Monday, October 28, 2013

post book-dom

At the beginning of the month I finished reading the latest book in the Inspector Gamache Series by Louise Penny, How the light gets in. As expected it was wonderful! Her books are well written and interesting and this one tied up some loose ends from the previous books in the series. I love how visual her writing is, you can almost feel the places that she is writing. In my opinion that is one of the signs of a truly good book, feeling as if you have escaped into whatever world, place, time, that the book is taking place in. That is the reason I love to read sometimes, the escape into other places. I did feel some sadness when I finished this book because it might be the last in the series, and after nine books in the series I was really loving the familiarity with the characters. Hopefully there will be more... 

I have been on a reading rampage lately, and after I  gave myself a few days to mull over the ending of the last Gamache book I jumped into Dan Brown's Inferno. I love Italy and art and Brown's books are so well researched that they make even the art historians enjoy the story being told. The latest is definitely my favorite, over the past 2 days I have almost finished it. I am sure tonight I wont be able to sleep until the last page! It is so well woven with what is happening in the world today and Dante's Inferno. When I am done I may re-visit Dante's Inferno it has been some years since I have read any of it and it is still a mesmerizing depiction of hell, and humanity. Inferno is definitely a great read and one I recommend, just be ready to give up 2 days to it.... because it is impossible to put down! 

Sunday, October 13, 2013

fast output.

I had the whole weekend off last week, and even extended it to Thursday and Monday... and the most amazing part is that I mostly stayed close to home. I love to travel but when I do that means that the studio work gets put on hold... well being around home a lot got done and I still had time to take a couple of day trips. On Thursday I went to the quilt expo in Fredericksburg with my mom, which was lovely,  and then on Sunday some friends, Sandra and I went to Charlottesville to see the autumn colors beginning to turn, it was a really nice time. I had some time to rest my brain as well as gather inspiration. 

The view from Blue Mountain Brewery is always one of my favorites in the Blue Ridge mountains. One of the perks of living in Richmond, is that we are an hour away from this, and two from the beach, and if I ever start to feel that I am becoming to soft from living in the south, I can fight the traffic and go home to D.C. where I am reminded of city living... anyhow I digress.. 

So with my long weekend I had finished my camp quilt, and started working on this... It is a log cabin pattern, and I made it for a little boy baby shower. I never really stick to blue for boys, pink for girls, and I have been wanting to make a black, white, grey, and minty color quilt for a while. I used the animal eyes fabric for the middle and then used dark on one side and pale on the other. I guess technically this is really a courthouse steps pattern. It came together much faster than I planned, so instead of quilting it myself I took it in to be quilted with the camping quilt. I will post better photos when they both come back home and are bound. 

I was pleased with the finished outcome, and happy that an image I had in my mind came out pretty clear once it was complete. 

quilts by others

Last weekend I went up to Fredericksburg, VA and attended the "Original sewing and quilt expo". There were lots of vendors and quilts on display, there were also classes and seminars. I was mainly interested in going to see what this kind of event was like, and to maybe find some unusual supplies, meet and converse with people in the industry and gather inspiration. My mom joined me which was nice since she also has an interest in needle-work and making with textiles. 
I was surprised at myself but my favorite vendors were the primitive ones. They had all the fabrics with tiny prints, which I love! They remind me a bit of Liberty of London, but more casual. I also love all the wool applique... if my plate was not already full with things to make, I would jump on making things with wool, for now I will just admire the beautiful look of it. My mom was in the same boat, but I thinking having to much to make is better than having a dry spell of not wanting to make anything... Anyhow enough rambling from me... below are some of the quilts on display that I thought were interesting and impressive with their technique. 

Primitive gatherings quilt shop
From the Primitive Gatherings Quilt Shop booth, they are based out of Wisconsin and had the most amazing quilts to show, they sell patterns and supplies and I had to get some from them. I spoke to the guy in charge of the booth and he said that his mom makes all the quilts and designs the patterns, I was very impressed with the work. Some of the pieces are so tiny that these pictures just do not do them justice.

Primitive gatherings quilt shop

Primitive gatherings quilt 

Victoria Findlay Wolfe

I really enjoyed seeing some quilts in person that I have seen on the pages of Quilty. That magazine has become one of my favorites, for their clear directions and beautiful designs. Please excuse the quality of some of these photos, I was using my i-phone and there were a lot of people around so it was hard to get great images...
Quilty Magazine

Quilty Magazine

Quilty Magazine

Quilty Magazine

These below are some others that were interesting to me, again a lot of primitive style work. It is something that constantly inspires me, pulling from the past and treating it in a modern way.