Monday, November 29, 2010

Through African Eyes

If you will be in the heartland between now and January 9, 2011, you can see a remarkable special exhibit at The Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art in Kansas City called Through African Eyes: The European in African Art, 1500-Present.  It packs a powerful emotional punch AND is visually dazzling.  You really couldn't ask for more.

Here is a link to a New York Times slideshow of a few objects in the exhibit:

Several of my favorite pieces are non-functional representations of functional items of Western culture--function transformed into status.  The beautiful lensless glasses featured in the New York Times slideshow are one example.  For you stitchers who are wondering what this blog entry has to do with quilting, a carved stone sewing machine is another...

I hope you get a chance to see this brilliant show.

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

A visit from Bobbi

My friend and co-author, Bobbi Finley, visited last week from California.  We got SO MUCH SEWING done--yahoo!  And we managed to get in quite a bit of socializing, too.  It was a very good week.  This week my sewing room is pretty quiet--a couple of dogs underfoot, but no one to exchange ideas with or check math with or ask to admire what's just come out from under the presser foot.

We're working on a proposal for another book.  We've been sewing for the proposal separately for months, but while Bobbi was here we worked together on our piece de resistance.  Which, of course, is the unpronounceable way of saying, our Killer Quilt (KQ).  It's not in a state to be photographed yet, so this is just a tease.  But I can say that we really like it--how's that?

In designing the KQ, we were inspired by and then substantially departed from a classic quilt.  We love using classic quilts as inspirational springboards.  It's always an adventure to see how little or how much we'll stray from the classic quilt's design.  

With Bobbi here, we designed our quilt, did a lot of math (sometimes more accurately than other times), made multiple trips to Sarah's Fabrics, wielded the rotary cutter, cranked up several sewing machines, and got enough stitched to know that we were definitely on the right track.  Dividing up the remaining parts as Bobbi packed was the sad part.  So, once again, we're sewing separately, looking forward to another stitching rendezvous in a couple of months.  

I hope you have good stitching friends and that you get to work with them often.  That's one of the things I'm thankful for this year.  Happy Thanksgiving.  Carol

                                Stitching friends visiting Colonial Williamsburg.

Saturday, November 6, 2010

A Heck of a Collaborative Quilt

An ad hoc group of stitchers, calling itself by the memorable name, City Sewers, got together on a Sunday afternoon earlier this fall to make a quilt.  Our intent was to donate the quilt to the art auction that raises money for our local Douglas County AIDS Project (DCAP).  Which meant we were aiming to be more arty than traditional.

Georgann Eglinski established our palette by contributing a couple of beautiful fabrics.  I added to our fabrics and cut squares and rectangles in several sizes.  Then when the group, which also included Linda Frost, Deb Rowden, Kathe Dougherty, Barbara Brackman, and Jerrye VanLeer, got together, we stacked like sizes and shapes face up to rotary-cut freehand.  

Intuitive piecing is what Linda called the process of joining our free-cut pieces.  She also provided the name for our quilt, Vuvuzela, by making a block with the shape of that instrument of torture.  In her wonderful machine-quilting, Kris Barlow created sound waves emanating from the vuvuzela.  

Here's our finished quilt--

We hope its sale contributes a nice amount to DCAP's coffers.