Breakage by SueG

SueG’s entries were amazing! I didn’t know she entered so many projects into the Fair.

Breakage by SueG
Breakage by SueG

This is Breakage by one of my friends (and student). It is her own design and I am so proud of her. She won a ribbon at the Fair as you can see.

She said that she was able to make this quilt, because of what I taught her in the quilt class. That made me feel SOO good.

I have been wanting to write about her quilt, Breakage, for awhile and seeing it at the Fair meant that I could take a photo and then would be able to write about it.

One of the things I teach is that knowing all the techniques allows you to have the skills to not only design your quilts, but actually put them together. Sue knew how to sew and how to make quilts when she joined my class, but she has much more confidence now and is really making some amazing works. Breakage is just one of them.

2024 Fair Pt.1

I attended the Fair last weekend with my wonderful SIL#3 and some great friends, including the fabulous Friend Julie. Her terrific husband Marc came along, too.

Colorblocks 3: Second Place San Mateo County Fair 2024
Colorblocks 3: Second Place San Mateo County Fair 2024

First, my quilt, Colorblocks #3, won second place. I always want first, but Julie won first and she deserved it. Her quilting was much better than mine.

I might need to make this quilt over again. I like it, but am not sure it hits the points I was hoping to hit. I need to look up my original notes on the iteration I wanted to make after I made Colorblocks 2. Good thing I have plenty of silk left.

The Enigma pouches
The Enigma pouches

Sadly, neither my nor Cindy’s Enigma pouches won anything. The big bags always win even though the one that won had NO zippers, NO hardware, nothing complicated.

Fortunately, Laura said she is breaking up that category so small bags are separated from large bags.

I only put in two entries, so I only got one prize this year. They  are reintroducing the Sweepstakes winner next year, so I’ll have to start collecting various projects to enter.

The challenge quilts were well hung (except for mine, which was at knee level) and there were many ribbons on them: 4 total. There is an award for the best quilt in the challenge category, but none of us won that one.

I’ll have some time this year to beef up my entries, so I will work on that. There is something really satisfying about entering the Fair. It’s a feeling I don’t get from entering regular quilt shows.

Orange You Glad on Exhibit

Orange You Glad on display
Orange You Glad on display

In addition to Women’s Work 1, Orange You Glad was also in an art exhibit.

Yes, an art exhibit not a quilt exhibit.

My work had a “[name of company]’s Got Talent”. It was mostly performances, but there was also an art show on the side and I entered Orange You Glad.

Orange You Glad & me
Orange You Glad & me

They didn’t know how to display quilts, so I had to give them a lesson and bring a curtain rod, but the art handlers flung the quilts over plinths and that’s how they were displayed. It worked out ok.


Orange You Glad with tape :(
Orange You Glad with tape 🙁

I was kind of shocked when I saw that they had taped – yes Scotch taped! – the label to my quilt!!!

Clearly they were professional curators and it was only a few hours, so I didn’t worry about it too much, but it was still kind of shocking.

I had never seen a quilt on a plinth (pillar?) before, so that was an interesting experience. I thought it looked ok, though the border I sewed was completely lost.

Orange You Glad at work
Orange You Glad at work

I was glad to have the opportunity to have another quilt on display with paintings, wood carvings and other works.


Women’s View Exhibit

Women's View Exhibit Information
Women’s View Exhibit Information

I would not be writing this post or showing you the art, if it weren’t for my friend Cyndi. She told me about this exhibition, she dropped off my quilt and also did some work for the hanging mechanism. I am not sure what I would do without her.

The Women’s View exhibit is installed in the County Center & Courthouse to celebrate Women’s History Month. This is the 18th year. I have never been before, but everything lined up really well. I took the day off work for an extra Sew Day and Cyndi and I left early to go to the artists reception.

Mike Callagi, County Executive
Mike Callagi, County Executive

We arrived and only had a short chance to look around before there were presentations.

Mike Callagy, the County Executive gave the opening  remarks. He was very complimentary about the quality of the art that was entered. He was also down to earth and funny.

Aimee Shapiro, Arts Commission
Aimee Shapiro, Arts Commission

Aimee Shapiro followed him. She is brand new. She has had her job on the Arts Commission for 3 weeks! She thanked a lot of people who helped and also announced the winners, of which I was one! Yes, I won one of the Honorable Mention awards.

Nancy Riffle, Silent Grandeur
Nancy Riffle, Silent Grandeur

I think Women’s Work 1 fit into the theme, but I was super pleased that my QUILT (women’s work) got honorable mention up against paintings. I was further pleased that Nancy won honorable mention as well. Her piece was a scene from her trip to the Yukon and beautifully done. It was not only stitched, but she painted some of the motifs and embroidered bits as well. It is lovely.

Rebecca Archer, Mother to Son: don't let them steal your sunshine
Rebecca Archer, Mother to Son: don’t let them steal your sunshine

Some of the other pieces were wonderful. I saw Rebecca Archer’s piece soon after I arrived and I really like it. It is multimedia as well. She used fabric and paper along with paint.

