Tuesday, July 11, 2006

American Houses

Here's another oldie for you. American Houses. This is the one that I made and ended up with so many scraps that I just had to make the Patriotic Crazy. I know it's busy but I love it anyway. It's currently ON LOAN to my parents. LOAN I tell you. I want it back some day.

I told you that I was going through old magazines. The quilting magazines made me depressed. I feel so out-of-step with the quilt industry/shows/publications etc. So many pictures of perfect, intensely difficult quilts. While I can admire their ability, I still feel cold. I LOVE imperfections and wobbles and for all the blocks to look different and fun.

What did I choose to save? Pics of antique quilts (back when everyone made quilts to the best of their ability but without the need of perfection) and an article on the Ralli Quilts of India/Pakistan. I can see why I let one of my magazine subscriptions lapse a year ago.

Even Quilting Arts isn't doing it for me anymore. Way too many dolls, postcards, ATCs and techniques I'd never want to try. Sigh.

On a different topic, I received my belated Christmas present copy of Nancy Crow's new book. I'm a big fan of hers. Don't love all her work by any stretch of the imagination, but some of it just stuns me. Some inspired by utility quilts only modern looking. I love that she loves to machine piece and the quilts are all hand-quilted. They look like quilts. That's one of my main dislikes of so many art quilts - they're way more art than quilt.

Nancy Crow's workspace is so awesome. Three huge design walls and an incredible amount of space. I love looking at the folk art and textiles she has up, esp the brightly colored wool bags from Mexico. For the dyers out there, you will just choke when you see the amount of space, equipment and supplies she has. Something like 500 yards of PFD white fabric just sitting there ready for her to get started. I soooo want to go play in her studio.

I have been a good girl, getting something crossed off the to-do list almost every day. I've delivered a couple of heavy loads of books and magazines to our little library here. The temp has been in the upper 90s but it doesn't feel too horrible most days because there is something of a breeze and the air quality has been fairly decent.

My friend C. had horrendous problems getting her cat Bella to the vet on Saturday. Bella bit through C's leather glove and really got her knuckle, which is now infected. She's on all sorts of antibiotics and if it isn't better soon she has to go in to the hospital to get a shunt put in. Aiyee. It took three tranquilizer shots to get Bella calmed down enough to get her microchip in and that was after they got Bella out from behind the fridge at the vet's. Made my whole experience look a lot better. Howler may get really scared and freak out, but he's not mean or wild.

Here are some fun links to try, if you haven't already. Kim at Force Majuere Farm is a quilt restorer and she recently explained the problems with using polyester and fusibles in quilts (it's frightening.).

I absolutely love Pine Ridge Quilter Laura's work. She too loves words on quilts and putting in info like names and dates. And none of that darn perfection stuff either. Check out the (dog)house quilt she made in honor of her sweet puppy Bullvye and the wonderful plaid Christmas stars.

Carol at Giraffe Dreams is a fairly new blogger. She made a fun Welcome quilt using the free-pieced letters. Go over and give her some encouragement.

The fabulously lucky Kristin at Knit One Quilt Too recently attended a lecture by Gwen Marston and Freddy Moran. I'm anxiously awaiting for more pictures of their quilts. And if that weren't enough, Kristin was going to the Sister's Quilt Show too. Envy envy envy.

19 comments:

Kathie said...

Thanks for the links on using polyesters and fusibles. So many art quilters are such devoted fusible people--long-term implicatiopns are pretty scary.

Karen said...

Good post, Tonya, lots of thoughts. Read the info on poly/fusible; not surprising, really, and we should take the warning into consideration for our quilts. Just looked at the Nancy Crow site; a huge barn studio in central Ohio, it's perfect!!

bluerain said...

Tonya, how I enjoy your blog!
I don't care for right angles either and am always a bit leary to share my haphazardly ways of sewing and watercolour...
Fun to see you de-cluttering and finding comfort where you are at this time in your life...
Paula

quiltpixie said...

I'm increadibly thankful that you "fight the quilt system" as your the breath of fresh air from the quilt police! We shouldn't all be the same, 'cause we're not. Continue to hear your own drummer...

McIrish Annie said...

Glad to have found your blog. I too love to quilt and to try lots of different techniques, etc. I recently came across a art quilters website and signed on since I love the contemporary styling but like you found that it can be "more art than quilting". There is also a bit of a snub to those who don't come from an art background. anyway, I am checking out your blog and those you listed and have added you to my favs. I too started a blog about a month ago. only a couple of postings. hope to have some recent pics and an update on there by week's end. check it out!!!
quilttilyouwilt.blogspot.com

Marcie said...

Go Tanya! Your American Houses is terrific! Thanks for posting some of your older projects as we new to blogging haven't seen them before. I'm with you on the art quilts vs. the vintage. Someday the art quilts will be vintage-then what?

Finn said...

