On my way back from a recent trip, I saw some quilt art in the airport. Yes this was my first airline trip since 2019. I actually don’t remember my last airline trip.
I am always pleased when textiles get their day in the sun. While the Phoenix airport is not the Met, it is still a venue that has a lot of possibilities for people to view the artwork.
In this case, I saw a quilt and a chair with quilted and embellished elements in this exhibit.
The quilt has photos printed on it. This is not a favorite technique of mine, but I applaud the work the artist, Margit Kagerer, did on this quilt.
N.B.: sorry about the reflection. The quilt was under glass and, although I tried a lot of different angles, I could get rid of the reflection. I was playing with some photo manipulation, but haven’t succeeded in getting rid of the reflection.
Getting some detail shots helped and also made it easier to see what was going on in the quilt.
This quilt has a lot of detailed machine quilting.
You can also see that the piecing looks like a kaleidoscope in the flower photo, left.
I am pretty sure this is piece is not longarm quilted.
Again, this photo has a reflection, but you can see more detailed quilting in the bottom of the photo.
I am interested in what Margit’s original photographs looked like. In order to answer that question, I would have put the original photographs on the back of the quilt. I had no way to see if she did that and I don’t see more information about the quilt on the web anywhere.
This work really reminds me of the fearlessness of Friend Julie‘s work.
I was more interested in the chair that also has some quilted elements. I have been interested in reupholstering chairs with quilts or quilted panels since I made the Tuffets and also since I saw Tula’s Elizabeth chair* as well as her Monkey Wrench chairs.
The chair was well protected, so I had some trouble getting detail shots.
This chair is definitely art and not seating. The seat had beading in the flower, which I don’t think would be very comfortable.
I really like the idea of upholstering furniture in patchwork. I think it would give the furniture a unique appearance.
The artist used the entire chair for her artwork, including the back. The sun reminds me of the sun in Beach Town. I really like the thistle-like flowers. The background texture kept me looking at the piece for awhile.
I have mixed feelings about airport art, but I did enjoy seeing these pieces.
*N.B. 12 July 2022: I wasn’t able to find a photo of the Elizabeth chair, but you can see it some of her Tuesday videos. I will add the link if I am able to find one.
DH and I were both sick over the long holiday weekend. The illness lingered through the beginning of the Fair and through the day our extended family had decided to go together. I didn’t think we would be able to make it at all, but we decided to go last Saturday. I was not intending to see every single thing at the Fair and I made my desires clear: quilts and a frozen chocolate covered banana. I didn’t want to overdo it after resting and taking it easy for a few weeks.
I let DH pick what he wanted to see first, so we looked at the Commercial area first. It was sad. So many of the vendors and information booths we had seen before were not exhibiting. The vendors who made the effort were selling items of low quality or of no interest. I wish the Fair management would find a way to get artists to sell their wares.
After that, we went to see the quilts and other Home Arts. I saw Laura, the organizer of Home Arts, pretty soon after we arrived. She will be taking suggestions after she rests for a bit, but I talked with her about some things I thought were confusing. She also said that they had 75% of the entries they had pre-pandemic, which was a lot better than the other areas. I was pleased at the number of quilts even though it was obvious there were fewer.
BAM made a GREAT showing. In addition to my wins, I saw that Sue G., Joelle, Bonnie, and Cyndi all received awards of one kind or another. The upcycle/recycle challenge was shown in a prominent place.
I saw one of the orphan block Sew Day quilts, Cyndi’s, which is a great effort. It is colorful and interesting to look at.
I was so impressed that she got her act together enough to get this into the Fair. I think it was made in April and since the deadline for entry and deliver are in different parts of May, it was a quick turnaround.
SIL#4 also won a prize for one of her knitted hats. I saw her hat before I saw either of my winners. It makes sense, though, as small knitted items are right at the front of the hall.
I was really pleased to see that my teaching paid off. Sue G., one student in a recent class (and member of the door prize team), put two quilts in the Fair and won prizes for both! I was thrilled beyond belief. She has been sewing a lot and practicing her skills, so the prizes were well deserved, but I was still thrilled. I’m not saying that I did everything, but I do take credit for instilling good habits and teaching good skills.
