Sunday, November 29, 2009

de Young Museum Visit

DS2 lives an hour from San Francisco and the de Young Museum of Fine Art. They currently have the Faith and Stephen Brown collection of Amish quilts on exhibit, called Amish Abstraction; so the day after Thanksgiving we ignored the Black Friday sales and drove to Golden Gate park. It turns out thousands of other families had the same idea and it took us quite awhile to find a parking spot and walk to the entrance. But that only added to the excitement for me.

Regrettably, photography was not allowed in the gallery, even if you knew how to take a photo without flash. In fact museum staff were at key points throughout the exhibit stopping patrons from taking photos. Therefore I hesitate to include any images of the quilts, but you can see the entire collection here and click the thumbnails to enlarge. They were breathtaking to see in person, softly spot lit to accentuate the color combinations and bold graphics, the cotton shone. Well here's one, just to give you an idea, taken from a calendar.

The thing I found interesting were the placards introducing the Amish lifestyle and their quilts to the public. They described the Amish simplified way of living as a "Minimalist's approach to life". That their quilts were reductionist art long before the idea of self denial and getting down to basics in an effort to create something new in your art was even conceived. The quilts are displayed in a darkened gallery that highlight their "Abstraction" but don't reveal the exquisite hand quilting. I feel the exhibit missed the point, divorcing the heart of Amish quilts from the work in an effort to present their own art concepts. This quote is from the Brown's web site:

Unlike painters, however, the Amish did not intend their quilts for public exhibition because they do not believe in demonstrating worldly pride in their work.

After Amish Abstraction, we toured the rest of the museum. King Tut and his artifacts were on exhibit in another gallery, but the lines for the tour were mind boggling. Another time perhaps.

After three hours we reluctantly headed for the car. But not before perching on a limb just above ground, what a welcome relief to our tired feet.

We made a memory.

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Happy Thanksgiving!


Just after dinner. One picture says it all. =D

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

What's New?

It's Thanksgiving vacation at my house and I want to sew! My neck is still an issue after the accident and I've been spending my time taking care of it; heat, massage, PT, Chiropractic adjustments. Eventually it'll hold a happy curve and I can stop the pain meds and get back to my life!

A and B blocks

But in odd moments I sew an Ocean Wave block and add it to the shoe box. I decided to lay them out and Wow! was I surprised at the progress. "Little and often fills the purse" they say and it's true about 5" blocks too.

I labeled the blocks so you can see how they fit together. 'A' blocks rotate clock-wise and 'B' blocks counter clock-wise. So far I haven't gotten lost while piecing the blocks, but I sure did when I tried to put them on the design wall. It's been a little over a year since I laid them out last.

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Sewing Lesson with My DIL

DS1 and his (new) wife came for the weekend. Danielle wanted to learn to sew and had an idea for a Christmas banner.

We developed our own pattern and cut out two; one to learn on and one to give as a gift.

I introduced her to the basics of using a sewing machine, how to thread it, wind a bobbin, needle up/down and reverse. I explained tension and stitch length, thread weight and needle size, she sewed a few test samples. It was wonderful teaching such an enthusiastic student!

I explained terms as we went along, fusible interfacing, right sides together, seam allowance, pivot, clip the corners, turn and press, top stitching. Her excitement at learning something new and making something fun and pretty fueled her energy to continue.

We finished that afternoon and the bright smile says it all. She was *very* happy with the banner and that she'd *done it*. I was tickled to share what I love with my new daughter-in-law.

More Autum Color

The maple just across the street

The vintner five houses down didn't harvest this year; too bad we can't collect some.

Wash Day

Well I found out that 100% of the quilters that commented on my recent post about prewashing also prewash. We'll never know about those that didn't comment...

I recently went through the closets that hold my quilting stuff and pulled out a Warm and Natural bat that I'd bought some time ago. I love this bat, it's the one I choose over and over. But when I pulled it out of the plastic bag I couldn't believe how strongly it smelled of adhesive. Whoa. So I washed it too; set the water to cool, opened up the layers and placed it in the machine. It just sat there on top of the water, what the? I turned off the machine and submerged it by hand, it was almost water resistant, I pushed it down and it kept popping back up to the surface. Eventually I won and put it through a short, gentle cycle. I stopped the machine again, pulled the bat to the side and looked at the water. I didn't take a picture but it was cloudy and sorta thick.

I feel much better about using this bat now. Makes me wonder what they use in it.

The Incredible Kindness of Molly Dunham

I was reading Molly's post entitled Soup Weather , go look... I'll wait, and I got such a nice feeling knowing she used the same mixing bowl I do. Silly maybe, but it felt fun. I left a comment:

Hey I have that same set of mixing bowls. They were a wedding gift, circa 1979. I'm sorry I broke the largest making bread in the first five years of its life. Been searching second hand stores ever since. :)

Imagine my surprise when she wrote and offered to give me hers?! Seems she'd found one in a thrift store and it was an extra at her house, would I like it? You can bet I answered that email the same day! I was amazed at her kind generosity.

Turns out it's similar in size to the medium bowl I have in this set, but hers has handles, now that's cool! I didn't even know those existed.

And the lid from the casserole set fits it, perfect for microwaving. I just love the 'Celebrate Fall' card she made to go along with it.

My husband made waffles this morning, the bowl's maiden use. It's lovely Molly, thank you. Blogland friends are great!

Sunday, November 16, 2009

The glorious, golden sunshine just keeps pouring down like blessings from above. We desperately need rain, but who can fault a day like this?