Agujas

The Art of Knitting

Tag: festival

Of Handmade Quilts

These are the last two quilts from the International Quilt Festival last weekend. Undoubtedly, they both represent superior craftsmanship but what appealed to me most was the theme. If you read My First Post, you will understand why I love these quilts showing a woman’s hands at work.

This first quilt, “The Mending,” captures a woman’s hands mending fractured lives. In the quilter’s words:

Women find themselves continually mending the fabric of their lives, trying to restore beauty and function in the aftermath of war, greed and lust. This quilt began as a collage of photos collected over a decade of living, working and traveling overseas. The quilt top was then torn, cut, burned and shot – literally, tearing families apart. Finally, the woman’s hands are shown working to stop the destruction, mend the damage, and repair the vision.

The Mending by Lea McComas, Colorado.”

Upon seeing this quilt, I couldn’t help but think about atrocities committed against women. Just the other day, there was an article on CNN about how women and girls in Haiti continue to be raped in the makeshift tent cities that serve as their not so temporary homes. A BBC report recounts details of sexual violence against prisoners in Syria. There are many more stories every day.

I did not mean to lead you down an unhappy path. But my heart goes out to these women and I am ever more grateful for so many blessings in my own life.

On the other end of the spectrum, this next quilt represents the power of friendship and community-building. The artist made this quilt to commemorate her ten years as a quilter. Her design inspiration was “the people who gather at a quilting bee.”

Viva Quilt by Noriko Nozawa, Japan.

It is heartwarming to see so many hands at work. Each person contributes busily cutting, sewing and ironing and each leaves his or her mark on the quilt. This quilt fills me with joy and leaves me feeling hopeful about what people can do when they come together, each contributing their own unique gifts.

More Fabulous Quilts

More quilted beauties from the International Quilt Festival Houston 2012.

Flora …

Pink Snow by Vivian A. Kapusta, Canada.

Papaver Somniferum by Grace Meijer, United Kingdom.
Award of Merit.

The Button Box by Rebecca Navarro, Texas.

Detail of tree branch covered in button flowers.

Leaf Like Life by Dalia Eliraz, Israel.
Workmanship Trophy.

… and Fauna

Rainbow Lorikeet by Helen Godden, Australia.
Honorable Mention – Art Painted Surface.

Show Your Colors; Stand Out From the Crowd by Kristin Vierra, Nebraska.

Home Sweet Home

Berne House Quilt. Made by members of the Bernese Quilters in Switzerland. 150 different blocks were made separately and then put together.

Colores by Michelle Jackson, New Mexico. The quilter was inspired by a photo of an old adobe house in New Mexico.

Lazy Afternoon by Michelle Jackson, New Mexico. “I love the character of older homes. This one was inspired by a photo of a house taken in Madrid, New Mexico, as it basks in the afternoon sun.”

The Jennings Homestead by Suzanne Mouton Riggio and 26 members of the Milwaukee Art Quilters, Wisconsin. “… a group of 40 artists, have been meeting for over ten years in the business space [of the homeowners]. In gratitude … the group made a slice quilt of their Victorian home.”

Tutti Frutti Village by Susan Bleiweiss, Massachusetts.
Honorable Mention – Art Whimsical.
The quilter used hand-dyed sandwashed cotton.

What’s black and white and red all over?

Lady Dova by Deborah Stanley, California. Inspired by the horse race scene from My Fair Lady.

Searching for Coco Chanel by Teresa Shippy, California.

The Red Shoes by Linda Stone, California.

Flamenco by Jin Gook Yang, Korea.

Wrath by Dianne Firth, Australia.
“…wrath can be used to describe the uncontrollable forces of nature that wreak havoc on humankind through fire, flood, cyclones and other disasters.”

Convergence by Latifah Saafir, California. “‘Convergence’ is about coming together and meeting at a common point; but, it is also about approaching limits.”

Peace Quilts

The Rainbow Staircase by Nairn Stewart, Canada. “The individual steps, which are high relative to the size of the figures, represent the obstacles which threaten women’s security.”

Let the Sunshine In by Anna Hergert, Canada. “The collective spirit empowers women around the world, whether rich or poor, covered or uncovered, old or young, oppressed or free, no matter what our skin color or spiritual convictions.”

Award Winning Quilts

This is the second year of enjoying the breathtaking artistry of quilts at the International Quilt Festival Houston 2012. It was like seeing works of art at a museum. It was sometimes hard to believe that what I was seeing was actually pieces of fabric. My camera loved the quilts so there are many photographs. If you can’t wait to see more, you can visit the Textile Ranger at Deep in the Heart of Textiles. She was there too although we didn’t bump into each other!

These quilts were all award winners. For a complete winner’s list and even more quilt pictures, go here.

America, Let It Shine by Sherry Reynolds, Wyoming.
The Handi Quilter® Best of Show Award.
“The 5,121 Swarovski cystals represent the words of the Constitution, Star Spangled Banner, Pledge of Allegiance and the age of the country.”