The inside of the house is mostly strips of paper while the leaves on the tree are fabric. I don’t know how she decided, but the overall design is very cohesive. The imagery doesn’t look like she just added motifs or used materials just to do it. Rebecca won first place. I took this photo before we heard the results.

Some other interesting images are above. I like Dana’s piece because of the washi tape she used. The Old Stem is interesting because it is a still life all in one color – or mostly one color with its compliment. I am a sucker for cake and dessert imagery, so Savitha’s piece is very appealing, especially since she added flowers. Linda’s chair remind me of wanting an Adirondack chair when the YM was a baby so I could sit with him in the backyard. I admire Echo’s technique and the way she used watercolor. Also,  she won Third place and I wanted to get all the winners, but missed second place and the other two honorable mentions.

It was exciting, but I was exhausted by the end of the day and almost didn’t cook dinner.

We were talking, at Sew Day, about all the work that military wives do when their husbands get new assignments and I might have inspiration for the next quilt in the Women’s Work series. I have never been in that life, so the idea might be too presumptuous for me to make. We’ll see.

The San Mateo County Women’s View exhibit has a Gallery Guide that includes all of the artist statements. I am so pleased that I am a part of this exhibit and am thinking I will enter Who Am I? in next year’s exhibit.

deYoung Inspiration

Suits in FSF exhibit
Suits in FSF exhibit

Knowing other librarians is a good thing! I have a new acquaintance who works at the Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco. These museums include the deYoung and the Legion of Honor. I recently saw that the deYoung was exhibiting Fashioning San Francisco: A Century of Style. It is about haute couture worn in San Francisco. I love seeing these types of dresses, so when we were emailing back and forth I mentioned a forthcoming (mythical) trip. My acquaintance offered FREE tickets. I was thrilled and took her up on it right away.

Of course, the day we chose turned out to be one of the worst weather days of the season. We went anyway. We drove carefully and at a moderate speed. We had no problems on the way there or back. I appreciated the all wheel drive of my Subaru and the fact that I didn’t have to drive on  dirt roads.

de Young: Moon and Stars dresses
de Young: Moon and Stars dresses

The exhibit was nominally arranged by time period. That was clear at the beginning and at the end, but the time period of ball gowns are hard to pinpoint.

I really liked the use of sheer fabrics such as tulle in the various dresses. I think the technique provides structure and wearability to gowns, but also adds interest. Skating dresses use this technique a lot to show off skin without encouraging a wardrobe malfunction.

The neck insert in the dress above on the right gives the idea that cleavage is being shown off, without providing any access. Am I slightly prudish? Yes, a bit. I don’t like men leering at me and that affects the type of dresses I like and want to wear. I prefer an air of mystery when I dress up.

Christian Dior at FSF exhibit
Christian Dior at FSF exhibit

I am definitely a Christian Dior girl. I really liked the simple lines of the designs they exhibited.

The dress in the center is wonderful! I am not a fan of the color, but really like the design. I’d love a cocktail length dress with the same design as the bodice.

I also like the dress on the left. I can do without the color, but the simple lines in turquoise would be fabulous.

Little Black Dresses at FSF exhibit
Little Black Dresses at FSF exhibit

I also like Little Black Dresses. There was a description of how they came about, which I thought was interesting. I liked most of the more form fitting examples of these LBDs. I could do without the center dress that is super drapey. I know these are all art, but I can’t help, but think about wearing them. All of these dresses were worn, but I can’t imagine wearing the cream and black one in the center above without a couple of pages to hold up my hem.

de Young: little black dress with cool hem
de Young: little black dress with cool hem

When I was running my most recent quilt class, I wanted to add more classes so my students would be well prepared for designing their own quilts. I kept trying to think of quilt blocks that required different techniques. One block they did not want to learn was Cathedral Windows. Next time I teach the class, I’ll teach that technique as a pincushion rather than a block. I think that will be more appealing and pincushions are also fun.

de Young: little black dress with cool hem - detail
de Young: little black dress with cool hem – detail

One of the dresses made me think about whether or not I could add a technique that looked like the hem of the dress. First, I love the simplicity of this dress. While I don’t love strapless dresses, this one has structure, so I might even wear it.

I suspect, however, that the star is the skirt and that someone taller than me would really do this dress justice. What embellishment does the skirt remind you about?

Alexander McQueen mini dress
Alexander McQueen mini dress

I wasn’t a fan of the more modern arty dress designs. One dress had no stitching. It was held together with staples and grommets. As mentioned, I can’t help thinking about wearability. That being said, I did like this Alexander McQueen mini dress.

It looks fairly wearable. It is short, but not TOO short. I like that it has a rounded neckline close to the neck, isn’t strapless and has sleeves.

