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James

20130927-untitledThis is “James”, my entry into A RVA Runs Through It, which is a special exhibit at Mid-Atlantic Quilt Fest (MAQF) this weekend in Hampton, Virginia.

The Richmond Quilters Guild sponsored this exhibit, and it seemed a natural for me to enter using photography as well as quilting.

My Artist Statement—

“I am not a native. As a transplanted New Yorker, the songs that Richmond sings to me aren’t necessarily the same ones a native hears, and I am ok with that! (Obits in my hometown paper for a 97 year old read “Brooklyn native, brought to Staten Island as an infant.”) I get it.

This is the first in a planned series of YoYo quilts. Painted Cheese cloth and Yo-Yo’s depict Class III and IV Whitewater Rafting, surrounded by photos I’ve taken of favorite spots in RVA.”

I love to take photos of the James River, and of things in Richmond that I enjoy.

I have an outsiders appreciation of the place—I don’t focus on the political or Civil War, but I do love a lot about Richmond, and the parallel’s to my former New York life aren’t lost on me. I was born in Richmond County, New York. (More popularly known as Staten Island.)  Staten Island is to Manhattan what Colonial Heights is to Richmond, VA.  Manhattanites stare blankly when you say Staten Island, and when I say Colonial Heights up in Richmond I get that same vacant stare, a level of disbelief that I have wandered so far afield and north of the river.  I went from the forgotten borough to the outer suburban edge of this metro area. It takes almost as long to get to downtown Richmond as it did to get to downtown Manhattan, although the mode of transport is very different. Car.  Not bus, then boat, then train.

The quilt came about the way most good things do. I was walking around the IQF in Houston just after Super storm Sandy, and my mind was distracted by thoughts of home, of the devastation, and I had a certain amount of survivors guilt, being there in TX enjoying life, while so many of my family and friends were battling this storm; seeing all the news reports, and just this sense of doom, and dread for my hometown, and all the places I knew so well.

The idea for this quilt came from that day, because walking through the quilt show in Houston, my mind being pelted with an overload of visual stimulation, I had suddenly envisioned a quilt about Sandy. And, once that came to me, it broke through my inability to buy fabric, to settle on things I liked. I bought fabrics and I knew it would have YoYo’s, and I had very specific ideas, but I wasn’t totally ready to make it. So, it sat, aging, as my quilts often do.

When this challenge was announced, “James” came to me, almost fully formed; so many of the thoughts about Sandy that I hadn’t yet realized just lined up and became this quilt.

Sandy is still going to happen. It’s closer now, than it had been before. This piece was very much a test run.

 

The photos on the quilt are all mine, and are all available to purchase at my website.  This takes you to one page where most of the images are, but please, explore more of Richmond and  more of my photos!

My understanding is after this 4-day show, the entire RVA exhibit will be at a church in Richmond for the month of March. (I believe it is Shady Grove, but am not positive, nor do I have details.) Watch this space for further information.

Inspiration Vs. Reality

I ‘rescued’ a package of 7 fat quarters last year from a dusty shelf at Tuesday Morning.  The colors were fun, but the fabric was not the best. However the price, and the desire to buy fabric at the moment overtook me, and into my basket went this $5.00 bargain.

As is normal for me, the fabric was washed as soon as I got it home.  And of course, it shrank, it raveled, and it revealed a fair amount of fading along the fold lines.

So, it was relegated to The Pile.  I picked it up last weekend, when I needed something quilt-y to do at our Saturday meeting.  Since I wasn’t planning on sewing yet (recovering from foot surgery), I needed a plan.  I gathered a handful of books and grabbed that fabric.

I decided I would make a charity quilt with the fabric. Simple shapes, nothing with points that may not take well to the quality of material, and of course, I didn’t want it to end up as another UFO, so it needed to be a day project.

Today was the day.  Foot feeling better, I put the machine back on the desk, pulled out the strips I cut last week and went to it. I had chosen as my INSPIRATION  the quilt called Funny Farm DSCN0057

in Karen Snyder’s book Fat Quarter Fun.DSCN0056

I knew immediately upon seeing it that it satisfied the criteria I had established. I also knew that the pattern was very much going to be about inspiration and very little about following the directions. Nyah-Nyah Instead of the same color background, I chose the ‘almost’ solids.  I knew I wouldn’t be able to replicate the tessellation perfectly because of that, so I planned to use a fabric to separate the rows.

Strip piecing 2.5 inch strips.DSCN0046DSCN0048Cut into 4.5 inch squares.

DSCN0050Resembled into blocks. (Here, I didn’t pay attention to the order I worked, and so ended up making one set reversed, but I wasn’t stopping to fix, since I wasn’t planning on a tessellation anyway.

(What they would look like, tessellated.)DSCN0053

The finished top.DSCN0058

This is a nice baby sized quilt.  7 fat quarters! One afternoon!

Quilting day…

Today is the first day of my annual three day, pre-birthday quilting weekend …which includes the annual trip to the Mid-Atlantic Quilt Festival  (MAQF) in Hampton.  It was to coincide with a girls weekend for out of town friends, and a trip to VMFA for the Picasso Exhibit.

Alas, real life stomped on those plans, and one girlfriend is with her fiancé during post-op, and the other is dealing with the possibility of unsettling job issues that all of us fear….

So, today I decided to work on a quilt. I pulled this quilt out of the nether reaches of my UFO pile last month.

It was a quilt that I decided to do about a decade ago. The pattern was, to say the least, challenging. Jack’s Chain is pictured here. I should point out that a decade ago, I was a relative newbie to quilting. My eyes were bigger than my stomach, I explained to Timmy last night. I totally didn’t realize what I was asking of myself.

Now, a decade later, my skills are probably up to the task, but I am also more aware of my frustration level and desire for torture. (VERY low and VERY small, I assure you.) I also know that I am NOT a precise quilter, and that this pattern requires precision.

Therefore, last month I redesigned the quilt to a far more acceptable and FINISHABLE pattern.

2 25 2011

This is how far I got today. I took all the pieces I had previously cut and worked up this quilt. I am going to locate a very dark blue or green antique patterned fabric for a sashing between the main pattern and the triangle border.

Tomorrow, Timmy will chauffer me to the quilt show so I can spend my birthday money and dream of many more quilts I probably will never make!

(I even think I may know of a special someone that I will need to FINISH this for!Flirt male)

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