ElaTED by Ted Storm, The Netherlands.
The Founders Award.
“To challenge myself, I started with my least favorite color and fabric: brown and plaid.”

Hot Africa by Janneke De Vries-Bodzinga, The Netherlands.
The World of Beauty Award.
“I was in Kenya during the dry season, took this photograph, and made a quilt of this impressive moment.”

Crème de la Crème by Bonnie Keller, Chehalis, Washington.
Award for Traditional Artistry.
“I put the vibrant green Morris reproduction backing fabric with the right side facing inward in order for it to shadow through to the front, creating a subtle grayed background.”

Fiesta Mexico by Karen Kay Buckley and Rena Haddadin, Pennsylvania.
Master Award for Innovative Artistry.
“The original appliqué and quilting designs were inspired by the bright colors in Mexican pottery and flora.”

More quilt pictures coming soon.

Of Festivals, Knitting and Migraines

Here is a pictorial view of an otherwise wonderful weekend. It started off with yarn purchases. Now how can that not put a smile on anyone’s face? There are a couple of hand warmer requests in my knitting queue – one pair is for the husband. I tried the yarn stash first but didn’t have any masculine colors. I wanted a nice dark gray/charcoal color. Then I found this black-gray-white multi-ply in the gauge I needed. It’s Heritage Quatro by Cascade Yarns and I should be able to make two pairs of hand warmers from this hank. As I was searching in bin after bin of yarn, I found this luscious Squishy by Anzula in Teal and knew it was meant for me. The explosion of miniature roses came from the husband. Of course, I will knit him a pair of hand warmers.

On Sunday, we all took off to the annual Fall Fiesta put on by our church and school. My son attended this wonderful school up through 8th grade. It’s amazing to see all those little boys and girls my son went to elementary school with becoming young men and women. My son and his friend each devoured a humongous turkey leg, while my husband and I stood in line for the funnel cakes. There were fajitas with pico de gallo, empanadas, and meatball subs. There was live music, pony rides for the little ones, and all sorts of carnival rides and games. The smaller kids love buying cartons of cascarones and popping them on each other’s heads. There was confetti everywhere!

My favorite festival booth is Vintage Values. It’s basically a huge garage sale. You never know what treasures one will find. I found this cute little silver sugar bowl. Engraved on the bottom is a crown with the numbers 18 and 83 on each side. I looked it up and learned it was produced by the F.B. Rogers Silver Co. which was established in Massachusetts in 1883. I also picked up a $1 bag of wooden nutcracker Christmas ornaments and this little tea towel with a sheep decked out for the holidays.

I gave the sugar bowl a quick polish at home. It still needs a little more elbow grease but I like it.

Despite a lovely weekend, I had a migraine on Saturday that kept me up half the night. I’ve had migraines since I was a teenager. I can be in a room without windows and can tell you if the day is overcast and whether it’s going to rain with startling accuracy. I usually work my way through the migraine but sometimes they do get the best of me. Last night, after tossing in bed from the pain, I made my way to the living room and started knitting. I had gone through all my tried-and-true home remedies and had even succumbed to medication, but still it persisted. Something about the soothing rhythm of the needles made me forget about the pain. I knit several rows of a blanket I am making in garter stitch, which those who knit know is a somewhat boring endeavor. But it’s just what I needed at 1:33 in the morning. After a while, I looked up and realized the headache was gone. I slipped into bed and fell asleep.

Have a wonderful week ahead everyone.

Spinning Doodads

At the Kid’N Ewe Fiber Festival, there were a myriad of tools for spinners and weavers alike. This clever top-whorl spindle was made by BJ Heeke, the instructor for the “So You Wanna Be A Spinner?” class. The instructions on the CD read: “Spin counter-clockwise for an S twist single. Spin clockwise for a Z twist single.” Made from a CD, a 5/16 inch dowel, ligatures (tiny rubber bands used for braces), and a metal hook. Weighs 1.2 oz. You can order your custom-made spindle at Blue Moon Fibers.

My first spun yarn!

Here’s a snapshot of my materials for the beginner spinning class.

My first fiber stash.

This is a high-quality, hand-crafted Turkish spindle by Jeri Brock Woodworks. Jeri showed me how easy it was to use this beautiful tool. The spindle is constructed from padauk wood for the arms carved with a chevron pattern and a cherry wood shaft. See more of Jeri’s Turkish spindles here.

Turkish spindle.

I picked up this handcrafted lucet to create a strong, attractive cord.

Satinwood lucet from Hokett Would Work. Contact would.work@yahoo.com.

I took a picture of these nostependes but had no idea what they were for. I did a quick search on the web and discovered that this tool is used to wind a ball of yarn! It’s origin is apparently Norwegian and can also be written “nostepinne.” I found a great explanation of how to use this tool at the Hatchtown Farm blog. You learn something new every day!

Nostependes & Lucets.

Kid'N Ewe Festival 2011 - LOGO

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