and Nikki's Engagement Quilt by Marsha Squires
Jeff And Nikki’s Engagement Quilt” by Marsha Squires. Polka Dots and an unusual color combo attracted me to this quilt.

Liberty (of London) and Justice For All by Sarah Elizabeth
Detail of “Liberty (of London) and Justice For All” by Sarah Elizabeth. Pretty traditional until you make the connection between the title and the rainbow colors of the Liberty of London fabrics. What impressed me was the commitment to making the intersections of the rings into faceted diamonds. There are about a million teensy pieces in each of those solitaires!

Mango Pickle by Stephanie Serrano
Mango Pickle” by Stephanie Serrano was a juicy burst of fun.

Shine On by Kim Hryniewicz
Not only did the challenge participants play with scale, color, and setting, but “Shine On” by Kim Hryniewicz used distortion. Love it.

Overall, it was a fun day with plenty to see and lots of good conversation with other attendees and arty camaraderie with Lorie. And just like last year, I spent the next two days at the Fall Fiber Festival. I love weekends like this.

20 Jul

Deutschland!

It’s been six years since we lived in Germany and high time we went back to visit. Finally living on the right coast, we decided to take advantage of the military’s Space Available option and see if we could fly to Germany on the cheap. We got super lucky and landed the last four seats on this no-name airline taking military families to their new overseas assignments.

Germany Trip 1

 

We had no specific plans in Germany aside from just spending time with friends and soaking up the atmosphere that we have been missing.

No trip is complete without castles though, so we checked that box. Row 1: Schloss Marksburg, The Rhein River from Marksburg, Idstein. Row 2: Wiesbaden Casino, Burg Hohenzollern, Knights in Hohenzollern. Row 3: Heidelberger Schloss, Heidelberg’s Powder Tower, Bad Dürkheim area from Wachtenburg.

Germany Trip Castles

 

 

Other architecture is pretty awesome too. I don;t think I’ll ever tire of pretty little German towns. I love the way the Europeans combine ancient and modern as well. Row 1: Idstein, Limburg, a metal covered door in Schloss Marksburg. Wiesbaden, a house in Waldenbuch with decorative slate shingles, The Ritter Sport chocolate factory in Waldenbuch. Row 3: The Ritter Sport museum and shop, the corner in Heidelberg that used to house the gallery where I had my first solo show but is now an apartment, Mannheim market.

Germany Trip Architecture

 

 

I didn’t realize how much I missed the food until we returned to Germany. There are certain things I make at home, but so many others I had forgotten about, or that just aren’t the same out of context. Row 1: Spaghetti Eis (ice cream extruded to look like Spaghetti and topped with strawberry sauce), chocolate and nut ice creams presented to look like a baked potato, Döner Kebap (Turkish fast food). Row 2: Curry Wurst (fest food!), Frühstück (breakfast with eggs, cold cuts, cheese breads, yogurt, coffee, the works!), and Flammkuchen (Alsatian pizza-like tart topped with creme fraische, cheese, bacon and onions). Yeah, we gorged on the Flammkuchen. Row 3: Dampfknödel (steamed bun dipped in vanilla sauce), an assortment of cakes (to be enjoyed with coffee and friends at about 4:00), home made jams and jellies from friends because everyone knows how to make them.

Germany Trip Food

 

 

Even with ice cream and Flammkuchen, the kids needed more than castles and charming architecture to keep them happy. So, we entertained ourselves the way locals do. Row 1: Ge-Force roller coaster at Holiday Park, Kettenkarousel at Holiday Park, Fourth of July fireworks at the German American Fest in Wiesbaden. Row 2: Chiseling for fossils at a quarry near Stuttgart, planes, trains and automobiles (with slides) at the Technic Museum in Speyer, rock climbing at an indoor playground in Stuttgart. Row 3: amusement rides at the fair in Speyer, Sommerrödelbahn in the Odenwald (luge on a track). 

Germany Trip Entertainment copy

 

We also thoroughly enjoyed watching World Cup Fussball. We went with friends to a biergarten in Wiesbaden for the Germany France game, to the local Schützenhaus (gun club) for the Germany Brazil smack down, and with another group of friends to a biergarten in Mannheim for the finale against Argentina. It was so much fun to genuinely join in the camaraderie, national pride, and simple excitement. It reminded us of our fantastic summer living in Germany when they hosted World Cup in 2006, but even better because Germany won for the first time in 24 years (and the first time as a united country). Here’s a bunch of the kids all dressed up at the fest after watching the Germany France game.Germany Trip 2

 

Another thing we remember fondly was the small town fests. Germans can celebrate anything. Apparently there’s even a Cesarean fest in the town where the first one (in modern times) was performed. We went to the Radish fest in Glasshütte with our Stuttgart-based friends.

