Amid a lot of local travel I managed to finish three serious quilts, including hanging sleeves. I don’t count pillows, table runners and the like as serious work, though they can take more time than I expect.
In order of completion, “Wayside Weeds” and “Nebula” preceded “Redlined.” I had to laugh at how different these three pieces are from each other. So much for developing a coherent voice. I’ll show them so you can see what I mean.
“Wayside Weeds” is based on prints I made using Thermofax screens. I constructed dividers with tubes of handpainted fabric attached to other painted/dyed fabric plus the last bit of McKenna Ryan fabric I had, and sewed the dividers between the printed sections. I had fun playing with different lengths.
“Redlined” is an abstract design I made based on a photograph of a sideboard. After I added the red fabric I decided it reminded me of a real estate map that showed redlined areas, the poorer neighborhoods where mortgages are considered risky and are difficult to obtain. I also used red thread in the quilting. It’s made with commercial fabric and finished with a single fold binding.
“Nebula” is a mashup of an art quilt group UFO challenge and scraps left over from theatrical costumes. I used photos of several nebula as inspiration. Thank you NASA. The black mottled background is from the challenge. Most of the sheer and sparkly bits are from costumes. I added some black sheers from my stash. All the fabric piece edges are raw. Many of the pieces are held in place with Misty Fuse with stitching on top. I sewed on a skewed border and faced it. In the right light it twinkles.
As for those other projects, I made a table runner from old left over blocks as a hostess gift for my husband to give to his landlady in Mexico. He’s in Puebla doing an intensive Spanish course. Luckily, the recent earthquake didn’t affect him.
While I still have tops to quilt, I’ve cleared out many of my incomplete projects. I anticipate a dearth of finishes for a few months as I work on a large (for me) piece that will use many of my blue and blue/green fabrics
Recently I got around to checking out the Toledo Museum of Art, which is about a two hour drive from where I live. I’m ashamed to say that it’s been in my backyard, so to speak, for almost 15 years and I just never visited it.
It fulfills all the requirements of a classic art museum – columned front and lots of marble steps leading up to it, generous local donors whose gifts formed the nucleus of the collection (in this case the Libbey glass family,) and at least one Rembrandt. It also has a separate glass pavilion which was undergoing rearrangement during my visit, to my disappointment. Most of the good stuff was jammed into a study room, and some of the glass could have used more breathing space. Of course I was spoiled by the Corning Glass Museum.
My personal highlights included the room of Grecian urns (and drinking cups and plates) and the huge display of netsuke. Here are the pieces I would like to display in my house (as if!)
The painting with the purple sail is by Georgia O’Keefe, a very different subject for her. You can view most of the museum’s collection on its website.
I spent a lot of time peering at the netsuke, which are mostly the size of a small plum. By accident I discovered drawers filled with inro, which are the containers for personal belongings attached to sashes with cords and secured with a netsuke. How it all worked is described in this article. Here’s an inro that features Raiden, the thunder God.
If I could have pocketed some netsuke, these are my choices:
I love that the last boat one is called How to Weigh An Elephant. The other boat is a party boat occupied by two party ladies and one gentleman. I don’t they’re interested in being weighed.
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