Tuesday, May 22, 2007

Center for the Quilt Interview

When I introduced myself to the Quiltart community, Karen Musgrave emailed me to say that she was interested in interviewing me for Quilters'
S.O.S. - Save Our Stories, a project of The Alliance for American Quilts (www.centerforthequilt.org). Other than job interviews, I don't think that I've ever been interviewed before. I wholeheartedly said yes!

The interview took place via email over a handful of days, with Karen sending me one question at a time. This surprised me because I had expected a questionnaire, but Karen's approach was much better. It flowed like an in-person dialogue. I thought about each question and answered it thoroughly. Karen thought about my answer and shaped the next question from it.

Another surprise was discovering the strength of my opinions. When she asked me about color, design, etc., there was no pondering and trying to understand how I felt about these subjects. I delivered a prompt answer with conviction. Working on my own, I can see how I've spent a great deal of time thinking about these issues and forming an opinion, but without the benefit of community exchange, I've had no place to voice these opinions. Here's the full interview.

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Sunday, May 13, 2007

Connected to Quiltart

Recently I stumbled into a site (www.quiltart.com) that offered a mailing list forum for art quilters. It sounded good so I signed up. What ensued was an avalanche of emails carrying a variety of information about quilting techniques and materials, deadlines for entering juried shows, how to transition quilting from hobby to business, celebratory notices about work completed, angst-ridden missives describing rough patches, encouragements, congratulations, heated discussions on the nature of art quilts: is it art?

I was overwhelmed and overjoyed. So much information to process, and yet, here is a community addressing the very issues I think about on my own. Denise (wildthreadstudio.blogspot.com/), a member of Quiltart, encapsulated this world of art quilting best when she wrote: "I think we are on the cusp of a very exciting time in the art world. The attraction of art quilts extends to people of all ages, genders and socio-economic backgrounds. Both a 73 yr old retired truck driver & a 22 yr old college student are equally fascinated with this art form. Lucky, lucky us...."

I sent out an email introducing myself to the forum and received a warm welcome. And now, for the first time in my quilting life, I feel connected.

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Tuesday, May 08, 2007

Triathlon Weekend

This past weekend St. Croix was hopping with world-class athletes who came to compete in the annual St. Croix Ironman 70.3, a qualifying event for the 2007 Ironman World Championship to be held this fall in Kona, Hawaii. Over 500 athletes put themselves through a 1.2-mile swim at the Christiansted Harbor. Then they jumped on their bikes for a 56-mile bike ride along the North Shore and up a super-steep 600-foot hill affectionately called "The Beast." They returned to downtown Christiansted, dropped their bikes and wound down with a 13-mile run.

There was a Jump Up (street festival) on Friday night to welcome the athletes. Bob and I joined the crowds roaming the streets of downtown. We ate chicken skewers and Johnny cakes and stopped in at various street corners to listen to Jazz from the Central High Jazz Band, quelbe by Stanley and the Ten Sleepless Knight, steel pans, and finally, at the Caravelle Arcade we joined a throng of fans dancing to Kurt Schindler's music.

The actual triathlon took place on Sunday morning. Many main roads on the island were closed for the event, much to the chagrin of churchgoers looking for alternate routes. We stayed put at home most of Sunday, and in the late afternoon came out and drove away from the triathlon crowds to the west end of the island to watch a quiet sunset.

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Wednesday, May 02, 2007

Two Turtles

Here's one of the quilts that I exhibited at Maufe Gallery last month. I'd designed a panel with the two turtles thinking that I'd make a big quilt with various panels of sea creatures. The big quilt never came to be, but I still wanted to complete the two turtles for the show. The panel sat unfinished on my design wall while I worked on the various other pieces. I'd look at it every day wondering what to do with it. It sat there for 2 months until I was able to devote to it some undivided attention.
I knew it wanted a vibrant border, but what exactly, I couldn't decipher. I don't think that I ever had an "a ha!" moment with this one. The border just sort of happened, and then the quilting inside, and then it was finished. I like this quilt but I don't have a complete feeling about it. Actually, it's not a complete feeling about the quilt, but about the turtles. I've always seen myself making a whole series of turtle quilts. And now that I'm writing about it here I understand that this incomplete feeling comes from the turtles because they are not done with me yet!

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Tuesday, May 01, 2007

Lizard Love?

The other day I happened upon this sight on the railing outside our apartment door. I rushed to get my camera and the little guys were still locked in what looked to me like a lizard version of a torrid French kiss.
Their eyes swiveled towards me when I approached ever so slowly and took my photos. They didn't move for a solid five minutes as I snapped away, flash and all, admiring all the while the interesting pattern they created with their bodies and tails.

In an instant they released, and for a minute they stood facing each other panting and flushed. Then each went their own way and I was left wondering, what the heck?

Pragmatic John B. says they were fighting, but the dreamer in me wants to believe that I witnessed a courtship of the most romantic order.