Friday, April 25, 2008

San Jose Quilt Museum

When on holidays in California we managed to visit San Jose Museum of Quilts and Textiles.

It was a disappointing day, as the Museum was pretty small, and contained more textile art, it was weaved creations, than quilts.

The exhibit in the entrance "Advanced Geometry by Gloria Hansen"was interesting.
She made quilts using her computer to design geometric patterns, she used her printer to make the fabric, then overpainted it, sewed it together and quilted.

Parts of blocks that look pieced are printed.

This enabled her to realise very complex designs, with a lot of symetry, and geometric figures.
Sorry we weren't allowed to take pictures.
Then there was a room with older quilts, about a dozen.
The 2 big rooms at the back were all about textile art, interesting but not what I was looking for.

While still in San Jose we also visited the Museum of Modern Art, and lost our time, I think. When you are told that 2 canvas covered uniformely in grey for the first, and darker grey for the second, are representing Princess Margaret, you wonder who is deciding what is art...

Definitely not for me.
PS : following this post Gloria Hansen wrote a comment that says
"Thanks for the kind words on my exhibit.
While some of the pieces are created as you described, there are also some that have traditional piecing and hand quilting. :)
You can learn more at my site:
Thanks again! "
I feel quite touched that she would answer me, and a bit guilty that I didn't put a reference to her website. She has also written 15 books on quilting, notably quilting with the use of computers. So she must be a celebrity in the world of patchwork, or at least in the USA.
Internet is a wonderful tool to learn, and to meet people on the other side of the world, and it all happened so quickly in the last 20 years.
I'm in awe.

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Lots of shopping in California

Sorry I haven't posted last week, I was on holidays in the US. How cheap the fabric is there, about a third of what I pay here. Ibought another jelly roll and some fabric, several meters, for the price of the first item here.

And the shops are overwhelming in a way, if they provide all kinds of fabrics. But I didn't find really new books, except one I will show you later when I have done something from it.

So I visited at least 3 shops, with the girls moaning a bit in the background...they know me I'm not fast when there is fabric to be seen. I discovered the chain shops Jo Ann, with fat quarters at $1, that's 50p in England.

First there was "Stonemountain and daughter Fabric" in Berkeley. That's the overwhelming one, with 3 big rooms full of fabric, but not only for patchwork, as there is dressmaking material, dressing up, tablecloth, etc...

And here is a photo of the inside of the shop.

They have a lot of things, but as they are not specialised you might not find the notion you were looking for.

I bought some fabric and notions like these cute thimbles in plastic, some much needed curved safety pins to prepare my quilting, and a thread cutter.

I intend to make a skirt with the green fabric, so I bought 3 yards, no metres.

And here is "New Pieces" in Berkeley again. A patchwork shop this time, and very friendly too. There was going to be a class in the evening, and the lady running it showed me her latest work. Lots of fabric as well, and I succumbed.

There are 25 members of staff, and I guess it is a way to bring more interesting projects and classes to the shop. Amazing isn't it.

I particularly love the green with brown spots, and bought a matching brown fabric that you can hardly see in the back.

There are more patchwork shops in Berkeley, but we didn't visit them all, too many other things to do.

And then in Jo Ann I bought these.

The pink at the back was chosen by Daughter 2 for some clothing, to be decided later.

I found some japanese fabric remnants in Berkeley as well in "Thousand Crane", a futon shop with all kind of things japanese, and some fabric.

And as we went to Sonoma, in the Nappa Valley, I discovered a quilt shop by accident, and really enjoyed myself. It is called "Quilted Cottage"and they have so much fabric, and quilts on display, and nooks and corners with offers and ideas. Beautiful, I couldn't resist, and here is the result, although the photo doesn't give the true colors.
After that I stopped buying fabric, a bit worried about the weight of our suitcases, but we were fine.
I am a bit jet lagged, but I am dying to do some sewing now I'm back and there is food in the fridge.

Friday, April 11, 2008

Small rabbit, japanese inspiration

As I don't have much time to make things at the moment, I will show you something older made for daughter 2.

This bunny comes from the book "Omiyage" by Kumiko Sudo". I have used it several times already.

There is a little pocket on the back of the rabbit to hide little secrets. Very cute.

I've put a reel of thread to give you a better idea.

Monday, April 07, 2008

Japanese jewellery roll

I have made a second jewellery roll as a present for Karine in San Francisco who received our family for a lovely holiday.

I made the previous one at the beginning of the year, and exchanged the 2 fabrics previously used.

I also decided not to hand quilt this one as it would have taken me much longer. The result is more flat, which can be an advantage when you are travelling.

The zips are blue and the lining fabric is green. There are 2 inside pockets, and the tube is a ring holder.

I used a velvet ribbon to close it, very neat.

I wonder if I will make more of these as they are a nice present....and useful too.

Friday, April 04, 2008

Luggage labels

I have been very good using my scraps, and scraps of wadding to make suitcase labels. My starting idea was to help identify our luggage in an airport - not that we fly very often.
We are soon to go to the USA to visit my brother. It will be the first time in the air for my 3 youngest daughters, and I haven't been on a plane for a few years now.

Now we hope we will be able to spot our belongings straight away.

I should make more but it will depend on the free time available.
Something that is quite rare and valuable...

Tuesday, April 01, 2008

March bag for BQL

As you may remember I joined a group called British Quilt List and a monthly challenge to make a bag. Kandy Newton makes the pattern, but I cannot share it with you : you have to join to be part of the fun.

The aim of this challenge is to reduce the use of plastic bags, so we have to use our creations.

This one I made a bit smaller than the pattern, to fit the requirements on bags in planes. I will take it with me when we go to America, to carry all the papers, books and paraphernalia for a long journey.

I also added some quilting on the top of the bag, and padded the handles for extra comfort, after lengthening them.

I love it and will be very pleased to use it.
In the meantime, still knitting and I made something I can't show you yet because it is a present for somebody who visits here. Next week I will probably be able to put the photos.
At last it feels like spring is really coming, the temperatures are much nicer and I have left my coat in the house when I go to school.