I also like the texture of the lace contrasted with the red ‘coat’ over it. The shininess of both materials make it look perfect for a black tie event.

Hats in the deYoung gift shop
Hats in the deYoung gift shop

I had to look at the gift shop. I am always on the hunt for postcards. I found a few, but they never seem to have the ones I really want. I did see a display of 1940s style HATS in the gift shop. I was amused, but also tempted.

deYoung: beige hat detail
deYoung: beige hat detail

The beige hat, right side,  in the photo above  would be great in black. It has a fantastic bow on the back. I took a photo, because I wondered if I could use the shape as an embellishment for a bag or pouch.

Yes, I wanted the catalog, because it was big lush and fabulous. Also, I love these kinds of books that mesh fashion or pop culture with history. I knew I would only look at it a few times and wouldn’t really read it until I was old and grey. I’ll check it out of the library.

I mourned the loss of sewing time, but really got inspired by viewing the exhibit. I did enjoy spending time with DH as well.

Airport Art

Airport Art: description
Airport Art: description

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.

Airport Art: Globemallow Kaleidoscope
Airport Art: Globemallow Kaleidoscope

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.

Airport Art: Globemallow Kaleidoscope detail
Airport Art: Globemallow Kaleidoscope detail

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.

Airport Art: Globemallow Kaleidoscope detail 2
Airport Art: Globemallow Kaleidoscope detail 2

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.

Get Set - Coloring Outside the Lines
Get Set – Coloring Outside the Lines

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.

Get Set - Coloring Outside the Lines detail
Get Set – Coloring Outside the Lines detail

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.

Get Set - Coloring Outside the Lines back detail
Get Set – Coloring Outside the Lines back detail

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.

San Mateo County Fair Visit 2022

San Mateo County Fair 2022
San Mateo County Fair 2022

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 recycle/upcycle challenge
BAM recycle/upcycle challenge

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.

Cyndi's Orphan block quilt
Cyndi’s Orphan block quilt

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 2022 Fair Entry
SIL#4 2022 Fair Entry

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.


Fair Wins!

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.

Entering the Fair

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.

Pacific NW Fiberarts Museum pt.2

Suspension Bridge Variation
Suspension Bridge Variation

This post follows the first post on the museum and focuses on a few quilts from the museum’s permanent collection.

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.

Suspension Bridge Variation- detail
Suspension Bridge Variation- detail

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.

Circle Applique' - PNWQFM
Circle Applique’ – PNWQFM

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.

Circle Applique' - detail
Circle Applique’ – detail

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.

Baskets & Flowers by F. Rieke, 1930
Baskets & Flowers by F. Rieke, 1930

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.

Baskets & Flowers by F. Rieke, 1930 - detail
Baskets & Flowers by F. Rieke, 1930 – detail

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.

Improved 9 Patch, PNWQFM ~1935
Improved 9 Patch, PNWQFM ~1935

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.

Rosebud Applique' by EE Bryant-Lindeman
Rosebud Applique’ by EE Bryant-Lindeman

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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Rosie Lee Tompkins Exhibit pt.2

Rosie Lee Tompkins exhibit overall
Rosie Lee Tompkins exhibit overall

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.

Rosie Lee Tompkins pink velvet
Rosie Lee Tompkins pink velvet

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.

Rosie Lee Tompkins 'pinwheels'
Rosie Lee Tompkins ‘pinwheels’

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.

Rosie Lee Tompkins more 'pinwheels'
Rosie Lee Tompkins more ‘pinwheels’

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.

This exhibit is well worth a visit.


Rosie Lee Tompkins Exhibit

Entryway BAMPFA
Entryway BAMPFA

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.

Rosie Lee Tompkins Exhibit entrance
Rosie Lee Tompkins Exhibit entrance

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!!

Rosie Lee Tompkins 'Lines' quilt
Rosie Lee Tompkins ‘Lines’ quilt

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.

Rosie Lee Tompkins Emerald Velvet
Rosie Lee Tompkins Emerald Velvet

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.


Burning Man pt.2

Burning Man Temple - detail
Burning Man Temple – detail

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.

Burning Man temple: eye shape
Burning Man temple: eye shape

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.

Burning Man

Burning Man Dragon Vehicle
Burning Man Dragon Vehicle

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.

Burning Man Dragon Vehicle - detail
Burning Man Dragon Vehicle – detail

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.

Theater vehicle
Theater vehicle

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.

Big Wheel
Big Wheel

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.

Supporting Young Artists

SF View towards Coit Tower
SF View towards Coit Tower

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?

Identity by Jillian Taylor
Identity by Jillian Taylor

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.

Visions of a City by Jillian Taylor
Visions of a City by Jillian Taylor

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.

Strings by Jillian Taylor
Strings by Jillian Taylor

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.

Hellish and Full of Heartache
Hellish and Full of Heartache

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.

Diego Rivera mural at SF Art Institute
Diego Rivera mural at SF Art Institute

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.