Friday, February 24, 2012

Things that make you go hmmmmm

So grab your coffee/ tea/ cocoa/ wine and settle in.  This is a long one.  I spent the greater part of yesterday strolling around the annual Mid-Atlantic Quilt Show.  Lucky for me, this four day event of quilt displays, demonstrations, and endless booths of goodie is held at the convention center only 15 minutes from our home.  Our weekend days were already booked with family events, so I called my wonderful friend, an in-home child care provider, and arranged for Irish Jig to spend the day playing while I spent the day...playing!  A two year old with grabby hands is no fun (and has no fun) among the endless stalls of fabrics, notions, and yarn goods.

Today, I thought I would share pictures of those quilts and displays I saw that really made me go hmmmm.  I will say upfront that much of the work is very well done - intricately planned and executed - but many times the subject material simply makes me (personally) wonder why all that time was dedicated.  My mother reminds me all the time that beauty is in the eye of the beholder - especially when it comes to fabric arts.  [Mama, I am remembering a very painful quilt exhibit in D.C. that you dragged Daddy and me through.  When it was done, you swore to never take us to cultural events again.  We cheered.]

Tomorrow I will post those pieces that me go "WOW!"  Some may have to be posted in both...

First up:

This really needs to be on both the HMMMM and WOW days.  The workmanship is immense and intricate (believe me on this since you can't see the stitches).  However, I can't help but think of every Tomie dePaola book when I look at those figures.  I love a good Tomie dePaola book.  Maybe because so many of them center around the Italian heritage?


Look!  It's Babe.   This has really cool use of patterned fabrics to create the image.  But it's still a pig.  On a quilt.  Surrounded by flowers 'cuz we know that's what's in the pig pen - flowers.

And then one that's not a quilt:

This older (I am talking very gray-type older) gentleman has been at the Show for the last four years, at least.  I nearly lost control of myself laughing the first year - I think my mother had to give her patented "We are in public control yourself" look.  But she was really laughing, too.  This sign hangs down his back to control the crowd.  Only, there usually isn't a crowd waiting.  His wife is usually standing next to him with her sign that says, "The line forms behind him".  Really, I kid you not.  Good times, my friends, good times.

Lastly, and possibly most disturbingly (to me):

That's Jack Nicholson, just in case you didn't immediately recognize the mug(s) shot.  Don't get me wrong, the work someone put into these facial expressions and shading is phenomenal.  But, I gotta tell you, this just plain scares me.  The idea that five Jacks could be staring at me from a wall in the den is unnerving.  A great deal of the shading was done by thread painting (which doesn't involve paint).  It's a hugely popular technique that I really don't understand, but can appreciate.  I will have a few other examples of it tomorrow.

Usually, I get to run around the show with a few friends.  One couldn't get off work - and this was the only day I could get there.  My other friend and I crossed our wires and had the date wrong.  I would have loved to stand in front of that Jack quilt with her, though, because her commentary would have been hilarious.

This Show travels, so check to see if will be anywhere near you.  And bring your pocket change.  I had a ball going through the fabric stacks, notions, and yarn bins.  I didn't chose yarn this year, but I did come home with some fun. Wanna see?

 Like a good girl, I have been saving my pennies to purchase the walking foot for my Bernina.  I have had the machine (Activa 230 PE) for two years and have avoided any projects that required layering with batting or insul-bright.  Despite the awesome sewing capability of this machine, the layers would shift and make this Engineer crazy - like weird neighbor-lady on Halloween crazy.  So, I walked into the Bernina booth, found the company rep and started with, "When you sold me on the machine two years ago, you promised it could sew through multiple layers.  It's giving me fits when I use batting.  I have the Activa 230."  Only I said it like Jamie Lee Curtis' yogurt and we all had a good laugh.  She realized I was not upset, but frustrated and needing more assistance.  The rep from the local Bernina dealer (not the company) told me that if I used the spray baste, I could avoid buying the [very expensive] foot.  And the dealer rep blanched.  I think her hair stood up on end.  But, in the end, the foot was on a great sale and home it came.  And I have already put it to work....making more bunnies.  What can I say, I know my strengths.

I also picked up great fat quarters printed with veggies and fruits.  I have several already and am planning a table runner for the kitchen.  The lower left corner fabric will be new dinner napkins.  The upper right gray/ yellow/ whites will be new couch pillows in the den, and the white is a cotton sateen that I plan to experiment with this month.  If I like the drape, coverage, and wash-ability, I will order enough to make the dress Jazz will wear in May to celebrate Eucharist.

I will see you tomorrow with all the WOW pictures.  Excuse me now, though, I have an hour of naptime left and a new walking foot to take on a stroll.


  1. WOW! I can't imagine all the work that goes into all of those.

    And then to waste that work on Jack Nicholson faces....

  2. I hate that I didn't get to go! Boooooo! Oh and as far as the Jack quilt....Bahahaha! It totally would have been funny to go behind it (without touching it) and do the whole Psycho face and a "Here's Johnny". They may have asked me to leave. I am a little sad that there wasn't a "Poops and Ladders" quilt. That was the best!

  3. See, I told y'all her comments would have been hilarious! I didn't get to post the better ones today, but will do tomorrow.

  4. Wow, a lot of time spent on some odd subjects. I do hope you post some the beautiful works that our at the show. Maybe someday I will make it to the show and get to see them first hand.


I thank you for visiting with me and for sharing your thoughts. I hope your day is fabulous and that you make some time for music - no matter what kind!