I was shocked at the prices. Everything had gone up. In some ways I felt like Fair management and the vendors were making me pay for the loss of two years worth of my attendance at the Fair:
Entry fee: $20.00 x 2 – $40.00
Parking: – $15.00
Ice Cream: – $16.50
Drink: – $10.00
minus free ticket: $20.00
We didn’t even have lunch. I wondered how families with children were able to afford the costs just to get in? I told DH he had a year to figure out what to enter into the Fair next year so he could get a free ticket as well. By the time we got home, he had decided on a cell phone photo.
I always look forward to the Fair and make a point of entering.
I wasn’t well enough to go to the Fair last weekend with the family, but they were kind enough to send me photos of my wins as they walked the exhibits. I was SHOCKED to get two wins in the made-by-one-quilted-by-another category. That category is almost impossible to win in since there are so many entries. I am thrilled!
Fabric of the Year 2019 and Frolic! both won. Isn’t that purple ribbon pretty? I’ll have to see the details if I get to go to the Fair or when I get everything back.
After a two year hiatus, I entered the County Fair. I entered 3 items and hope I get free tickets.
My three items are:
I kind of wanted to enter more things, but wasn’t sure what else to enter or I don’t have the thing anymore. Also, I am busy, I don’t have time to figure out all the divisions, etc, especially now that they are only giving prize money for first place. Phooey on that! I really wanted to enter Flying Around, which has had no outing at all. It was, however, finished in 2019 and that seems like a long time ago in Fair years.
I really like this Suspension Bridge Variation. The effect of the blocks is gorgeous. The colors are fantastic and the curved border is wonderful. The colors are really great. I love the slightly dull turquoise as a background.
I wonder about making this quilt? I’ll have to add it to the list to think about.
There is a lot of piecing in this quilt. I also notice that the blocks are not really square. Normally, I would expect the spikes to be in separate blocks and make the circle up by setting them together. In the photo, right, you can see that the blue pieces on the outside of the circle are not square. This makes me think that the circles were pieced, then set together with the blue pieces and white pieces between the blocks. LOTS of piecing. I would guess this was hand pieced, but I don’t remember if I looked closely.
It is another quilt by ‘maker unknown’. 🙁 Label your quilts.
Another interesting quilt I saw was a Circle Applique’ quilt. According to the information, it was made in about 1900, but they think the applique’ may have been done earlier. I really dream about doing applique’, including something like this or a Baltimore Album quilt or one of the fun Piece O’ Cake** designs. As you know, I have done a bit of machine applique’, but it isn’t really something I enjoy on a grand scale. I do love the borders and circles on this. Something about the density of the circles making up the circle applique’ and the borders is really appealing.
I will say that the blue wedges in the corners (see above) are strange. The museum says that “unusual and unexplained wedge shapes of blue chambray fabric inserted int he corners of the borders add to this quilt’s interest.”I wonder if a lesser skilled needleperson wanted to add their mark to an amazing quilt they couldn’t hope to make?
The density of the circle of circles makes the blocks look lush and complete. There is no wispiness here. The maker (again unknown – did I say to label your quilts??) really wanted you to see that circle – or she had a lot of little circles and was proud of her skills.
Another quilt that is part of the permanent collection was called Baskets and Flowers by Frances Rieke. It was made in 1930.
The interesting thing about this quilt is that the alternate blocks have a quilted design that mimics the appliqued design. It is like a ghost version of the appliqued blocks.
I also think the quilting in the border is amazing. I love feathered border designs and this one includes a beautiful version. The fabric used was 1930s prints and the information says that each flower head uses a different print. Feedsacks?? No idea.
The flowers also include a yo-yo. I am not a huge yo-yo fan, but think they are used to good effect in this quilt. Mostly, I think yo-yo quilts are too delicate, which is why I don’t like them. As embellishments, however, they can be very useful.
I didn’t notice if the fabric in the main part of the flower was different in each block, but they are different in this detail section.
The diamond quilted grid in the background helps the flowers stand out, especially the alternate/quilted only blocks.
There was an improved 9 patch in the museum’s library. I really like that design.
While different, the construction is like my MetroScape quilt. I think this quilt could be made using the same Sew Kind of Wonderful ruler, the Quick Curve Ruler**. The company may even have a pattern, but it will probably be named something different.
