September 29, 2014

Amanda at ArtPrize 2014: Cathedral Square

Kind of a self-centered title isn't it? Hee. Like I'm a celebrity or a famous art critic. You do have to admit there is a bit of confidence in even writing a blog though. Or at least a crisis in confidence. As a writer, you do wonder if you have anything worthy to share. Of course, 500+ posts later, I guess I've gotten over that!

At any rate, with a toddler and a baby in tow, my strategy is going to be drive in, hit a "big one" (ArtPrize calls them "exhibition centers" and "showcase venues") and get back out before anyone needs a diaper or a snack. I've done this only once so far but it seemed to be a successful method.

My favorites at Cathedral Square involve fabric – but of course!

I was surprised and delighted to see a magnificent quilt "Random Thoughts" by Elizabeth Brandt who I just wrote about after visiting the Grand Rapids Art Museum. Loved it very very much! I really think I am up for something experimental and abstract like this in the future.

And, a close-up.

I also admired this quilt "Rooflines #15" by Collen Kole as well. There is so much about the piecing and the quilting that I don't even begin to know how to do. And the time. Oh, I cannot imagine the time put into either of these. Even my 3-year-old was a fan.

And another close-up. Must admire the quilting.

The installation "Place in History" caught my eye. As a parent, I appreciated the generous "ok to touch." As a home decorator, I pondered the delightful sense of hidden space created by the hanging fabric panels. As an artist and quilter, I admired the tiny details sewn on each panel. The piece was just interesting to me.

Although I don't have a photo to share, I also want to give a shout out to photographer Megan Sinderson and her lovely portraits of pinecones titled "Passerby". You know I can never get over the surprise and delight to be found in our own backyards time and again!

September 24, 2014

pretty little bathroom bunting


 A dear friend passed along this treasure. It's made of vintage quilts and adds a sweet touch of old to my otherwise fairly modern styled bathroom. I noticed that each triangle is 2 layers sewed flat with a raw pinking shears edge. The bunting I made before sews the triangles up inside out and then flips them out. I am rather inspired by the light, bright, summery look of the vintage florals. I may have to sew up a full size bunting to drape across the mantel in my living room!

Speaking of vintage sheets, which I have been gathering here and there at thrift sales, look at this lovely quilt made with them! Aren't you inspired?

September 22, 2014

more on the Tangential quilt

Here's my fabric vision. I love that I have built a bit of a fabric stash so I can just pull out bits and pieces to use. I have always admired scrappy style quilts!

Here's a reminder of the plan. White areas and striped areas will be filled in with scraps instead of solids.

The Tangential quilt is part of my Angled class by Rachel of the blog Stitched in Color.

September 17, 2014

I signed up for a quilt class!

And bought fabric for the three quilts that I will start during the class. Yep, pretty crazy but I am so darned excited about it that I don't think it's a mistake. It took me a few years to recover from my senior year of college but after that I get a bit nostalgic every fall for going to class and learning new stuff. And being married to a schoolteacher on top of having a school-age child means I kind of always have school on the brain.

All that to say, I decided to go for it even though it defies logic!

The class is called Angled and it is offered through one of my favorite bloggers, Rachel at Stitched in Color. I like her style and I have an obsession with quilts and quilting these days that just won't stop. I've mastered the squares and rectangles (although my actual sewing skills are still and always improving!) so I am thrilled to dive into the angles – such as triangles.

The class is already started so you can't really read this, share my enthusiasm, and sign up. I would recommend following her blog as she has offered classes in the past and I assume there will be more in her future.

I decided to make her "Starbright" quilt during the class, except instead of a white background I am going to be using black. And then I am going to kind of wing it with scraps for the actual stars. Scrap donations accepted anytime. The brighter the better, of course. This one will be for my own family to enjoy.

I also decided to make the "Cascade" quilt for my mama. We had the best time fabric shopping together! We modified the color choices and repeated some of the colors more often. We are preserving the cascading ripples of dark and light, of course. Here's our plan (colored pencils don't exactly match the fabric but you get the idea). My husband jokes I will give it to her for a particular milestone birthday that falls in 5 years!

Then I re-realized that during the course of the class you build a queen-sized quilt bit by bit. So I went fabric shopping again. This will be a summer quilt for my own bed so it is light and bright like sunshine and flowers. The parts I left white on the plan I think I will be filling in with scraps. I haven't quite decided. The parts that are striped will also be scraps.

September 15, 2014

I am a fan of Elizabeth Brandt!

I saw one of Elizabeth Brandt's quilts at the Grand Rapids Art Museum. Absolutely love it! Please follow the link so you can see what I am talking about! I absolutely want to try my hand at something abstract and free-form like this. It is in my quilting future!

September 10, 2014

squirrel nests are nice too!

If you've read this blog in the past then you already know I kind of have a thing for nests. And for decorating with them. They are my favorite natural treasure.

We were lucky enough to have a squirrel nest break loose and land on our garage roof. I am impressed with the craftsmanship, I must say. Or would that craftsquirrelship?

September 5, 2014

hidden heart

Do you see it?

I heart birch trees.

I heart sitting outside listening to Lake Michigan snuggling my baby (as I was when I spied this heart!).

September 3, 2014


Hello dear blog friends!

At long last I feel like I am making some progress. We've made progress adjusting to the presence of a little babe in our family and in our home. And he in turn has made some progress with being in this world. Right now as I type he is contentedly talking and kicking on a blanket on the floor separate from me. This is progress!

The past two nights he has slept 9 hours straight which means I have slept 8 hours straight for the first time in close to a year. The first time it happened I woke up feeling so very happy it was amazing. Sleep is amazing! This is progress!

And, as you can see from the photo above, I am making progress on middle child's quilt. I actually sewed together the green band in the two days between my official due date and baby's debut. This may have been a bit of a mistake as the sewing is a bit off (I probably couldn't reach very well!) but I am determined to make it work. I am part-way through sewing the blue together. Then the quilt top will be done! More progress!

I am going to try to pop in and write some more but it will probably take me a while to get consistent again. I fear I won't have too much to write about quite yet. But still, I am making progress. Smile.