Germany Trip 14

 

The big draw was the old timer tractors brought out by the local tractor club, called Schlepper Freunde. Two were Porsches and one was a Mercedes.

Germany Trip 3

We took silly selfies as friends often do.

 

Germany Trip 4

And then my family took more silly photos when I left my phone unattended. They look like they should be on an album cover, don’t they?

This guy regaled us with hours of polka. Very fest-like. Though he stuck to the traditional and didn’t play Country Roads…

Germany Trip 18

 

Yes, those are ketchup and mustard udders.

Germany Trip 17

 

Did I mention that one set of friends lives just above the Ritter Sport chocolate factory? The air even smells like chocolate! The factory has a great little museum and shop. We came home with the 2 kilo surprise bag of assorted goodies.

Germany Trip 16

 

The Germans are nothing if not efficient and organized. Even the trees are numbered (well, not all of them, but the ones that are regularly cared for).

Germany Trip 15

 

Other trees are cut and stacked for firewood. There’s nothing quite like a perfectly stacked row of German firewood.

Germany Trip 13

 

And then there’s the truly unexplainable. The town of Bad Dürkheim has a mineral spring where they pump the salty water to the top of a giant loofa wall so that people may enjoy the curative powers of salty air as the wind blows through the wall.

Germany Trip 10

 

Heidelberg University has the Studenten Karzer where unruly students were incarcerated for infractions such as shouting too loudly at night, or using the familiar instead of formal salutation with a policeman. Students memorialized their time in the prison by painting graffiti on the walls.

Germany Trip 12

 

 

And this is the Mephistophemobil at the Technic Museum in Speyer. It’s a wagon adorned with all kinds of things to make a racket as it rolls along. Notice the garden gnome and red antlered antelope.

Germany Trip 11

 

We had a fantastic time revisiting old stomping grounds as well as exploring new ones. Here we are in the family tree-painted room of hohenzollern castle.

Germany Trip 5

 

And here I am with the wonderful ladies who I breakfasted and sewed with every other Friday when we lived in Heidelberg.

Germany Trip 6

 

 

Two of our neighbors from Heidelberg who now live in Switzerland made the drive up to spend a day with us!

Germany Trip 7

 

And we spent a super four days with our exchange student and her family (including Oma and the boyfriends).

Germany Trip 8

 

 

Sadly, after two and a half weeks, we had to go home. All the flights back to Baltimore on the comfy planes were full, so we hopped on a cargo plane to Dover. It was loud and lacked amenities, but allowed for great legroom and a surprisingly generous box lunch. It was all part of the grand adventure and the kids actually enjoyed it as it’s not every day you get to fly in one of these behemoths with containers and a HMMV in the center aisle!

Germany Trip plane

 

Tschüss Deutschland, as ever, it was great.

13 Apr

Smithsonian Craft Show

I went back to DC on Saturday, this time was to visit the Smithsonian Craft Show so I left the kids at home. Being the height of Cherry Blossom Festival, I decided to use a Park and Ride and take the metro into town. There was a HUGE line waiting to buy Metro tickets, but luckily I already had one and zipped right in. Perks of being (kinda) local. I kept seeing cute little kids everywhere, and the gregarious toddler on the Metro who wanted to fist bump was adorable. But, the winner of them all was the little guy and his red trombone rocking it out with the rest of the guys in this raucous brass band.

AprilDC1

Inside the Building Museum at the craft show, it was much more sedate, but no less interesting. I recognized a lot of artists/craftspeople I admired from the Baltimore Craft Council show, like wood sculptor Michael Bauermeister and ceramicist Justin Rothshank, but this wasn’t nearly as huge a venue. It was kind of a “best-of,” which was really quite enjoyable. I also saw two artists I recognized from my visit to Snyderman Works — paper masters Jiyoung Chung and Lucrezia Bieler. I looked for my favorite from Baltimore, Gustav Reyes, since I had told myself I’d buy one of his bracelets if he was there. He wasn’t, but a bracelet was in the online auction, so maybe he’ll be at the Craft2Wear show in October…

There was plenty of other lovely jewelry, to include pieces made from zippers by Kate Cusack. I was close to buying a Bubbles necklace.

