Monday, April 28, 2014

AQS in Paducah

Just returned from Quilt City USA. If you quilt they say you must experience a quilt show in Paducah, Kentucky.  AQS shows are scheduled in several locations annually, but Paducah is the home of Meredith Schroeder, founder of both AQS and the National Quilt Museum. When we heard about a 4 day bus trip, my intrepid buddy, Mary, and I decided this was our year to go. And now, in a blink, we're back.

The award winning quilts were not to be believed. This whole cloth quilt is entirely created with thread. The first photo is its center. The second a peek at the top left corner. Sorry, I never was able to get a shot of the whole thing. So many people!!

Here is one of the famous Tentmakers of Cairo. We were lucky to catch an interview and demonstration. Tarek did all of the appliqué you see in this photo.  If you have time, watch the YouTube and be amazed as I was. After we watched the presentation and the crowds dispersed I picked up two very small scraps he had left behind on the carpet. Some day they will work themselves into an appliqué of my own.

The miniature quilts were among my favorite and just take your breath away.These photos are poor because these quilts were under glass in a cavernous room with lots of overhead lighting.Realize that the finished pieces measure less than 18 inches across and some close to 12.
The first is done entirely with thread. The next is appliqué. The closeup shot shows the detail. Look how large the ribbon is on the final quilt...

I spoke with several people I've only read about or seen on the internet. Had my picture taken with Marie Bostwick.

The weather was amazing, dogwood, lilac, crabapples, bulbs, and green green grass everywhere. Day temperatures were in the low 80s. Our bus took a total. If everyone was honest, the 49 of us spent $18, 000 on quilt related purchases. That's an average of $367. I spent less than that, but not a lot less. Such treasures I brought home!
A wonderful trip. Thanks, Mary, for putting up with me.

Monday, April 14, 2014

Monday, Monday, can't trust that day...

Mother Nature definitely has her knickers in a twist. Saturday she gave us 3 hail storms over an 8 hour period, covering the ground white hail storms. Lightning, thunder, rain.
Sunday rain all day long. By dark the wind had begun in earnest and the temperature began to drop.
This morning we woke to this…

In front of the potting shed the new hoops over the strawberries are struggling to support the row cover.

Yesterday the chickens appeared totally unaware of getting drenched as they eagerly gobbled up the worms that appeared all over their puddled yard. Today they took one look out their door and told us just what they thought of this turn of events.

The frogs in the pond, however, continue to sing along merrily. Perhaps we should take a cue from them.

Thursday, April 10, 2014

a day out with a gold medalist

My good buddy and partner in crime, Mary, got me involved in something (AGAIN) this time with a local rosemaling group. Now, I've always admired this art form, enjoying the annual show at Swedish days in Geneva, Illinois for many years. When our children were small we sometimes stopped at a McDonalds in Norway, Michigan on our way to or from Uncle Dan's in the UP which was entirely transformed inside with rosemaling and is still the only McDonalds I've ever been in that had oilcloth tablecloths and real flowers on the table at breakfast. But I had never once thought I'd be taking up the craft, and certainly not at this stage of my life!
This winter, Mary, who can do everything and really well, attended a quilting retreat where she met a woman who will be teaching a 3 day rosemaling class this September. Spending time with this woman while quilting and chatting and eating and quilting some more rekindled Mary's interest in the art form, caused her to dust off her painting supplies, and led to talking me into joining her. Before I knew it we had both become members of the local rosemaling guild. Oh dear….
This past Tuesday I attended my first meeting which was a day long demonstration by a gold medal winner, Irene Lamont. What an amazing day. All of the ladies (and one husband) in the group were friendly, talented, experienced and probably Norwegian. You see, the guild is based out of Westby, heart of Nowegian country around here. Irene was their guest artist this month. And she wasn't the only gold medalist in the group, nor the only one who has works displayed in the famous museum in Decorah, Iowa.
What a marvelous day. Irene painted two oval wooden plaques during the course of the day. In the late afternoon she asked us to put our names into a basket for a drawing. She was giving away some of her art, downsizing before moving into a condo, and among the prizes would be the two samples from her workshop. Now I seriously began calling one of them to me, I mean seriously believing I would be taking one of them home.

Irene at work

in process

finished piece

examples of her line work

in process surrounded by tools and a few finished pieces

the finished piece

And I did. That lovely work painted on the black background now has a place of honor here at the farm. I was so thrilled when she called my name I burst into tears and everyone in the room cheered and some of them got teary eyed too, happy for this newcomer to be so excited by an art they've loved and respected for years.
I guess it's time to pick up some brushes and paint and get started with a new sketch book before the class this September, because, you guessed it, my buddy Mary and I will be enrolled.