Thursday, June 30, 2016

So just what IS "Modern Quilting?"

Note: I have started and stopped on this post several times since late April. I'm not sure why it took me so long to get it finished, but I think the fact that many of my saved links were on the iPad had something to do with it.  (I don't like posting from the app!)  Anyway, even though it's maybe a bit outdated, I hope you will enjoy my ramblings.  (Assuming you ever do? :-)

Members of the Western New York Modern Quilters came to the Museum Quilt Guild's April meeting.  It was a great  meeting, with lots of inspiring quilts and the ladies themselves are just a fun group!!!
Oddly enough, this neutral quilt was one of my favorites!
The use of solids and graphic prints is part of modern quilting
This one is what is called "modern traditionalism"
I think this one uses what is called "Alternate grid work"
So at the next meeting of the ArtCGirlz, we continued the discussion- to learn more about what exactly makes a quilt modern.  I did quite a bit of reading in the few books I have, and on blogs.  Do a search for "What is Modern Quilting?". Many of the results contain this statement, from the Modern Quilt Guild:
Modern quilts are primarily functional and inspired by modern design. Modern quilters work in different styles and define modern quilting in different ways, but several characteristics often appear which may help identify a modern quilt. These include, but are not limited to: the use of bold colors and prints, high contrast and graphic areas of solid color, improvisational piecing, minimalism, expansive negative space, and alternate grid work. "Modern traditionalism" or the updating of classic quilt designs is also often seen in modern quilting.

 (They have a nice gallery, by the way, so click on the link to read and see more!)

This post was very interesting to me as well.  I loved that she seemed just as confused as I was/am.
And there are several opinions over at Generation Q, from an essay contest. 
And this one seems to think there really isn't anything new under the sun.
Oh, and more eye candy here! (Jacquie Gering is one of the pioneers of Modern Quilting, I think)
So, whatever.

I saved a few pictures in my travels, but didn't save the maker's names or websites.  (I'd feel worse about that if many of the pictures I found weren't uncredited at pinterest) 
I like off center log cabins.  And I like when they kind of make the whole quilt one big block.  I think I'd like to play with the alternate grid work thing, too. 

One thing I could not find anywhere was information on the way "modern" quilts are quilted.  They all seem to be heavily quilted; with lots of straight lines and textured patterns. 

One thing I love about the modern quilting movement is that they are making what seem to be functional art quilts.  I like making art quilts, but how many of them can I hang in my house?  (My family also has limited wall space).  So making art quilts that go on a bed appeals to me!  However if I have to use solids and "modern" prints, my stash is completely inadequate.  sigh

I recently ranted on Facebook about the phonebooks tossed along the roads by me like someone's empty McDonald's bag. I'm appalled by the lack of concern for the environment shown by Frontier Communications.  I posted such on their Facebook page and got a polite "thank you for your feedback."  When I specifically asked if there was a way to not get the phonebook, I was given this link:
Seems great until I realized I had already opted out- most likely the last time they tossed one in the vicinity of the mailbox.  At this site, they proudly extol their efforts in reducing waste and sustainability.  And yet, they still dropped TWO of their unwanted books on me.   I'm sure the people who pay for ads want to make sure they are getting their money's worth. So, once again the wishes of the people are overlooked in favor of the corporate machine.

I am grateful for:
So far our heat waves have been relatively short.
We got some rain the other day.  (I went out in it to make sure every bucket I could lay my hands on was filled before it stopped!)
Keeping in touch.
Lucas is picking up the slack.
A lap full of happy kittens.

Tuesday, June 21, 2016

My Visit to Portland

I went to Portland for a few days to visit Guy. It was long overdue, as it had been 4 years since we had last gone out to see him.  (It has not been that long since we've seen him- he has come here!)
Anyway, he had to work for part of the days I was there, so I explored on my own.  Thank goodness for the Google maps app on my phone!  I didn't carry my "real" camera with me so some of these pictures are grainy (note to self- time to upgrade the phone)
I flew out of Buffalo, and we got a nice view of Niagara Falls after take-off

I always sit by the window, in part due to mild claustrophobia.  But I also love looking at the scenery!  (even if at times it's just the other side of the clouds)

 I wish all airlines provided a way to track where you are, especially for views like this one!  What the heck do you suppose the dark area is (the area that looks like the top of a skyscraper to me)?  A landing strip for aliens?  A giant shopping mall??

There is always something interesting in Portland.

These are made from tarps by a local artist named Wynde Dyer.

I had never seen one of these statue guys in person before. 

My Hotel was right on the waterfront, and only a few blocks from downtown.  Good and bad, since it was loud at times, but I did enjoy the view.