In this quilt, the yellow background pieces really make the 9 patches stand out. Also the circles show up really well.
Finally, I saw a quilt that appeared to be machine appliqued. Rosebud Applique’ was made by Elise Eleanor Bryant-Lindeman. The quilt was hanging in the main hallway and was one of the first I saw.
The information on the card said that the quilt was probably made from a kit. It was also described as hand appliqued with a blanket stitch. I don’t agree. The density of the stitching looks like a zigzag stitch to me. Also, the blue strips appear to be machine appliqued on to the top of the quilt with a straight stitch. This makes it possible that Elise was proud of her machine and decided to use it. Of course, I am not a museum curator so I could be wrong.
It is interesting to see that most of these fine quilts have been washed. In this quilt, I found the quilting designs to be quite beautiful. In the third picture above, the curved and woven grid design is very appealing. It is echoed in various related designs in the border, first photo, above, which are also quite beautiful. I am thinking about whether these could be done in machine quilting/ longarming.
Unfortunately, the museum had some perfume or some kind of cleaner that was starting to give me a rash, so we rushed through the last exhibit of contemporary quilts and left. All in all, however, I enjoyed the various quilts and looking at different designs.
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The other day I started writing about my visit to BAMPFA to see the Rosie Lee Tompkins exhibit. Today I plan to continue talking about the pieces that I liked.
In the photo, left, you can see how the quilts were arranged. You can also see the older quilts on the left and the newer quilts on the right.
As I mentioned before I preferred the older quilts, which seem to be mostly made from velvet, etc. On the right, you can see the newer quilts. These are mostly made from cotton. They seem to have more meaning, according to the signs, but they lack subtlety and their design elements are less nuanced. The impression I got from looking at those quilts is that Rosie’s supply or source of fabric had changed. Alternatively, someone may have told her that quilts were made from cottons. I don’t know, but I may find out once I read the catalog.
One of the velvet quilts used pink with black, which is a color combination I have not yet explored, though it is on my list.
In this piece, I think it is interesting how Ms. Tompkins used a few different pinks, including a peachy-pink that I would not have used. I am not a peach fan, but the artist uses it to good effect in this piece.
I am interested in the shape of the various pieces and wonder how she worked? Perhaps there will be some photos of her workspace in the book, which I have not yet read. Did she have a dedicated space? Did she work on her lap? I am not disturbed by the shape, I just see it in several of her pieces and wonder if it is the result of her workspace.
The design of the exhibit was good. While the pieces were in chronological order, I could see that the curators selected pieces that showed a flow of her development. I know that pieces had to be selected from the vast number Rosie Lee Tompkins made.
This green and gold piece was between the emerald piece I showed in the previous post and the pink and black quilt above. There were others with more triangles, but something about this one caught my eye.
She showed a variety of blue and black quilts as well, which were also favorites. I looked at this one for a long time and like the subtle shading of the black and grey. I couldn’t decide if the fabrics were the same, but turned or brushed so the nap showed up differently and made the pattern or if the fabrics were different, but very close. She used bits of turquoise in various pieces and that was appealing. I like the purple and turquoise together.
I actually went to a museum the other day. I am fully vaccinated, wore a mask, stayed away from people and the place was almost empty. This trip contained a lot of firsts: first time in a museum in over a year, first trip across the Bay Bridge in over a year, first time in a car with a friend, first time wearing a mask for 5 hours or more (health care workers: I salute you!). Milestone day!
I went with my friend from CQFA, Nancy. Nancy is much more in tune with what is going on in local arts than I am and let me know that the Rosie Lee Tompkins exhibit was on for in person viewing. She got us tickets and I drove us over.
I used to live next door to BAMPFA, but hadn’t been there in years. The space is gorgeous. The entrance is made human by the mural you see when you walk in (above). The mural is part of an auditorium/amphitheater (??)/performance space. The walls of the museum are tall and white, so the mural grounds visitors as they come in – at least it did for me.
