What? Why?

Books

I have a presentation to prepare for a quilt industry seminar in March. My topic boils down to what makes a quilter buy a quilt book? Since Linda and I have been writing quilt books for 19 years you'd think I'd have a clue. I have some clues… but I am sure that you all know better what makes you buy a book than I do.

So I'm asking: 

  • What makes you look at one book over another?
  • What makes you part with your hard-earned money?
  • Do you prefer buying books in a shop or online? Why?

Feel free to answer any question – even ones I didn't ask.

You know what books I've been buying? Moleskines. Especially the 'passions' moleskines. In the recipe division. 


Crystal Bridges…

I gotta say, Alice Walton has built a fantastic museum for American art. This review says it better than I could, or have time, to say. The surroundings are lovely – hilly with lots of trees. The walking trails are interesting. Yes, there could be more art and I believe that is the plan. What's there now is good.

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The building is segmented. The copper-clad sections reminded me of roly-poly shells. 

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Can you see our shadows? We are standing on one of the walking path's bridges behind the museum. I sat in one of the green chairs behind the glass later. Very comfortable – wish I had one.

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The structure on the inside is light and airy. 

 There is no admission charge. Parking is free. The museum staff is friendly and helpful and protective of the art. Honestly, I was reminded of Walmart greeters, but in the best way. 

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I took a few photos to share, with quilters in mind. This version of the Last Supper is made of spools of thread (DMC I'd bet), hung on chains. It is huge. When you look through that small glass globe, the image is right side up.

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I loved the piece below by Mary McCleary. This is a mixed media collage and it is amazing. I had a detail shot and have lost it!!! Click this link to see more on her site.

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This one sort of makes my head hurt. It is a very large curtain/screen made from deconstructed silk flowers that have been sewn together.

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When I walk through a museum and come across something like this, I give it my garage sale test. "If this was in a garage sale, would I buy it? Would I even stop to look?" Perhaps it is because I am a quilter, this one didn't pass the test for me. Luckily for the artist my opinion doesn't matter one bit.

Another artist played with the 'what is art' question outside. There are several boulders along the walking paths with important looking chrome numbers on them. Look close and you will also see that they are labeled ART. The boulder, the rock, is the art. Subtle and interesting.  

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The museum store was very good. I didn't buy this tree but we did find a wonderful cane for Mom.

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CE49A10313D645A9965B807BD55DED61-1It's pretty and it comes apart like a tent pole. The kind of pole where there is elastic inside. If you haven't put up a tent lately, go to this site for more info. 

It was a good trip. Steve and I visited and enjoyed time off with no real agenda. I did do some sketching and a lot of thinking about what quilts are next after we finish the book we are working on. I caught up on my magazine pile. 



Time off…

When you work at home, you tend to work all the time. So, when Steve asked me about going for a bike ride this afternoon my first thought was, no – I have to work. But then I thought again – I work ALL THE TIME! I should go for that bike ride. He did, after all ask me a week ago so that I could schedule it in.

We had lots of rain yesterday and this morning but this afternoon was clear and cool. Perfect, in fact. 

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We drove out past Denison Dam to West Burns Run, on the Oklahoma side of the lake. The road is paved and mostly flat – except when it wasn't. Carla worked our legs in pilates this morning and I could tell it. This is primarily a campground by Lake Texoma which is closed this time of year.

We are going to go see the new Crystal Bridges Museum in Bentonville, AR, this weekend. I have promised not to take work with me. I may try to do some sketching in the car… something I mean to do but rarely take the time for. 


From the Thimbleberries in Port St Lucie…

I gave a lecture and workshop for the Thimbleberries Quilt Guild Friday and Saturday. What a nice group of women – and men. Or man. Jerry was at the lecture and in my class which was fun! I wish more men were interested in hand sewing.

There was a potuck supper before the lecture. Betty brought a carrot souffle that was amazing. It is her signature dish. Sweet, light, orange and very tasty. She shared the recipe with me and said I could share it with you. I'll do that once I get it in the computer. Remind me if I forget.