It was Rose Festival time, so the city fair was on the waterfront.  I enjoyed watching the light show on the ferris wheel.

I visited the Portland Art Museum one afternoon.  I guess even when it comes to art, I'm attracted to the brighter colors.  (shocking)  They have a nice collection of modern art.
Chevreulet, by Wendell Phillips Brazeau

They had an exhibit of "Native Fashion", which was very cool.  My favorite piece was these boots, by Jamie Okuma, which are completely beaded!

I went to the Saturday Market, which is an amazing arts and crafts bazaar.  (yes, I came home with a few interesting things!)

There are also a lot of food vendors.  I could not pass up frozen chocolate dipped cheesecake on a stick!  ( I paid for eating it the rest of the day, but it was worth it!)

I even got to see bits of the Rose Festival Parade.

 Part of the festival is "Fleet Week", where Naval and Coast Guard ships come up the Willamette River. It was a pretty awesome sight. 
There were sailors in dress whites all over the city.  My favorite encounter was passing a group of them going into a liquor store.  What else do you do when you get shore leave.  :-)

Pioneer Square Park is a pretty great place in the center of the city.  There was a neat floral display set up.  I went down one morning to knit for a bit and watch people.

We visited the Rhododendron Garden.  The flowers were pretty much all gone, but it is a beautiful park, nonetheless.

Blue Hydrangeas are everywhere in Portland!

 We took a Segway tour of downtown.  I have always wanted to ride one of them- and they are a BLAST!!!

Here we are in front of the Portland Building.  The statue is called Portlandia.  (now you know where they got the name of the show)

While on the tour, we got a nice glimpse of Mount Hood.....

....which was a good thing, because here is what we saw when we drove up to Mt Hood the next day.  The clouds are where you should be able to see the top of it.

But we had a nice time touring the Timberline Lodge.  Does it look familiar?  They used the exterior of the building in the movie "The Shining."

It's pretty amazing inside- it was completely handcrafted!- and we had a nice lunch there.

One thing I was impressed- but not surprised- by in Portland, was the number of solar panels to be seen around the city. On approach to land at the airport, I noticed many buildings had almost full roof top installations.  While on the segway tour, we learned about the Edith Green Wendell Wyatt Federal Building.  Among the elements that won this building an award, naming it one of the top ten examples of sustainable architecture in America is the huge cistern that collects all the rainwater to be used for flushing of toilets and use in landscaping.  One thing I didn't see in either of these articles, is that the parking garage is on 5 stories below the ground!  There is a park on top of it, and you'd never know!  This is what is possible when we commit to reducing the damage man is causing to this planet!  We MUST demand more of this, not less!
Meanwhile, in some ares of New York, there are people trying to slow the movement to sustainable energy, as mandated by Governor Cuomo last year.  I'm sure it all has to do with certain persons or entities wanting to make sure they get their slice of the pie.  It makes me ill how few people care to look past petty issues and embrace the larger issues involved- namely the fact that you can neither breathe nor drink money!

It was a great visit!  And now it's back to my real life.  Much less interesting.

I am grateful for:
Guy and Anna giving me so much of their time!
Realizing I actually like to fly, even though it means sitting in one place for ours! (kind of like being at work!)
My three-day weekends
Air conditioned bedroom
Getting back into my comfortable rut.

Tuesday, June 7, 2016

Quilting in the rain!

OK, I wasn't really out IN the rain quilting.  But over the weekend when it was rainy I had some time to spend in the sewing room.  I actually finished something!! 

It's not the most beautiful thing I've ever made, but I'm hoping it will bring some child in treatment a bit of comfort when it is donated to a Ronald McDonald House later this year.  I used leftovers from this quilt, which I pieced in February, and a design I saw here.
(I like her version much better)

To keep the whirligig effect, I used a quilting design I found in Angela Walters' book.  I think she calls it sunburst or sunrays.

OOPS, I didn't realize this was turned wrong. Stupid technology. I wanted to show the stitching on the back.  I used the back to front machine binding technique.  (Click "show all steps)
My favorite stitches to use on the front are a feather and this wavy line.  True, this one leaves small places where the folded edge isn't sewn down.  But I still think the outer edge will be the first thing to wear out.

When I say we have to stand up and make ourselves heard regarding protecting our planet, I mean guys like these!!!
Two of the men holding the sign are actors from Star Trek!
It's always nice to get someone to help who can get their picture in the paper.  :-)

I am grateful for:
A weekend with the kids!
Sewing time.
Cool nights so I can sleep under my quilt!
Only two more sleeps!
The heatwave in Portland happened before I got there.