We went straight into the exhibit, which was on the ground floor near the entrance. There is not a lot of information about the quilts and most of them are untitled. I love to hear about inspiration, so this was disappointing, but not surprising. I don’t think people think about the making of their quilts as much as I do. In writing this, I realize that I think a lot more about placement of individual pieces and don’t write each of those comments down.
The brief description of the show says, in part, “…And while most of the Tompkins’s textiles are referred to as ‘quilts,’ this term technically only refers to works comprising pieced tops, insulating material, and backing that have been sewed together – a process she rarely undertook herself, instead leaving this finish work to other local quilters.” I love this, especially the last part, because it means that my quilts could someday end up in a museum!!
My two favorite quilts were from her older quilts. They were mostly made of velvet, crushed velvet and velveteen (I don’t really know if these are the same).
One of the things I like about this piece is the not so obvious improv piecing. Current improv piecing comes across as contrived to me sometimes, though you know I am not a huge fan. This piece looks like it was designed so that the pieces lean to the left. I am not sure I could make a piece with so much movement using improv techniques. This piece does not scream improv to me. It looks like Ms. Tompkins designed it that way. The color and sheen, which do not come through very well in the photo really add to the success of this quilt.
My second favorite is a piece that is jewel-like in its success. The various greens show up with some contrast in the photo. In real life the darker greens are much more subtle in their shading. This makes the chartreuse line of squares in the center-left stand out. Even though those four squares are the only green of that color, the design element seems to work. There are a couple of places where four squares show up and perhaps that is the reason. Again, the color and sheen really add to the success of this quilt.
Look for part 2 of my thoughts about this exhibit soon.
The other thing I saw at the Burning Man exhibit was the the temple. Apparently, they burn it down. Along with the Man, this is a symbol of letting things go or not being attached to things.
The wood was not finished and it looked like balsa wood, but was much heavier. The wood looked like slightly better quality than plywood, but I don’t know what it was. I also couldn’t find a plaque that would tell me.
There was an amazing amount of detail.
My favorite shape was the eye shape. I could see how I could piece it and the variety of fabrics would make that shape part of a unique quilt.
No, I am not going to Burning Man. I did visit an exhibit of their costumes, vehicles and ephemera at the Oakland Museum of California with my sorority alumna group last week. I was really fascinated by the vehicles and the costumes. I also learned a lot about Burning Man, the organization, in general.
It was hard to get close enough to the costumes to see what they were made of. It did make me want to construct an elaborate Halloween costume.
Mostly, I took a photo of the dragon because I thought the YM would like it (he did!). I looked closer, however and found that it was made of common household metals – like muffin pans and cake tins. I couldn’t help but think of a group of mothers getting together and building this thing. It looks very fierce from afar, but close up I saw a message of home and kitchen, a place in which to take refuge.
Another vehicle looked like an old fashioned theater. I wasn’t tall enough to really see inside. I, also, couldn’t get close enough to see if they were showing movies, but I loved the plush seating, the flocked wallpaper and the aura of one of the grand old theaters.
Finally, I couldn’t help thinking of one of those old bikes with the huge front wheel when I saw the last vehicle.
It also made me think of a Big Wheel. I couldn’t tell if one person could drive it or if three people would need to work together to drive it.
There were others, of course. I didn’t take pictures of everything there. It is an interesting exhibit and well worth the time to visit.
A few months ago, a college friend contacted me and told me her daughter was coming to San Francisco to attend a summer art program. We made plans to see each other while she was in town and I offered to be emergency mom, should the need arise. Wouldn’t you like to go to school at a place with that view?
A few weeks (or a month?) later, I got another call inviting me to the young artist’s reception. I drove over with my BIL to view the art. The art was very interesting. Some good, some not to my taste. My friend’s daughter’s art was very appealing to me, though it wasn’t all sweetness and light as I usually like.
Her work has a mystical quality that invites the viewer to come closer. I told her about my attempt to reward viewers with surprises if they come close to my quilts and she said she does something similar.
Jillian’s work is definitely worth walking up closer and looking at carefully.
The students were given assignments and one was about buildings. I forget the basics of the assignment, but I thought her interpretation was fun and interesting.
She talked to us about wishing the cat that ran away was still in the picture when she took the photo and then delighted in describing how she realized she could add a cat even if it wasn’t in her reference image. I was delighted as well! Sometimes we feel we have to stick to the truth when doing realistic work and that just isn’t true.
