I caught the recent Nick Cave exhibit (Nick Cave: Feat.) at the Akron Art Museum on its next to last day. Much to my surprise, I was won over by his sparkly, glittery, tawdry junk shop filled pieces. It’s too bad I missed the community performances held as part of the exhibit.
The work on display seemed to fall into three categories: stationary 3D wall and floor pieces, sound suits which Cave wears for performances, and whole room installations. The work was created from 2010 to 2019. A video made for the exhibit showed Cave shopping for tchotkes at thrift stores, the construction of some pieces by a small army of workers, and clips of performances.
Here’s what Cave said about his work:
This work speaks to craft but exceeds the notion of craft. The materials allow people to connect personally, because we can all identify with objects that have surrounded us in our homes at some point. In that way, the work can be nostalgic, and there’s that moment when you realize you’re in a shared language with the people around you. The found objects bring out all kinds of personal history. They also raise the question of how we honor domestic crafts like crochet and needlepoint, which are becoming less and less a part of our day-to-day lives. I like celebrating these practices and things that have traditionally brought beauty into our lives.
To my surprise I’ve completed the top for “It’s Not All Black and White.” Design and construction were relatively pain-free, and I still had two feet of black bias tape left. I started with 20 yards. I see more bias tape projects in my future.
Of course I have to develop a quilting plan, but I do have the backing fabric, thanks to thrift store shopping.
While I’m bragging on my thrift store finds, here are a few others – 3 yards of wool for $4 and two men’s shirts for $4 each. The striped shirt is a silk/rayon blend.
Recently I had my first experience with Bluprint, the new Craftsy, after succumbing to a special three month subscription offer. My rationale was I could take the bias applique tape class by Latifah Saafir I had my eye on and I could get a coupon for one “forever” class.
I took the class and decided I liked it enough to own it “forever.” My troubles began when I tried to redeem my coupon, which expires at the end of June. I followed the instructions given but couldn’t find the class I wanted listed. So I emailed Bluprint and was told that they’d look into it.
Here’s the final response:
Anne (Bluprint) May 28, 8:13 AM MDT Thanks for your patience! That class is exclusive to your subscription and not available as an own forever class. We do have lots of really wonderful quilting classes available to own forever here – Quilt Own Forever Classes
I’ll be sure to let our team know that you’d love to see that class available in the future!
What the….? What does “exclusive to your subscription” mean? Nowhere did I see mentioned that only some classes were eligible as “own forever.” I scrutinized the perks of a Bluprint subscription, and came up only with ” Own-Forever Class Credits to add your favorite class(es) to your Library to access forever, even if you cancel your subscription in the future.” My response to Anne was “I think BluPrint needs to be clearer about what classes are NOT eligible as “own forever.” I certainly took all the verbiage I read to mean they all were. Nowhere did I find mention that some were not.” Anne responded that she’d pass my feedback “along to the management team.”
I recall reading about new arrangements with instructors, and can understand if an instructor elects not to have his/her class eligible for forever status. However, I think that information should be noted with the class material. Didn’t happen with my class.
Instead the Bluprint user gets lots of touchy-feely guff about how much you’ll love Bluprint, promotional emails, and nags to rate interactions with the help personnel. Initial responses begin, “Hi, my name is (fill in first name) and I’m here to help.” Totally fake, in my opinion. I know, it’s all scripted.
I intend to cancel my subscription as nothing’s been added that appeals to me. What I’ve watched aside from Saafir’s class seemed fluff. While I addressed the kerfluffle over emails to Bluprint teachers before, here’s Cheryl Arkison’s opinion on the matter. She was a Craftsy teacher.
Every odd year the Dairy Barn in Athens, Ohio, hosts the prestigious juried show Quilt National. Since I live in Ohio I try to get to Athens to see it. Last weekend was my chosen time.
I arrived for the show’s opening, which featured short talks many of the artists gave about their work. It made for a crowd, but I loved hearing about the thoughts behind the works. Some artists talked in abstractions; others cried.