After my weaving and knitting work with plastic bags, I was inspired by coil baskets by Jackie Abrams, and pod shaped basketry by JoAnne Russo.

Faith Wilson was there with her moody floorcloths. I really want one, but could decide on a size or color since I have no idea what our next kitchen or entry will be like. Something to put on the someday list…

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I liked the whimsical jewelry made from musical instrument parts by Lisa Cylinder, but ultimately went home with irreverent mugs from Beer’s Pottery.

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I had a nice chat with Chris Roberts Antieau whose work I admired at the Visionary Arts Museum in Baltimore. Her more recent work is a lot more realistic and detailed than her usual comic-like panels, but it is wonderfully magical and still very narrative. I liked her masks of stitched memories on taxidermy. The javelina reminded me of our time living in Arizona.

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I also had a nice chat with Lisa Call. Having been to her booth in Baltimore the first year she was there, it was interesting to talk about the similarities and differences. It looks like the Smithsonian is a good match for her. No photo here since the light in my photo of her in her booth was fighting us. She’s got much better photos on her blog.

In the Art Quilt world there is always this Art versus Craft debate, and I have to say, if this is the kind of craft I could be associated with , I don’t mind at all. In fact, I aspire to the level of craft I see at these type of shows. I also aspire to have my work called Art, but really, I’d be happy with either moniker.

Since the Smithsonian show wasn’t huge, I wandered over to the National Portrait Gallery to see a little more than Brenda and I had on our overview several months ago. I still think the presidential portraits are the best part of the collection. The collection just wouldn’t be as at home any place outside a national gallery in a capitol city. I noticed that while there were a lot of paintings of American Indians, I didn’t notice any BY American Indians. Also, most everything pre-Modern was very white, although the more contemporary galleries had a lot of African Americans represented. With all the American landscapes, I was hoping that there would be at least one painting of Kilauea, or something Hawaiian, but nothing I could find. I guess I was hoping, in a National gallery, to see the diversity of our nation a little more thoroughly represented.

There was certainly beautiful and thought provoking art to be seen and enjoyed though. I was drawn to a portrait of Leonard Wood, a founder of the Rough riders with Teddy Roosevelt and an iron fisted leader in Cuba whom I care little about, but was drawn in to find that it was painted by my most favorite portraitist, John Singer Sargent. Walking down a hall I was grabbed by a large, contorted, Spanish dancer, and sure enough, she was painted by Sargent. Then, there was a portrait of a man with a cat in his lap that looked Sargent-esque. Giggling to myself, I though, “well he doesn’t look like an evil genius.” Much to my pleasure, I discovered that the painting was by Cecilia Beaux, and the label read “at a time when few woman could, she carved out a career for herself as a portraitist, and was thought to rival John Singer Sargent. It was the best of all worlds — Sargent-like in style and skill, by a woman, and including a cat! Be still my beating heart.

AprilDC5 Man with Cat

 

Finally, I took myself out to dinner before heading home.

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09 Apr

DC Day

Way back when, I used to post a lot (or it seemed a lot to me) about the German fests and sights we used to visit. There was a lot of cultural fun to post about in Hawai’i too. But lately, I’ve been feeling like I haven’t posted much about life outside my sewing basket. Part of it is that we haven’t been nearly as adventurous here in Virginia. We may also have binged on too much Monticello in our first year, if that’s at all possible.

However, Sunday took us to DC, to see if the cherry blossoms had bloomed. Not quite, but it was a fabulous spring day and we thoroughly enjoyed being outside.

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The cherry trees are concentrated near the Tidal Basin, which is also the site of the Thomas Jefferson Memorial. He’s our guy.

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The pink trees hadn’t burst out in flower yet, but some of the white varieties had. So pretty!

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There was food at the Cherry Blossom Festival, but what looked good to us was horribly over priced, so we went to the Museum of the American Indian for lunch because we had heard their cafeteria was pretty good. It was. Far more interesting and tasty than what we’ve sampled at Air and Space or the Museum of American History. If you’re going to pay too much, you might as well enjoy it.

We also wandered around a bit. I have to say, it’s not a great wandering museum. I think there’s a narrative to be followed and it all makes much more sense when given the time to be taken in properly. We were kinda tired from walking around the Tidal Basin though, so we’ll have to return another day for a real visit. It caught my attention that native Hawaiians were included in the mix, with an outrigger near the lobby and a photo in the cafeteria of a woman harvesting taro. We tried to find the Hawaiian parts of the native American story, but were a bit disappointed that even the Hawaiian creation myth was not included in the panoply of beginnings at the start of the tour. Oh well, I guess it’s part of America by hook and crook, not by geography like the mainland First Nations cultures.