The students explored all media, including sculpture. I haven’t really ever done much sculpture. I was fascinated with the airy, flying/breaking out of the wall quality of the Strings piece.
As you know, I am fascinated by 3D in quiltmaking. You have seen some of my bags, right? And the textured cube? Jillian’s piece is a whole different thing that I don’t think I could ever achieve with fabric and thread. I suppose something like this wouldn’t be the same with fabric in and thread.
Obviously, there were other works by other students as well. I looked at some of them and enjoyed them as well. I love the 3D aspect of the white vase. I don’t mean the vase itself, but the flowers and vines.
The first piece the young artist did when she arrived was a directed painting. The professor told them what to paint and they interpreted the directions in their own way. This painting started off with three triangles.
There is a lot going on in this painting. One thing I thought was interesting was that I could not see the three triangles. They were pointed out to me, so they are still part of the painting (an aspect of the assignment?), but I couldn’t tell you where they are now.
Finally, Jillian had an installation piece. I have to admit that I didn’t understand it very well, but it had that same mystical quality that some of her other work had. Her mom was pretty distressed when it was taken down – all the work had to be removed so it could be shipped home.
The San Francisco Art Institute not only has a great view, but it also has a Diego Rivera fresco. The information said that it was painted in 1931 and was a gift of William Lewis Gerstle when he was president of the SF Art Association. There are other works by Rivera at City College of San Francisco.
This exhibit was outside of my normal daily ramblings. It was good to get out and see something different. I encourage you to do something similar.
A long time ago one of my quilts won a ribbon at the Marin Needlearts Guild show. That is probably the best prize I have ever gotten. I feel like that prize came from a real quilt show and the quilt did deserve to win.
Still winning at the San Mateo County Fair is pretty great, too. I did win at the Fair. I entered 3 items: two quilts and a pillow. I did not expect the quilts to win, because the ‘made by one/pro quilted’ category is really impacted. I did expect to win with the pillow based on SIL2’s analysis of the best categories to enter to get a prize.
First, the Aqua-Red Sampler Quilt got First place. As you know, I made these blocks in one of my sampler quilt classes. I am pretty pleased that this won. The two color scheme has an impact. Also, Colleen did spectacular quilting and the quilting shows. Definitely click on the image so you can see the detail of the quilting. I am really happy that the judges were able to appreciate this quilt. I think it looks a little modern, but I didn’t dare enter it in that category.
Second, despite reports to the contrary Under the Sea did win a prize. It won Third Place, which is fine. I am pleased that it won at all, because it was so much work and took so many years to finish. I could have gone on stitching, but this category gave me a deadline and finishing this piece got one more hand project off my list.
Finally, Metroscape won. WOW! This was a huge surprise. I did enter it into the Modern category in hopes of giving it a better chance, but I really didn’t expect anything. There it was hanging with a Second Place ribbon on it.
I enter quilts because I make them and want people to see them. I didn’t, as I said, expect to win. I don’t know what prizes I will get, but I know I will get a prize for each winner.
Last year I let you know what projects I entered into the fair. I saw the post by accident and can’t really believe another year has gone by. I didn’t wait until the last minute this year. Cyndi was kind enough to collect a bunch of entries at the BAM meeting to take to the fair. I gave her mine since it is much easier to have someone else drop them off. I think I’ll have to give her a gift or take her to lunch, because she really does save me a lot of time and energy.
I didn’t enter as much this year as I only wanted the free tickets. I know it is pretty callous, but it is true. There are so many quilts in the pieced-by-one, quilted-by-another category that I have no hope ever of winning for a quilt. I can usually win in the paper category, but didn’t finish the piece that I started with Nancy and Maureen.
SIL2 figured out that the embellishment category was the least populated so we had the best chance of winning, thus I had incentive to finish Under the Sea.
Under the Sea was entered.
Since Metroscape is pretty unusual, in that I haven’t seen a lot of finished quilts using the Quick Curve Ruler, I thought I might have a tiny chance, despite it being in that overcrowded category.
I really ended up liking the Aqua-Red Sampler. It is a striking quilt. Though I have no hope of winning anything with it, I wanted someone to see it and entered it anyway.
