Monday, April 20, 2009

Starting 'em young

Jamie and I went to the big quilt show in Chicago on Friday. The Fool was out of town for a couple days in Pittsburgh, helping his mom clean out his late grandmother's house because his mom has succeeded in selling it (in this real estate market! Go Mama Fool!) and the new residents want to move in.

She sold it to some nice people, too, who really sound like they appreciate all the work his family put into that house. His grandmother built it herself and it's got a big yard and all sorts of other features that homemade houses tend to have (such as crazy amounts of insulation. My father did that too, when he built this place - insulated it to death. I'm glad, because it makes the energy bills lower, but it made me think about what people give priorities to when they're truly allowed to customize their houses. Neither of them spent money on granite countertops and custom closets, y'know?)

Anyway, she wanted us to have some of his grandmother's furniture and other belongings and so the Fool rented a big yellow Penske truck and brought the stuff all back. His mom got a little carried away - she saw the big truck and thought this was her chance to give us all the stuff she's been saving. So Jamie has all of his dad's Legos for when he gets older, and a big canister of
Lincoln Logs and perhaps everything Dr. Seuss ever wrote and all kinds of other treasures.

And we have to figure out where it all goes.

But I digress. Jamie and I decided to occupy ourselves on Friday by going to the quilt show.
Let me tell you, taking a baby into what amounted to a convention hall mostly full of grandmas? Fantastic idea. I was wearing him on my back, and seriously, every six feet, someone stopped me to tell me he was still sleeping, or tell me he'd woken up, or ask what his name was or just visit with him.
So while Jamie was asleep, I did some shopping and bought a bit of fabric to finish up various projects, and while he was awake, we walked around and looked at the quilts on display.

Like most years, this show had a mix of quilts I can use for inspiration and quilts I couldn't make in a million years.

The Breath of Life, by Harumi Asada, of Japan.

detail of The Breath of Life.

This one's for you, Crazy Lanea. It's Two Ravens, by Donna Bray-Zakreski, from BC, Canada

Isn't that a cool idea? Kind of a kaleidoscope effect. I forgot to photograph the placard too, so unfortunately, I don't know who made this.

Here's a detail of Swim 4 Me, by Betty Busby of New Mexico, which was part of an exhibit of spring-themed quilts.

While I was looking for crow quilts to show Crazy Lanea, I found this instead and thought three purple guinea fowl might be an OK substitute. This is Three Guinea Fowl, by Pamela Allen of Ontario.

This is Furrowed Fields, by Rosemary Cromer of Kansas. I saw another striped fabric quilt in a Kaffe Fassett book I got from the library, but what I like about this quilt is how some of the mitered blocks have an off-kilter piece in them, so the stripes in the material go a little wonky.

This was my absolute favorite quilt in the whole show this year. Red Owls, by Karen Peirce. I couldn't stop staring at it, giggling at the funny owls. The background is hand-quilted in a dark thread, with all kinds of botanical designs, leaves and twigs and similar. There's some snakes in here too. I guess what I like about it is not only the personality of each owl, but the way they look like owls I might draw - not very 'artistic' or realistic. The impact of all of them together is so charming and funny - as a quilter, I find this kind of work very easy to relate to. It's making me think about drawing some owls myself to see what they look like.
That, and so many quilts are so Very Very Serious and Historical or Stunningly Beautiful, that I'm always surprised and refreshed to find one that makes me smile. I like humor in art.

This is a bad cat who goes into the kitchen garbage looking for dinner scraps, and who we busted teaching Angus how to get chicken last night.

1 comment:

Debbie said...

Check out Bethany Reynolds' Stack and Whack quilt books for lots of ideas on the kaleidoscope block.