How did I think this show compared with previous ones? It seemed solidly in the middle, with a heavy emphasis on abstract work. Craftsmanship quality was good and there was a mix of previously shown artists with new ones. I don’t recall any wildly offbeat pieces or any that I felt didn’t belong there. On the other hand, while I admired many of the works, there were few I had an emotional response to.
Lots of: piecing, solid colors, parallel line quilting.
A bit of: experiments with quilt shapes (one was like a gathered curtain, another was separate tubes of bound cloth,) social statements (women’s rights and the wall,) use of digital design.
Little of: representational art, photographs, multi-media (i.e., over painting), dense showy quilting, unconventional materials.
Following are photos I took that are clear enough to publish. There were many other works I wanted to capture, but crowds made that difficult.
I was glad I had the chance to see some rock stars of the quilting world – Caryl Bryer Fallert-Gentry, Betty Busby, Jean Wells Keenan, Eleanor McCain, Sheila Frampton Cooper, to name a few. I even had lunch with two of the artists. Unfortunately, I didn’t spend as much time as I would have liked with the pieces themselves. For one of the show juror’s takes and lots more photos, check out Judy Kirpich’s post. You can see the award winners here.
After many years of making quilts I find myself in a strange position. Right now I have only two unquilted tops, and one of those I may change, so that leaves just one. As for UFOs, none come to mind though maybe one or two small ones lurk hidden in the bottom of a drawer.
So I have no excuse not to get cracking on new designs. The time has come to work up all those drawings and inspirational photos I’ve saved. I’m starting with a photo of a puzzle by Rex Ray that I saved many years ago. A recent BluPrint class on bias tape applique by Latifah Saafir jogged my memory of that photo, and I decided to develop a mash up of that puzzle and bias tape.
First, I pulled together a pile of fabric possibilities because, for me, fabric almost always comes first. I wanted to use black and white prints for the curved shapes, with black bias tape edges, and backgrounds in bold solids.
Then, I developed a rough sketch from the Rex Ray puzzle and some rough dimensions for the blocks.
Next came practicing the bias tape technique. I had already signed up for a discounted trial of BluPrint so I could watch Latifah Saafir’s class on bias tape applique. Her technique seemed sensible so I tried it out on a sample block.
Let me note here that I dislike BluPrint as I’m constantly bombarded with ads that encourage me to purchase stuff from them, there’s no interaction possible with the instructors (you could chat with the instructors and fellow students on Craftsy, see this link about this), and the bias tape applique class isn’t listed as one of the “own forever” classes. I have an email in to BluPrint about that.
It seems I’m capable of using this technique and I think it has possibilities for my design, so all I need is yards of black bias tape and some shapes. Then, the fun of matching up my fabrics will begin.
Every artist deals with perspective – low horizon, high horizon, eye level, at an angle, etc. Despite my misgivings about our digital age, advances in technology have given us ways to see landscape differently.
Kevin Krautgartner’s work shows what happens when a drone is put to work by a photographer on a journey. Krautgartner positioned a drone 150 meters above his car and set it to take pictures.
He’s also done a series of glacier rivers from above, many of which would make beautiful fabric. I see Spoonflower has a special on a new cotton fabric, but I don’t think I can get permission from the photographer in time to take advantage of it.
Krautgartner, who was born and lives in Germany, has a degree in photography and graphic design, and has won several photography awards. He sells copies of his photographs on his website in several sizes, printed on a variety of materials including metal and acrylic glass.
Last week I subjected you to umpteen iterations of layouts for “Arches.” I know, I’m the only one who saw much difference among all the versions. This week I’d like to present my final layout and thank all of you who made such helpful comments. They guided me to the version I will quilt.
It turned out I simply needed to make the width the long side, which changes how the parts relate to each other. I also added a turquoise strip along the bottom with a few narrow strip insertions.
Monty Don’s program (one of those sweetly earnest British reality TV shows featuring “Britain’s favorite gardener”) on French gardens may have subconsciously influenced me. All the gardens had geometrically pruned hedges and espaliered trees. The tall, narrow pairs of mirror image curves remind me of that rigorously trimmed French greenery. Not my taste in gardens, but I like it in a quilt.