happy new year!

this photo isn't from NYE, but, close enough.  (it was from pete's work Xmas party back on dec. 10th.)

i have been around, but busy.  i also got an iPad and that derailed my blogging big time...went into deep media digestion mode and created virtually nothing in a virtual sense.  pinterest and Flickr efforts excepted.

it was a crazy year, full of a tremendous amount of change.  good change (moving, poppy growing up and getting potty trained (!), and starting at a new preschool), and bad change (health problems, peter's dad passing away, etc.).

but overall, the year ended on a good note, i would say.

-poppy's new school is great.  very urban and forward-thinking, as well as kind of hip.  her head teacher has pink hair!  they even make a point to serve them healthy organic food and emphasize environmentalism, which is a nice touch.  she's going 5 mornings a week and seems to love it.  yay!

-poppy's school is about a mile away.  i usually walk back home after dropping her off, and walk back over to pick her up.  lately i've been taking the stroller with me to pick her up so i can walk us home too, so I get about a 3 mile walk in each school day.  hooray for exercise!  i need it, as it's been a non stop sweets and candy fest around here since Halloween...(maybe you can relate???)

-while poppy is at school, i usually head home to sew.  i've been getting into quilting, big time.  i made my parents a large quilt for Xmas, and also finished one baby quilt (for my newest niece marabel, born mid-dec), as well as a full size red and white zig zag quilt, which now resides on our bed.  i've also finished multitudinous quilt tops in the past little while and have more ideas and quilts in the queue.

-on a quilt related note, i joined the Chicago Modern Quilt Guild in dec and met a fabulous group of ladies there...including one famous quilter, jacquie, who lives in my building.  she and i have even gotten together a couple times since at her place to chat and sew.  she's amazing.  so happy to make a friend here, especially one as nice as jacquie, and especially one who sews/quilts!

-i signed up for a fabric silk screening class, it starts next week, and runs for ten weeks.  so excited!

i'm off to do some sewing RIGHT NOW.  a perfect way to start the new year.  while i sew i plan to ponder my goals for 2012.  still formulating plans.  *smile*


what have you been up to?  i've missed you.  :)

carson converse & her amazing quilts




fact: westchester county, new york, and fairfield county, connecticut are wealthy enclaves, but are not exactly really hot spots for the young and creative. source: i live here (in fairfield).
seriously, folks in their 20s and 30s are thin on the ground here. i often feel like a freak here, both because i'm more than a little off aesthetically and economically and because i'm slightly younger than the typical demographic of this general area. and one has to drive (ugh!) quite far to find good sources for yarn and fabric and whatnot. stuff is out there here and there but frankly it's not as good as one might find in the city. *grumble, grumble*.
...but, i digress. :)
anyway, i was super happy to read about carson converse on the etsy blog yesterday; she was the featured seller, and omg, she's from westchester! reading that factoid made my heart happy. cool people doing cool stuff, around HERE?! yay! so happy to be proven wrong (somewhat) about this neck o' the woods. (hahaha!)
i really love the simple, spare look of her quilts, her use of mostly/only solids (i'm increasingly loving this idea as far as developing my own quilts goes). her work has a really modern, but really classic feel. her art background really comes through in her work.
bravo, carson. your work, and you being from here, give me hope.

denyse schmidt's 'any way you slice it' @ the university of bridgeport

any way you slice it--denyse schmidt--bridgeport, ct
any way you slice it--denyse schmidt--bridgeport, ct
any way you slice it--denyse schmidt--bridgeport, ct
any way you slice it--denyse schmidt--bridgeport, ct
any way you slice it--denyse schmidt--bridgeport, ct
any way you slice it--denyse schmidt--bridgeport, ct

on saturday our little family bopped over to the university of bridgeport's arnold bernhard center gallery to see quilter denyse schmidt's solo show, any way you slice it. i've been a fan of denyse's work for several years now...and was eager to get a chance to see her work up close (and personal).


a little review of sorts!
the gallery is a part of the university of bridgeport; it being a saturday in late november, the place seemed pretty dead, literally and figuratively. there weren't many signs directing people anywhere (i only saw one small flyer for her exhibit by one of the entrances to the building). absolutely no one was milling around, on the campus, or in the building, or curiously, on the streets near the campus. kind of freaky.
according to a blurb about the show on her site, the solo exhibition "showcases recent quilts as well as earlier examples to provide a sense of continuity and context for the current work."
to set the scene for you: several beautiful quilts were hanging around on the walls of the room that held her show (see above, they are, allegedly, the recent work mentioned above); there was also a tv screen with a slideshow of projects made by various quilters and crafters using her fabrics or patterns (from her books and the like); examples of her mass produced finished quilts; samples of some of her quilt fabric designs; a binder filled with sketches and photographs that looked to be an illustration of her design and development process.
overall, the exhibit was nice... but also kind of strange, and weak and/or weirdly lacking in the way of context: explanation, relationship of the pieces to one another, things of that nature. what i was yearning for was more words...words about denyse herself, perhaps, words that told more about the specifics of the works on display, and so forth. perhaps at the opening she was there to provide that context i was craving? i don't know. maybe i was blind and missed something?
adding to the weirdness: two long tables along one of the walls were dressed with tablecloths and covered with stacks of empty, unused wine glasses, and the center of the room housed a collection of round cocktail tables. clearly there had been a party/talk/some event in the room in recent days but no one had bothered to clean up. seemed sloppy and strange and was kind of off-putting and distracted from the show.


all that said...
i really liked many of the quilts on display...denyse clearly has a studied sense of design and color, a studied way of balancing blocks of intense, organically arranged color and pattern against proportionately vast areas of solid color. her art training (she was trained at RISD) is clearly apparent; her work transcends the categorization of "craft," veering definitively into the realm of (modern) art. forget putting these pieces on a bed; they rightfully deserve a big wall for display, contemplation...and adoration.
i especially loved the pair of orange and blue quilts (with the ladder placed between them); i'm having a big love affair with pairings blue and orange of late, so they really spoke to me. the off-white quilts with with the offset blocks with intense red, pink and green fabrics were also quite incredible. the camera on my iphone just couldn't do the colors and fabrics the justice they rightly deserved.


ALERT: if you're in CT/the northeast/NYC metro area: you can still go see denyse's show! it's running until december 3rd, 2010.