"A Visit to Provence" ~ copyright Diane Gaudynski, miniature whole cloth, 24" square, collection of National Quilt Museum, Paducah, KY
Summer is hot and humid here in Wisconsin, steamy and buggy, a sauna of swampiness. I sorely look forward to fall.
I apologize for not posting more often about quilting and giving you some tips and encouragement. However, my severe mold allergy has flared due to roofers and landscapers and today a deck demolition in our neighborhood, so I haven't even been near my work. Just trying to get through each day has taken my all.
Fighting mold when it makes you so ill is very difficult, if not impossible. Mother Nature is winning this battle I fear. Recommendations for a city/state that is dry and not moldy are welcomed. I'm bad at high altitude though.
I will try and catch up on email and blog comments soon. Facebook is still a major mystery for me, so please be patient. I only signed on there to view someone's quilt photos and now I have my own page, friends and all. Who knew!
Recently I did escape for the day and met a friend at a national juried and judged quilt show. I thought it would cheer me, but it did not, even though it was good to be out, and see friends.
I loved some of the quilts, many of them ones with no awards and ribbons, some I had seen in other prestigious shows with awards, but not here.
It seemed to me that many of these machine quilted entries and winners looked mechanical, lacked integration of design and quilting, had little presence or heart.
I don't think "more" is always better, that crystals can always make the design better or even be the design, that using every motif under the sun is better than using designs that make sense to the quilt itself. Editing in the overall design in many of the quilts was lacking.
Plus there was so much derivative work rather than new and creative.
Ann Fahl said it best in her blog, http://www.annfahl.blogspot.com/ in her post "Questions and Thoughts on a Recent Quilt Show." These same thoughts have been in my mind for the past several years as well.
Once home, I looked at my quilt on the living room wall, "Rabbit in Green." I have only one of my quilts hanging, and this is my favorite right now. I felt that deep thud inside as I looked at it, kept looking at all of it, never tired of looking at it.
I didn't notice particular stitches or techniques, but the "whole" of it. The visual beauty, not the technical bits and pieces. Technique for me should be the invisible marionette strings that hold up the piece. You look at the puppet, not the strings. And if there is no puppet, only the strings? Disappointment.
An admirer of Rabbit in Green from outside the quilt world offered to buy when it was in an exhibit last fall. After much thought I declined the sale, because I would rather have this quilt than a check for it. When you feel that way you know you are on the right track, no matter what the trend in machine quilting might be.
I included my quilt A Visit to Provence, above, because it is one of my best works, and shows the direction my work will continue to take, firmly rooted in heritage and tradition, using it as my springboard. I will add my own designs and machine skills to express that heritage as fully, as beautifully, as satisfyingly as I can.
Meanwhile, my computer is gathering dust due to no power cord and a depleted battery for the past two weeks. I noted when it had no power that the cord was covered with cat teeth marks, so that may have contributed to its dying, but a new cord is on the way, and I have my teeny travel netbook for email and this blog today.
However, it is August and the world is on vacation, so being out of the loop is ok. I hope you are enjoying this time of year, quilting something that makes you happy and fulfilled, and loving summer's beauty.