March 2, 2023: New blocks; Quilt Con thoughts; traveling!

Greetings dear readers! I’ve been busy making block’s for the basket quilt and the log cabin, as well as doing some hand quilting. Here are my 8 new baskets:

I have 88 baskets, 10 more to go before arranging them and starting to sew them together. I think there will be a narrow green sashing.

The latest 4 log cabin blocks:

I played around one day with a pinwheel arrangement for some of the blocks (upper right corner):

I decided I didn’t like it as much as the “sunshine and shadows” arrangement so changed it back. Before sewing any blocks together, I’ll likely play some more before making a final decision.

I continue to purge, clean, and organize, bit by bit. My needles had been scattered in several places. I organized them into 2 plastic boxes, each 6 X 7 inches, 2 inches high. The one with my hand quilting needles also has my thimbles and cots I use for pulling thread:

I don’t think I need to buy another needle as long as I live!😊

This week on Instagram, I’ve been looking at a lot of quilts from the Quilt Con show. I also looked at the photos of all the winners on the web site of the Modern Quilt Guild. Luana Rubin from also posted dozens of excellent photos from the show. Go to any of these places to see some interesting quilts! As a pretty dedicated traditional quilter, I have mixed feelings about “modern” quilts. Some are wonderful and some leave me cold, but I think that’s true of traditional quilts as well. I have a love affair with printed fabrics and love figuring out how to combine them and show them off, but a majority of modern quilts use solids, significantly upping the importance of the design. I’m not necessarily saying there’s anything wrong with that. There were lots of quilts with Big Stitch hand quilting – which is good!! – but I’m not sure I saw any quilts with “traditional” hand quilting. Is the latter skill devalued and dying out? When is a quilt an “art quilt” rather than a “modern” one? I would love to have been at the show to see the workmanship up close. I’m very against the ideal of perfectionism and feel that it, rather than design and visual impact, has been too emphasized by judges in the past so have been happy to see the pendulum swing away from it recently. However, the pendulum could go too far. I have seen erratic quilting lines and visible thread nests called “organic”. Is this OK? In general I like the “big tent” of quilting that holds us all. Those are some of my thoughts! Feel free to let me know what you think!

It’s been either snowing or raining here almost every day for a week now. The snow is always lovely, but Al is tired of all the shoveling and snow blowing 🙁. The view from a window in my sewing room at sunrise:

Later with the sun out:

The snow on branches is pretty:

On my walk yesterday, the elk were running across the field – a sight not often seen:

I will probably take a break from blogging next week because we are traveling – to Costa Rica! Our first flight and first international trip since the pandemic. What a great way to escape from the ice and snow. I’m so looking forward to exploring the exotic landscape and wildlife and not having to wear numerous layers of clothes. We get back late on the 15th if all goes well. It will be less than a week till spring at that point 😊.
Wishing you all a good final 3 weeks of winter!

Be kind, be grateful, and cherish each day, Gladi

21 thoughts on “March 2, 2023: New blocks; Quilt Con thoughts; traveling!

  1. pamdempsey March 2, 2023 / 5:16 pm

    Beautiful pictures! I love your pretty baskets the most and seeing the snow pictures and elk. Never seen any before. We are expecting some strong storms tonight, I hope they are wrong about the tornadoes 🌪 and strong winds and hail😞.

    • gladiporsche March 2, 2023 / 9:50 pm

      Thanks Pam! Hope you make it through the storm safely!

  2. Chris K. March 2, 2023 / 5:21 pm

    I think I saw the same thread nest. If I recall correctly, it was on a prize winner. I couldn’t believe it.

    • gladiporsche March 2, 2023 / 9:56 pm

      You are correct – it was one of the prize winners. That’s one reason the question of whether it’s OK is so provocative! I have to think they were left there on purpose In keeping with the style of the quilt. Could the judges tell that?

      • March 3, 2023 / 10:39 pm

        I just realized that those photos were probably Linda’s extremely subtle way of demonstrating that the quilt shouldn’t have gotten Best of Show. Or that there were problems with the judging.

        I also wanted to say that I greatly admire your quilts. I love your applique and use of color.