One of of other things I noticed, was Nations, a beaded flag by Jenny Ann Taylor Chapoose. It’s fantastic both in its fine detail work, and in the overall message. The juxtaposition of the comparatively few American states with the many many native tribes is both subtle and wrenching. Take the time to click the link.

On the less serious side, the kids really enjoyed a display of animal themed artifacts, which included these net floats in the shapes of seals and walruses which I found absolutely charming.

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On the drive home, we stopped at the Moo Thru, an absolute must for anyone traveling on Highway 29 between DC and at least Charlottesville, if not Lynchburg. The ice cream is locally made and seriously yummy! We always see people we know there, and I’ve seen customers stop on cold November days, so you know it’s gotta be good.

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It was a terrific Sunday.

13 Mar

Another Field Trip!

I went to Maryland yesterday. In preparation for next week’s showing of The Army Wife at Ft Eustis, I had to go to NIH in Bethesda to pick up the two aprons on display there. Of course, I couldn’t drive three hours for a five minute task, so I planned a few other stops as well.

First, I went to Black Rock Center for the Arts. It’s 15 miles further north, but when you’ve already driven over 100, what’s another 15?! From now until March 28th, the exhibit in the main gallery is A Tribute to Fiber Art, curated by Jodi Walsh.

Tribute to Fiber at Black Rock Center for the Arts, MD

The space is lovely with lots of breathing room and light. I was mostly there to see my friend Lorie’s work, which are the two darker ones in the photo above. You must go to her website for better pictures. I’m just teasing here.

Tribute to Fiber at Black Rock Center for the Arts, MD

I quite enjoyed the variety of work chosen. It ranged from the subdued to bright, textured to polished, abstract to pictorial. And still, it all flowed nicely from one piece to the next. Of course I love Lorie’s 3 Hearts with Wings II, and My Grandmother’s Dresses II, but I also enjoyed Cindy Griselda’s Neighborhood and Around the Block. Her work is bright but not garish, and she’s finished the pristine quilts nicely by mounting them to fabric covered stretchers and/or canvas.

Tribute to Fiber at Black Rock Center for the Arts, MD

Diane Garrison’s Grandmother’s Compost was utterly charming. Note the hexagon base on which she’s created pleated and ribboned centipedes and other colorful bugs. Fun, fun, fun.

Tribute to Fiber at Black Rock Center for the Arts, MD

I was mesmerized by Albert Feldman’s One O’Clock. I saw another of his works at Sacred Threads last year, and I still can’t figure out if he’s programmed a quilting machine to create his images, or if he painstakingly counts every stitch as he sews. Whichever, I admire the cleanliness and design of his monochromatic (reminiscent of rework?) pieces. And it’s completely unique in this genre.

I made a quick lunch stop and then turned towards home. On the way, I stopped in Chantilly, VA where I knew that SAQA coordinators, Mary Beth and Eileen and their crew, were hanging the regional SAQA show, Living with Art: real art for real people:

Contemporary fiber art accessible and integrated into the daily work environment of an urban office-plex. Too often art is held at arm’s length and sequestered in dim, hushed halls to be thoughtfully pondered during a specially scheduled trip to see ART. This exhibit is designed to bring art into the daily lives of hundreds of people, coexisting with them as they move from work task, business meeting or personal break time. Fiber is the perfect medium for brokering this experience of real art for real people.

I’ve got THREE pieces in this exhibit! I recognized many other pieces from other art quilters whose work I know and admire, like Lotta Helleberg, and Cindy Griselda to name just two. Plus, it will be on display for three months. My sneak peek says it’s definitely worth making time to come see the work, especially if you’re coming to DC for the SAQA conference. The exhibition will run March – June 2014, so there’s plenty of time to go see it, plenty of time for all the executive types in the building to enjoy all the work (and maybe decide a piece or two needs to stay in their own lobby…). The location is Washington Technology Park, 15000 Conference Center Drive, Chantilly, VA. I’m looking forward to seeing the finished show in May when I return to DC for the annual SAQA conference.

Finally, I stopped at the nearby Hancock’s Fabrics to look for thread and batting. I picked up some notions, but they had almost no batting. It’s not a place to go for traditional quilting supplies, but if you’re in the market for dupioni silks, any kind of buttons, or zippers, and dressmaking fabrics in general, this is the place. I strokes the silks and thusly fortified, drove home. It was a good day.