STITCH LINES...... Ramblings on life as a quilter, stitcher, traveler, gardener and lover of books, cats and fine chocolate....

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Blogger problems...

So is anyone else having problems with Blogger in the last few days? When I try to add photos to my post, they will only add in a vertical format. Has this happened to anyone else? Can anyone tell me how to rectify it?? Not much point in adding vertical photos that are supposed to be horizontal - you'll all have a crick in your neck... Any suggestions???

Sunday, July 24, 2011

More from the American Folk Art Museum....

I'd love to share a few more of the wonderful quilts we saw at the American Folk Art Museum with you today. Again, flash photography was prohibited so the colors are not quite true...
Naturally this old Crazy Quilt caught my eye. I do not recall the date of the quilt, or if it was even dated, but I'm quite sure it was before 1900. It was in very good shape overall, with very few patches showing age/wear. The stitching was elaborate and varied and there were many embroidered motifs. When I look at a quilt such as this one, I can't help but wonder about the maker - I'd love to know her story. Where did she get her fabrics - were they remnants from her own fancy gowns and family's clothing? Or did she gather/trade scraps from friends, dressmakers or send away for dress swatch samples? Wouldn't she be amazed at the wonderful fabrics and threads we have available to us today, not to mention the books, patterns and designs for embroidery? You have to wonder if ladies back then got together (in a "Bee"? a sewing circle?) to teach each other stitches, or did they just make up new ones as they went? Did they get together for an afternoon in the parlour to stitch on their "fancy work"? There certainly is lots of variety in the stitching on this quilt - look closely and see how many different stitches you can count..








Two others which caught my eye were this star quilt (there is an entirely separate show of Star quilts, called "Superstars" being held at the Lincoln Square branch of the AFAM, running until Sept 25, 2011) which also exhibited very fine hand quilting, and this contemporary quilt/wallhanging (below). I loved the use of color in this piece- it was very well done.









I was saddened to hear, a few weeks after our return, that the 53rd St. AFAM building is now closed, and for sale, due to financial difficulties. Upon checking the AFAM website, it looks like this is indeed true (and it appears that this particular exhibit is also finished, cut short.) I am glad we got there when we did- it was such a short walk from our hotel.
Tomorrow I'll tell you a little more about our trip to NYC, the city that never sleeps. Have I told you how much I love NYC??? If only one could buy a new pair of feet while there.. man, you could just go forever.... That's the only thing that slows me down...my feet just can't handle much more than three days of pounding that hot pavement....
(I've had a small problem with Blogger today- when I added these photos, it would only post them in the vertical format, even though they were originally horizontal... has anyone else had that problem? This is a first for me...???)


Piece,
Linda

"Color brings a little bit of joy into our lives." ~ Vera Neumann

Saturday, July 23, 2011

Missing in Action???

No, I'm not MIA. I'm still here! I know you've likely been wondering where I've been. I just needed to take a little blog break... and now I'm back...
Man, isn't this heat a killer? Actually it's the humidity as much as anything.. today with the humidex, the temp. is supposed to feel like it's in the low 40's C. Whew! What are you doing to beat the heat? I've been staying indoors a fair bit, doing my "outdoor chores" in the morning or evening when it's a bit more bearable. I've been lazy, enjoying a reading jag - I just love summer reading, staying up late at night with my nose in a good book, on the couch with the windows wide open. Ollie loves lying in the open window and listening to the "night sounds".. although it's not quite as "interesting" now that the June bugs are gone... they drive him crazy!! Here are my latest finishes: 206 Bones by Kathy Reichs, German Boy by Wolfgang Samuel, Beach Music by Pat Conroy, Silent Witness by Richard North Patterson, We Were the Mulvaneys by Joyce Carol Oates, Home is Where the Heart Is by Billie Letts and Turning Angel by Greg Iles. All were great reads, several being selections from Oprah's Book Club list and several New York Times bestsellers. I've been working my way through a stack of books given to me by my friend Sandi Mac... not sure which one I'm going to pick up next.
Although my studio stays relatively cool, I haven't been spending enough time there. I have done a new Miniature - no pics yet as it's still awaiting borders; currently it measures 4.25" x 5.5", the 35 blocks are each 3/4" sq. Hopefully the borders will be done this week and I'll share it with you. It IS colorful!!
I do have some quilt photos to share with you though - from the American Folk Art Museum in NYC. When I last posted (seems like forever) I was headed off on another trip to Manhattan. Put 54 women on a big pink bus for 6 days.... well, you can just imagine the fun that was had... Yes our Ladies Choir took another trip stateside, we even took along some friends this time, to fill the empty seats. My buddy Sue accompanied me this time, and we spent some quality "Museum time" in the Big Apple. Our first visit was to the American Folk Art Museum on 53rd St., right next door to the MoMA (Museum of Modern Art) . What drew us was the second "installment" of the "Quilts: Masterworks from the American Folk Art Museum" exhibit. Although it certainly didn't compare to the earlier show of 651 Red and White quilts from the collection of Joanna S. Rose, it was a wonderful overview of the Museum's quilt collection. This was the culmination of "The Year of The Quilt - a 12 month series of exhibitions, educational programs and special events to highlight the creative contributions of three centuries of talented women through spectacular textile masterworks". (quote from Museum publication) The quilts were indeed spectacular- we were very impressed with the workmanship, in particular the tiny even quilting stitches. The photos in this post will give you some idea of what I mean. Of course, flash photography was not allowed so the coloring in these is not perfect but you can still appreciate the quilts.

I particularly liked this whole cloth quilt titled "Cornucopia and Dots Whitework Quilt" circa 1800-1820 - the raised motifs on this bedcover were created by "cording and stuffing" - what we would call Trapunto today. It was beautifully done and still in perfect condition considering its' age. The stitches were minute- we figured about 14 stitches to the inch. Amazing when you think of the conditions the maker would have worked in- no Ott Lights back then!!! And I had to wonder what was used to mark the quilting design- there was not a trace of pencil or any type of markings anywhere... It was exquisite.











Each quilt was special in it's own way, but the other one which really caught my eye was this red and white pieced quilt from the mid 1800's - made by a Hubbard!! Even the lettering is pieced - what a patient woman she must have been. Come back tomorrow and I'll share with you photos of the amazing old Crazy Quilt, and several others from this exhibit. Until then - hope you're managing to stay cool...

Piece,
Linda




"Summer is the time when one sheds one's tensions with one's clothes, and the right kind of day is jeweled balm for
the battered spirit. A few of those days and you can become drunk with the belief that all's right with the world." ~ Ada Louise Huxtable


Friday, July 1, 2011

Happy Canada Day!

Happy Canada Day! Today, July 1st 2011, is Canada's 144th birthday. I am so proud to be a Canadian. The more I travel and see of the world, the more grateful I am to live where I do. We are so very fortunate. Our flag is recognized as a symbol of a peace-loving country, and our troops are known as peace-keepers. I am presently in Manhattan, and tonight I'll be looking up at the Empire State Building which will be bathed in red and white lights.
Since the maple leaf is a symbol of Canada, I thought I'd share a few of my favourite maple leaf photos with you today... (Much as I love the red maples in the fall, I hope we're not seeing red leaves anytime soon!!!)









Peace and Love
Linda, a proud Canadian

O Canada! Our home and native land...
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