Love,love,love the American Houses..it just sings it's own version of Yankee Doodle Dandy...*VBS*
Yes, are quilt magazine the most depression thing we get in the mail these days?? Even my Visa bill has more create energy than my one last and now only quilt mag. That will expire in Dec. and then it's nada for me. I'm finding much better pickin' in the inspired department on the web, and from other quilters around the world. And it's more personal.
I love that I can go to Gwen Marston's site, link to Freddy's and oggle those quilts when my magazine has yet another pink and green quilt in soft colors.

I was wondering through the Twenty Little books yesterday, and noticed that in the Twenty Little Log cabin(pub. in '96) she has snuck in two liberated ones...yah!! One a Bento box type and one with those crazy every size pieces log.
I'm back in Roberta Horton's The Art of Making Do Scrap Quilts just now...gosh, I like that book!!!!

Fiona said...

This is a fun quilt and you are right - it has character that you just wouldn't get with houses with 90 degree angles in uniform shapes. I think the same about faces - you can appreciate a pretty face but it is actually people's slight imperfections that make their faces interesting to the observer.

Laura said...

Thanks for the kind words!
I love the American Houses!!! What is the average size of your quilts? It is so hard to tell by just a picture. Just wondering if you worked really small or if they were more lap size.

Laura said...

I got too quick on the send. I wanted to tell you that quite a few years ago I went a spent a few days at the Quilt Surface Design Symposium. This was back when Nancy Owned and ran it. The quilts that were hung were so awesome! The classes were really inspiring. A few years ago she was inducted into the Quilters Hall of Fame right here in Indiana so I drove over to see her exhibit there, just really really neat!

Susan said...

Great house quilt. Forget what's going on in the magazines. What you are doing gives you, and all your friends, great pleasure. Judging from the number of people who've copied how you do letters, and the number of people who enjoy reading your blog, what you are doing is very popular with the people, and if magazine editors don't find you, then it's their loss.

Folk art is traditional, American artwork. You've taken things a step beyond traditional folk art, but I think of your quilts as a class of folk art - maybe a class of one, which is the best. =)

Lily said...

I agree re the so-called quilting mags. There's a lot in there that isn't exactly quilting!

Love your American houses quilt. I like a bit of wonk too! Must read that piece on poly and fusibles. Thanks Ton!

EileenKNY said...

Hi Tonya,
Thank you for your blog. I'm trying very hard to quilt "out of the box" and your quilts are very inspiring.
What Nancy Crow book are you referring to in your post? I have to confess, I'm a studio junkie so I love seeing photos of everyone's work space.
I read in a couple of your posts that you're going to be moving-are you coming back to the States?

EileenKNY said...

Hit the send button too quickly. I also wanted to say-I love your teapots and letters. I've been thinking about a teacup and pot wallhanging.
I'll have to sit down soon and really read your letters information more closely.
I agree with everyone's comments on the magazines. Every one seems to show the same quilts again and again.

jpquilter said...

Tonya - love your little houses - fun stuff
your post really hit home with me - looking through magazines filled with precision piecing and quilting. Do you know the Gees Bend quilts? I credit reading about their story with my recharged interest in quilting. I am so happy to be heading back to quilting for the love of putting together the pieces and the colors and appreciating the "imperfections". Happy liberated quiltmaking and thanks for the kind comment on my new blog.

Denise Wheeler said...

I absolutly love your work! WOW! I am inspired to do some wonky work but am scared stiff to do it. I have always worked with precise cuts and seams. You need to write a book for anal quilters like me. We need to know how to "Cut Loose"! HELP ME!!!!!

On another note, the Sisters Outdoor Quilt Show was a huge success! It was 95 degrees here, and that was the only drawback. But huge crowds and 30,000+ visitors to my town was not bad at all.

Thanks for visiting my blog at joyisquilting.blogspot.com and your wonderful comments. You make me feel good about what I do.

Huge quilting hugs!

Denise

Tazzie said...

Tonya, I read your post with interest. Please don't feel like you don't have your part in the quilting world. There is room for everyone, and we all have our own particular style. I have been 'raised' fearing the points police, and striving for perfection, and I wish I were more like you. You can't look at one of my quilts, and state with conviction that it's something I made, anyone could have done it. I'm longing to make some freeform letters and teacups, but I'm scared to take the leap. Magazines need to be more diverse, and that is why it's wonderful you're taking steps to write your book. You inspire us, so embrace your style, and be proud that you're a leader, not a follower!
*huge hugs*
Tazzie
:-)

Sassenach said...

Tonya,
Thank you for sending folks my way!

Still in D.C. the rest of this week.....went to a huge bookstore (OK, there are *some* drawbacks to living in a rural area) and checked out the magazine racks. There were at least 12 quilt magazines on the rack (inlcuding two premiere issues), all showing pretty much the same thing. Ho-hum.

Perhaps I shall find more inspiration at the National Gallery of Art.....

Traditional quilts said...

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Dev Valasai
Lila Ralli Quilts – Artisans’ Group
Kaloi, TPK,
Pakistan.
+92 333 368 6426
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