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15 April 2007

Of sweaters and quilts

On Friday night, I wore Williamsro to the art opening -- there are fiber artists in that cooperative, they hold the knitting in high esteem -- and yesterday, I wore Fibonacci to the quilt show.  I was a little warm yesterday and am both happy and sad that the days are numbered as far as the woolens are concerned.

Have I mentioned, by the way, how much happier I am with Williamsro since I ripped and re-knit the bottom (Noro Blossom) part of the body?  I had picked up too many stitches the first time -- it was okay at first, but then it began to stretch and I could even see it pulling the other part (Noro Cash Iroha) of the sweater out of shape.  What was once a rhetorical question ("Does this sweater make my butt look big?") was not so rhetorical anymore and I didn't like the answer.  I'm happy I didn't let that one sit for too long.

Fibonacci, having been knit entirely using left-overs from another sweater, seemed appropriate attire for Mary Lee Bendolph, Gee's Bend Quilts, and Beyond at The Paine Art Center in Oshkosh -- even if the colors are more fall-like than spring.  (It's been on my mind to knit another, in different colors, for the warm seasons -- maybe in cotton?)

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Alison met us (Mom and me) and then we all went to lunch afterwards.  Ali was really more interested in just lunch and could have foregone the quilts, but I made her see the show and I think she was amazed.  We all were.  I knew a little more what to expect, but Mom & Ali had no clue.

"Quilts," I'd say. "We're going to a quilt show, but they're different..."

It's so hard to describe these quilts and their design -- how free and fresh and inspiring and inspired and traditional and artistic and cutting-edge and colorful and resourceful and moving -- without sounding a little more than passionate -- without sounding a little nuts.  And I'm not even a quilter!  They make you passionate, indeed.  The show was quite busy and (not surprised) no cameras were allowed.  One word:  GO!  If you have the opportunity to see this show (or a variation), just go.

We toured the mansion, also (amazing), and there is a children's discovery area in the lower level.  It was so wonderful to see Gee's Bend-inspired quilt designs on the wall, very nicely done (fabric patches glued to paper) by some local 5th graders.  It was a big highlight of the show, for me -- fun to see the fabric of their lives -- lots of sports-minded prints, including the Packers, some Pokemon, lots of denim, but also some glitzy glittery fabrics.  There was one so definitely inspired by the Work Clothes quilts and very meticulously done so that all the frayed edges of the denim were exposed.

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The Paine is also known for their gardens.  This corkscrewy bush (for lack of knowing what it's really called) is right next to the museum entrance.  So intriguing.  There's nothing much blooming yet, except for some snowdrops, but the tulips and daffodils are promising -- soon!  Still, even at this stage, the gardens are beautiful.  I went on a stitcher's retreat to Colonial Williamsburg one December and was amazed at how beautiful the gardens were at the dormant time of year -- truly something to aspire to with my own gardens.  Right now, though, "Baby A" and I would just be happy to see sprouting peas.  Sweater details in the "Completed in 2007" sidebar photo album.

Comments

your Baby A is adorable! would you mind if i grabbed your pic and posted it to the Yarnplay blog and Flickr page?

I'm jealous of the quilt show! And glad that you're happier with your sweater now, too.

I think the bush might be a corkscrew willow. I love those!

I think its the bones of a garden that create it's form and beauty year round. I was such a "gardener" until my husband, the landscape "designer" came along to teach me about shrub and tree placement. It really makes a difference. Just seeing how the branch formation on shrubs appears, or how snow mounds over the garden amazes me. The plant is a corkscrew willow.

My guess is a corkscrew willow, but I think I've also seen corkscrew birch and corkscrew cherry trees... but I'm sure "corkscrew" is in the name, whatever it is. ;)

this was the first year that i remember looking out at my garden in winter and saying to myself... "now, that's kind of pretty too!" it's a tiny garden, but i've put a lot of myself into it :)

The Paine gardens are so lovely and inspiring. I should have visited them more often when I drove by every day...I only lived a few blocks away. The Bendolph Exhibit sounds great.

I love the inspiration from textiles, no matter the kind.... and kinda envy you getting to go. Sounds like a great time.

I am SO GLAD you got to go!!! Those quilts just ooze inspiration. Glad your Mom and Ali loved it too.

it sounds like a wonderful day! and happy belated greetings to Ms. Ali! ~sniff~

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