I talked about my entries a few weeks ago. Once I get to the fair, I like to go and look at my entries right away to see what I won, if anything.
I got some prizes, but not many. Of my entries, two got prizes, the paper wreath which I expected and the Planned Improv quilt, which I did not. It is almost a guarantee I will not get a prize for a quilt, so i was thrilled to even get an Honorable Mention in any quilt category.
I was sad that none of these projects got prizes. The Flapper apron is probably the most ordinary of all of the projects, but it does have a great shape and interesting construction. The others are all very creative, especially the fabric placement on the Cal Shirt and the way I created a corset look on the Superheroine apron. Oh well, you win some, you lose some. I did well last year, so I can’t complain too much.
I have some quibbles with the categories. They don’t have a bag category and they should. There were a number of bags and the bags have to compete against everything in the sewn accessories-non garment category. My Zip Away organizer would have been better in a bag category.
I also think they need an apron category. There were a lot of aprons and mine would have done better it they weren’t competing against a tailored jacket.
I really worked hard on the shirt, especially finishing the inside seams with French seams, so it was letdown not to get any prizes at all for it. It will be interesting to see what they say.
SIL #2 cleaned up. She got four prizes including a first for her fabulous two-sided shell table runner. I did well last year; it was her turn this year.
Last weekend was exhibition weekend. I barely spent any time actually sewing. In addition to PIQF, the Book Arts Jam put on and exhibit and vendor hall with book artists vending. I have gone before and wrote about my visit in 2015.
The event is put on by the Bay Area Book Artists (BABA) organization and was held at the Palo Alto Elks Lodge. I went because I have, as I have said, a sincere but underdeveloped interest in book making. I always went to support Maureen who has sold postcards at the event during the last few exhibits.
The exhibition has a gallery in one room and the vendor hall in the other. The exhibition made me realize that I am much more interested in the container than in the content of the books.
I know that creating content is important (ahem, see my blog), but for me in the context of this event, I felt myself drawn to the containers.
There were all types of book-like objects, some barely a book and some made from books rather than being books themselves. There were some accessories and a Barbie book.
One of the things that has been stumbling block for the next book in my series is the closure. At the Book Arts Jam, I saw one, Backwards Cover Book by Jamila Rufaro, artist use a magnet as a closure.
Why didn’t I think of that?
I have a whole bunch of sew in magnet closures I use for bags and they would be perfect! I don’t know how strong the magnet will be in the context of a book, but I can experiment now that I have an idea.
I saw some paper art that I would consider more like origami or papercraft (perhaps Scherenschnitte??) than bookmaking, but what do I know?
The colors make this look like a Thanksgiving decoration. I would love to enter this into the San Mateo County Fair. I found a site with instructions and some templates that can be printed. I didn’t see fruit, but didn’t look very hard. Looking at various shapes and site discussing sliceform, I can see that I could easily get sucked into that craft.
There were probably 15-20 vendors. Some were selling items, a number of them were selling cards and others were selling supplies. I saw one vendor selling documents like deeds and other types of contracts.
Maureen was right next to the booth shown above. Her booth looks really professional. Simple and elegant, but visitors can also play with rearranging her postcards. That is an attraction for me. I guess the kid comes out. I am upset with myself for not getting a shot of her booth or the postcards I bought from her! ERGH!
I bought some little tiny journals that I will use as party favors from Kristi Conley-Brockie. I bought 5 and she will make me 10 more before January. I liked the items she had in her booth. I liked her work because the pieces looked like books, but imagery was also important to them. The octopus in the center of the book in the middle photo is particularly interesting to me.
I found the perfect card for my aunt. It is Halloween-esque, but doesn’t scream Halloween and nods to her love of black cats. I wrote her a letter that very afternoon and sent it off. I hope she likes it.
Sadly the card was not marked with the Artist’s name and she did not include a business card. 🙁
The weekend was busy and I was tempted not to go to the Book Arts Jam. I go to exhibits to expand my mind and I wanted to support Maureen’s hard work as she has always been helpful to me and does fabulous work. As you can see I went searching for sliceform and got an idea from one of the art pieces I might be able to utilize in my own work.