Wednesday, March 26, 2014


Now they're called free-range kids, but when and where I grew up, we were all just kids. We lived on the old state road with mostly old houses, a few new ones and some sheep and cows. When I was old enough to cross the road I was pretty much on my own until the 6:00 fire station whistle blew. 

One day a few of us found ourselves in a neighbor's garden. We may have been sent there with a basket, I can't remember. We had green beans in our garden, but when we started opening up the pods of these bean plants in order to sample a few, these were unlike any beans I'd ever seen before. They were big and colored all over with patches of white, red and black. They were pretty tasty, too. It was one of those moments of kid wonder that makes up the patchwork of childhood. Sitting in the bean patch with some fresh, colorful beans on a sunny afternoon stuffing our faces.

Here's a celebration of those beans. It may be the start of a little series on fruits and vegetables.

"magic beans!?"
2014, 12" x 12", hand appliquéd and hand quilted

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

roundish shapes

Circles are cool. Concentric circles are cool x cool. Frank Stella capitalized on this coolness back in the 1960's with some large paintings of concentric circles. These paintings have influenced a lot of quilts since then. I'm just adding to the pile with this one.

I wanted to play with some random colors and see how the perception of the background color changes between the surrounding two colors. I'm playing with my Josef Albers app

Plus, it's very relaxing to sew in circles.

"Round and around and around and around we go"
2014, 12" x 12", hand appliquéd and hand quilted

Tuesday, March 11, 2014

trip report - Pérez Art Museum Miami

We took the bus and two trains into Museum Park in Miami to visit the Pérez Art Museum Miami (PAMM).  I had reviewed the current exhibits and none particularly called out to me, but I found I enjoyed most of them.

Museum Park is a large complex right on the AICW, south of the MacArthur Causeway. I would have loved to explore it more, but there was a massive construction project going on for the new science museum and when we finished touring the art museum there was a huge storm bearing down on us. We barely made it to the train platform. I need to go back.

Just inside the beautiful wooden doors to the museum was a collection of model boats hung from the ceiling. We liked the variety of boats. We found one that looked vaguely like our ketch, Red Ranger.

Also fun, was a collection of photography, titled Image Search, taken from the museum's permanent collection that had been arranged on the walls in groups that had common themes. There were artist self portraits, celebrations of the human body, architecture and industry. All the information about the photographs were accessed on iPads on the benches, so the text cards wouldn't disrupt the flow of the photographs on the wall.

The other exhibit that I liked was something I wouldn't have ever gone out of my way to see, but really found it interesting. It was called, A Human Document: Selections from the Sackner Archive of Concrete and Visual Poetry. Huh? 

It was over "200 language- and text-based works drawn from the Miami-based collectors Ruth and Marvin Sackner" (as described in the program). There were papers with typewriter art. There were regular books that had been altered with pages painted and ripped and cut. There were books of poetry in which the words 

There were original books from the De Stijl and Bauhaus schools of art. There were examples of Russian Constructivism, similar to the ones we saw at the Getty a few years ago. The volume and the range of work was amazing. My favorite was an altered book by Tom Phillips, called A Humument.

The exhibit renewed an interest in fabric books that I've been thinking about for years. Perhaps some tiny quilts may become book pages.

Tuesday, March 4, 2014

what season is it?

Yes, I know, the Christmas season has long passed and no one wants to think about it right now. What happens to me every year is that Christmas creeps up on me. I usually ignore it completely until about the first week of December. We used to decorate the house starting on St. Nicholas Day (December 6th), and that's about when I'd start to think about cards and baking and trees and the like. 

Making Christmas cards takes a bit of time. It's a scramble to make cards and get them written and mailed when you start halfway through December. It was mid-month when I thought about making a tiny quilt, taking a picture of it, ordering printed cards, etc. Not happening for 2013.

So, here it is a few months after Christmas and I made a tiny quilt to adorn some Christmas cards for 2014. I found color scheme that I liked. The design, although beautiful, was a bit to complex for my appliqué skills, so I modified it to suit the Floating Leaf Studio style (as if).