  3. acityquilter March 2, 2023 / 6:54 pm

    very pretty baskets….and lovely winter vistas…we’ve had NO snow and it’s been gray and dreary most of the winter…but no longer as flowers are starting to bloom and trees come alive…great job reorganizing…i don’t have near that many needles and still probably have more than enough…

    • gladiporsche March 2, 2023 / 9:57 pm

      Thanks Grace. Wow – trees and flowers blooming already! We probably won’t see that for at least another 6-8 weeks! Enjoy!

    • gladiporsche March 2, 2023 / 10:01 pm

      Top of my list! In fact, I’m ditching my winter coat for the rain jacket as we drop off our car and get the limo to the airport 🙂. I do, however, hope we see plenty of sunshine.

      • Nancy March 9, 2023 / 6:46 am

        Your baskets are beautiful and the baskets delightful. How fun to see the bear in one of them. And the fabrics you chose for the log cabin blocks are exquisite. Such subtle light colors. I’m not sure I would have the patience to make 1/2″ logs!
        I love you snow photos. Wish I’d been there instead of balmy Ohio with temperatures in the 50s.
        I hope you have/had a great trip to Costa Rica. I think March is toward the end of the dry season, if it’s anything like El Salvador. But, as with weather anywhere, there are no guarantees. No matter the weather, I hope you have a wonderful time.

  4. Pat in WNY March 2, 2023 / 9:20 pm

    Gorgeous photos, as always. A few years ago I was able to do fine traditional quilting, but since cataract surgery and subsequent retina issues, am now limited to what I lovingly refer to as “little big-stitch”. Using 12 wt. thread, so stitches do show more but most of the time I can still achieve 7-8 stitches per inch. Hoping I never get to the point where 1/4″ stitches is all I can do! Enjoy your vacation!

    • gladiporsche March 2, 2023 / 10:09 pm

      Thanks Pat! I’m probably facing cataract surgery at some point in the future. I’m mentally prepared to accept that physical changes are inevitable and I imagine I’ll be quite happy as the years go by if I can do the type of big stitching you’re talking about. Making beautiful quilts would still be possible – they don’t require perfect traditional quilting 🙂.

  5. marissthequilter March 3, 2023 / 1:28 pm

    Another beautiful set of baskets and log cabins. Thank you. I also prefer the sunshine and shadow layout — it shows off your astounding work to better advantage.
    I agree that one should keep one’s stitches neat. Maybe that’s the central pillar of the pendulum? Fashions come and fashions go as the pendulum swings.
    Enjoy your travels.

    • gladiporsche March 5, 2023 / 3:44 pm

      Thanks Mariss! So interesting to watch the changes in what is considered “excellent” work in quilt making and what is acceptable for shows over the years.

  6. Kyle March 3, 2023 / 2:25 pm

    I’m glad the big quilting tent can cover all quilters even though we all have our preferences. Have a wonderful trip. Your baskets look like the colors of Costra Rico

    • gladiporsche March 5, 2023 / 3:45 pm

      Thank you Kyle!

  7. Cynthia March 3, 2023 / 10:33 pm

    Cheerful lovely baskets – the little bear is so cute. I like your term “big tent” – and your thoughts. It would be fun to walk a show with you and discuss. I think there’s a big difference between “organic” (a deliberate decision) and clumsy or careless stitching.

    • gladiporsche March 5, 2023 / 3:51 pm

      I would love to attend a show with you; certainly let me know if you ever plan to attend any of the big ones, especially on the East coast. I like your terms to differentiate “organic “ from “careless.” I think for the quilt in question, the stitches were organic, in sync with the improv nature of the quilt, pushing the boundaries of what is acceptable in a major show.

  8. Carol in Texas March 4, 2023 / 6:18 pm

    I take it that house with the light on is your closest neighbor? I agree with you about the log cabin arrangement….. I like the Sunshine and Shadow arrangement….the other seems a bit chaotic. Thanks for showing your needle storage……I may try to get mine gathered up and organized!

    • gladiporsche March 5, 2023 / 3:55 pm

      Thanks Carol. Yes, the house is next door, as seen out of a window in my sewing room. We just had another snowstorm yesterday and are really looking forward to traveling to warm weather later today!

  9. Nann March 7, 2023 / 1:43 pm

    Safe travels! What a great respite from your very snowy, stormy winter. I enjoyed QuiltCon tremendously — not just the quilts bust also being able to go somewhere different. The lines can blur when defining quilt styles. “Modern” has certainly gone beyond solely big-negative-spaces.

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