Greetings! I was just away for a few days attending the funeral of my Aunt Dorothy, who would have been 89 next month, in Pennsylvania. She was the last remaining of her generation. My mom was the second of 6 children, Dorothy was the 6th. Dorothy’s family lived right across the road from me and her 7 children were like the brothers and sisters I never had; I’m an only child. I was one of 19 cousins and family gatherings were a regular occurrence. One of my all time favorite pictures of the Arnold clan was taken in 1954, when I was 5 (click on picture for enlargement if interested!):
I’m sitting second from the left with my body and head turned toward my cousins. Standing right behind me is my cousin Liz, and just behind her is Dorothy, age 27. My mom is the woman standing in the front on the right in the dark skirt and light blouse and my dad is the tall guy just behind her (the only one with a jacket and tie on!!!). My grandparents are to the left of mom in the picture. The picture lacks only one of my uncles who took the picture and 3 cousins not yet born. Now there are only 16 of us cousins left.
During the gathering for the funeral I learned that my cousin Marie has 2 quilts that my grandmother made – the only 2 quilts of hers that anyone is aware of still existing. Unfortunately I didn’t get to see them – will have to do that next visit. My oldest cousins, Marge and Betty, ran a quilt shop for several years and sold Janomes. It was great to see everyone as I don’t get back to PA very often. Seeing the next THREE generations, after the ones above, at the funeral was a reminder that time is really flowing on and I want to be sure to make the best of what I have left.
Needless to say I didn’t get much sewing done because of the above, but I did have an e-mail waiting for me when I got home that “Many Moons” and “Joyful Noise” – the 2 quilts I had left with long arm quilter Sue Foster a few months ago – were ready to be picked up. She did a wonderful job with them! “Many Moons” is the fourth quilt in my series of quilts made mostly with authentic Japanese fabrics:
After taking the above pictures I combed through my stash and found what I think is just the right fabric for the binding and had JUST ENOUGH of it! Here is the binding and the quilt with half the binding sewn down:
Something modern like this was a stretch for me, but I’m very pleased with the result!! I will show you and talk about the other quilt, “Joyful Noise,” in my next post.
I recently had a blog comment from someone who asked how I choose fabrics and colors for my projects. That’s not an easy question to answer! I thought about this for a while and I think the best answer to this question is that I look at a lot of quilts and a lot of art. I look carefully and when I like something and am drawn to a work, I try to discover what it is about the piece that I like. Is it the color, the composition, the “style”, etc.? I used to keep a folder with pictures of what I like but now I have a Pinterest site where I do this. After doing this for a while it becomes clear what one’s likes and dislikes are and this is what probably drives one’s choices of colors, fabrics, and designs. I also have a lot of books with a lot of pictures of quilts to look at and study and I have several books on color and design which I have read and are helpful:
The above are in my sewing room; the books below are in a larger bookcase in the living room (I have many more “art” books as well):
Here are the main “color and design” books for quilters that I have:
I know there are many other books out there on this topic as well and reading this kind of information does help! Let me say that Ruth McDowell is a master at using fabric and I highly recommend her book. Her special exhibit at Vermont this year was just fabulous, but no pictures were allowed. She uses fabric in a unique way – that’s one of the things that makes her the great artist she is. I’ll bet her fabric stash is a wonder to behold and much more varied than most of us have. I don’t necessarily see myself making her style quilts (though you never know!) but I appreciate her work and see it for the art that it is. Anyway – study lots of quilts and art (viewing and reading) to learn how to select colors and how to compose!
Here is the last batch of quilts from the Vermont show contest to catch my eye:
Since this quilt won the award for best long arm quilting, I thought the wife’s name should have been in bold at the top of the card along with her husband’s!
I’m not a huge fan of most landscape quilts but appreciate when they are done well. This one won the award for Best Landscape quilt:
This won the Best Modern quilt award:
This was the best “Mini” quilt:
I really liked the color in this one:
And I thought this one was well designed and constructed:
I’m not done with pictures from Vermont yet – I have some pictures from the exhibit of antique quilts and from Gwen Marston’s exhibit so stay tuned!
I’ll close by showing where “We Are Stardust” currently stands. I took a few minutes to lay the quilt out on my living room floor and put down the 3 nearly done borders plus the 4th with only stems so far. This is the first glimpse I’ve had of what the quilt might “sort of” look like when done:
Not bad so far!!
I would like to take a moment to thank everyone for congratulating me on my Vermont ribbon and I would like to personally thank Barbara Brackman for leading the “Stars in A Time Warp” sew along and for posting a picture of my quilt with its award on her blog! Thanks to everyone’s comments on quilt judging as well!
Be kind, be grateful, and cherish each day, Gladi