Portland visit

Hubby and I have returned from parts west recently.
We had a fabulous visit with our daughter and her hubby and at long last got to meet  our grandpuppy. Our first trip to Portland was delightful and seems an enticing area to live.  There is so much happening, so much to do and see.  Exquisite restaurants to satisfy whatever mood you may be in and acres of city parks, trails for hiking and biking, to work off the excess calories.  Lots of accessible shops within walking distance of their home, to walk off more calories.

a hike near Mt Hood with Jevan, Casey & Winston
Lots of other shopping districts to explore throughout the city, like this great little shop.
Check out Tanner Goods Retail shop.
Guess who provided the interior design for this hot new spot?
If you guessed that it was my designing daughter, you were right on!
She even designed and made the light fixture for the shop.
tres' cool, eh?  
She & her equally talented hubby,
 along with their partners design, create, market and sell 
top of the line leather items.  
Casey & Jevan sweetly accommodated Mom & Dad by giving us a grand tour of Portland.  Even the touristy things I wanted to see.  Like the Chinese Gardens and the 
International Rose Gardens, to mention a few. 

Sad to say I didn't take pictures of some of the delightful restaurants we enjoyed, nor the lovely home cooked meals.   Guess that means I will have to return, huh?

Oh, yes, a blog post is not complete without showing a picture of a quilt.  Am I right?

Vanilla Bean has a new home.  And here she is with the proud new owners.

I think they liked it. 


I've done it now!  
I am going to Shakerag next June to spend 
a week with the inimitable Nancy Crow

This idyllic area is only a little more than an hour's drive from my home.  
So why not, I say.  Feed the soul, feed the creative forces within,
not to mention the exquisitely prepared
home grown, organic delights to feed the stomach.

I can't say when I've been more excited, except for week that I spent in the
presence of Ms. Ruth McDowell a few years ago.  
I must admit, that I was somewhat terrified after I signed up for the workshop with Ruth, so I spent months making samples and learning her techniques from her books
before I left for the workshop.  
I wanted to be prepared, you see.  

What began in this workshop was another bloom

I came home so full of self confidence that
I beat my all time recorded for completing a quilt.

This type of design and structure is my passion.   It is my own original design from start to finish with encouragement and assistance from Ruth in beginning a pattern. Rather than telling me what and how, she quietly guided me in the direction that I wanted to go and gave me more self confidence in myself that anyone had previously done.

So, now, I find myself yearning to broaden my field a bit.  I've never been comfortable working with solids and geometrics, other than coping other quilts.
Or making simple pillow tops.

I want to do grand abstract art quilts and simplifying does not come easily to me on that scale.  I am eager to learn and next June seems so far away.  But then Mama always said, the older you get the faster time flies.  And I've got lots of hand dyeing to do and lots of practice to do before next June.
I better start shaking 

Gee's Whiz

Here is what's been happening with the strips of pieced rectangles that I received from the lovely ladies participating in Victoria's 
It all began in October based on the scrappy making fabric concept.  
When It was my turn to "play", my original thought was to ask for strips of fabric rectangles sewn together.  What I didn't divulge in my request for the strips is my idea for the putting them together.  I would  sew all the strips together, then cut them apart in  "snakey curves".  I would then sew in the "snakes" to rejoin them. 
Sorta like these inspirational  African American quilts:


Rather than actually making a quilt similar to my friends' Real Deal quilt 

Once those strips began to arrive, I got a bit lazy.  Plus I couldn't decide what color to use for the "snakes".  Black snakes, green snakes, copperhead........... 
the first strips came from Margaret

a few more from other bee members

And still more

Then I pulled out a few old words blocks that I had made years ago, I just knew it was meant to be.  It just seemed to suit the mood of a bee concept.  People sharing pieces of fabrics sewn together, inspiring one another, and having fun. 

so to here

then to here
But wait  there are more strips to come from other players, 
it isn't over yet.  There could still be snakes.
With so many strips of fabric, I can make two quilts.
Why not?  Two for the price of one. 
Green snakes,
black snakes, 
coral snakes, 
scarlet snakes, 
even a python

forgive my naivete

Not being a trained artist, I am constantly attempting to learn more about art, the history of art, design, all those dead artists as well as current artists.  You get the picture.  Right?
So forgive me.  I am going to just show my naivete here and now.
I have been "studying" the artists of the Bauhaus style when a thought occurred to me.
When I look at the textile artists of that school I cannot help but make this obervation beginning with the woven textiles from Africa:  

To the weavings from the Bauhaus school:

Gunta Stolzl of the Bauhous School 
Gunta Stolzl
Anni Albers
Anni Albers

To the African American quilters :

The Quilts of Gee's Bend

And other African American quilters

These may not be perfect examples, but I am going to post this anyway.  (Blogger is yet again being uncooperative with my photos)  If you have an interest, I suggest a trip to the library or book store to see what similarities you might find.  It has been fun for me.  This may be redundant to many of you.  So please remember, that I am in no way a trained artist, nor critic, but just a woman of a certain age who is enjoying some exploration.