Her daughter, Joey, brought a cake in this carrier:

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Yes, everything is better with cake and frosting. I WANT one of these! Joey said is was made by Dept 56 in the 90s. Ebay here I come. It was not just cute but very functional. 

And then there were the ladies with these name tags:

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I love wooden yardsticks and had not thought of cutting them up in quite this way. The maker hot-glued pins to the back and decorative stuff to the front. Surely there are lots of other things you could do with a chunk of yardstick.

And then there was this purse:

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If I am remembering correctly one of the guild members has a pattern and taught a class for this bag. I learned two new things that you may already know. Imagine a tape measurer. The metal is flexible and curved. The closure for the bag was made of that sort of curved metal ruler. You cut a length for each side and insert it into the casing at the top of the bag. Turn the strip of metal ruler so the concave side faces out. When you pull the two sides apart to open the bag, it stays open. Push them closed and they snap flat, closing the bag. Cool.

The mesh for the outer pocket is the flexible screen you would use in a window screen.

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I had not thought of including that in a sewing project. It's wonderful to learn new things!

 


By the sea, by the sea, by the beautiful sea…

I've been in Florida for days and had not yet been to the ocean. I took a few hours Friday afternoon to drive to Hutchinson Island. It's a barrier island and more built up than I imagined it would be. However, once you get to the beach it looks a lot like most of the beaches I've seen on the southeast coast of the US.


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Once I got past the high sand dune with the grasses, the beach was long and full of people. I'm generalizing but it looked like the retirees were enjoying relaxing and those under the age of 25 were playing. This man was in no hurry to go anywhere. I wonder if I'm going to enjoy that feeling when I retire? I don't like sitting and relaxing for more than a few minutes at a time now. I think I'd need a personality transplant. But I'm not retired yet so maybe that feeling comes.


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I, dressed in my clothes for the lecture tonight, was completely out of context.

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But my feet were at home in the sand…

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I know many of you are 'enjoying' storms and frozen weather. Here's hoping a bit of the beach will warm you up!



From Titusville…

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I spent Monday and Tuesday in Jacksonville, FL, with the All Stars Quilt Guild. One of the ladies in my class, Carol, took photos and blogged about the class. You can read her post here.

Carol asked me before class started if I minded if she took photos which was fine with me. She was really subtle, I never noticed her doing it. She ended up taking photos that I would love to take myself but am always too busy teaching to be able to do.

So I'm sending a thank you to Carol and all of the All Stars for making my visit to Jacksonville so nice!

I spent Wed and Thurs in Titusville which was also lovely. I had no idea that the Kennedy Space Center is there. I sort of saw it off in the distance. I am now in Port St Lucie where I have the afternoon off. I think I'm going to go look at the ocean.



The best baby photo ever!

Theo

One of my husband's colleagues and his wife have a new son – Theo. They sent this photo (and gave me permission to share it with you). As the proud parent of two sons and two grandchildren I've gotta say – this is may be the best newborn photo taken by a non-professional that I've seen. 

Theo is handsome but it's more than that. In this photo he's looking at you. He's not just looking. You can see that there is a brain working behind those eyes. It's lovely that this photo captures that.

I think that all babies are thinking about what they see, but it's not often that a photo captures it. I cannot go back and take this great a photo of my own children but if I could, I would try to capture the spirit of this photo.

As a quilter I also have to say that I want to feel the blanket Theo is wrapped in. The stars are printed on… what? It looks like a quilted gauze. If I'm lucky Theo's parents will at some point let me see this blanket. If they do I'll report back. That said – these are parents of an infant and I'll bet real money that they are going to be sleep deprived for kind of a long time. If they forget that I'd like to touch the blanket I will so understand.

I loved my boys. I love my grandchildren. I did not love sleep deprivation and I would not willingly ever go back to being the parent of a baby. I like my children older. Chris at 30 and Jeff at almost 27 seem to me to be the absolute perfect ages for children. Elanor at 9 is really good. Jack at 4 – I love him a lot – but really, he's going to get better with age.

UPDATE: I found out that this swaddling cloth came from Aden + Anais. There is a set of four with different colored stars. I think they might make nice, short curtains too.