Friday, February 23, 2018

From Photo to Pattern

We had two amazingly spring like days here in Pennsylvania this week.  It certainly helped to lift my spirits.  It was the perfect time to head to Longwood Gardens with my DIL.  She loves it there and knows every nook and cranny and lots of interesting information - plus she has guest passes!

Currently the Orchid Extravaganza is taking place.  There are orchids everywhere in the Conservatory.  Some are front and center, like this arbor
and others are tucked away in surprising places:

Longwood is just not a botanical garden, it is also a place for morning walks,   play dates for children,  and contemplative thinking.  You can even transport yourself to Versailles. The picture of all these strollers parked outside of the indoor children's  garden warmed my heart.

So many beautiful orchids are inspiration for so many quilts, more than anyone could make in a lifetime.  I took lots of photos so when I was ready to make a quilt, I had lots to choose from.

At our last quilt guild meeting I shared some computer apps/programs that can be used to manipulate photos. Some of these can be used as the basis for quilt design.
I used my photo of a Cattaleya orchid:

 I started with an app called StitchSketch

I wasn't able to adjust the number of squares or size, so it was hard to define the petals.
I tried another program called Pic2pat - where I could change the resolution
So I searched for one more program where I could adjust the resolution AND the color.  That was Picture Craftwork.  I could adjust the color to define the shape or to create a different hue.

And my final surprise of the day at Longwood, was in the bathroom near the gift shop.

Who needs computer programs?

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Thursday, February 8, 2018

Red & White Inspiration

As a redhead I have had an aversion to red most of my life.  We were told not to wear  it because it clashed with our hair. I do remember as a young child, having a red room. The carpet was red and I also remember having a record player with a red cover that zipped to close.  My mother was not afraid of color.  But, I never wore red and I never used red in any of my quilts, unless it was a patriotic quilt.  I did admire others who wore red or made beautiful quilts using red fabric. 

In 2011, there was an amazing exhibit in NYC with 650 red and white quilts on display in a most unusual setting.  It was called "Infinite Variety: Three centuries of red and white quilts".  I took the bus up from Philadelphia to New York with a few friends. When I walked into the  Park Ave Armory, I was overcome with emotion.  The sheer vision of all of these two color quilts hanging from the ceiling spiraling down to the floor, was breathtaking and brought me to tears. 

That was more than 6 years ago.  It inspired me and from then on, a red & white quilt was on my bucket list.  Now I can finally check it off. Here's my original pattern, Funkytown 

and meet Funkytown Version 2.0

I love this quilt.  It is so dramatic in scrappy red and white fabrics.  Funkytown is one of my Curvalicious patterns, but instead of it having a vertical orientation, it is block based, 16 blocks.

Is a Red & White quilt on your bucket list?  Did you see the quilt exhibit in NYC?
If you want to read more about my visit to the exhibit and see more of the quilts, 

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Saturday, February 3, 2018

I've Been Seduced

I'm not a big sports fan, and neither is anyone else in my family, but when your football team is heading to the Superbowl, things change!  Yes, I am a fairweather sports fan.  I barely watch any sports on TV.  Although I do watch some golf when I'm enmeshed in a quilting project on a Sunday afternoon.

So now I'm a huge Eagles fan.  I love seeing stories  about the different players and seeing different groups performing the Eagles theme song on TV.  There are signs in many businesses cheering them on, and how about them changing the sign for Boston Market to Philly Market? There are lots of people dying their hair green.

I would not recognize any of the players if I bumped into them on the street or in the airport, even if they were un uniform,  but I'm superimpressed that Chris Long, donated his entire 2017 base salary of $1million to the Philadelphia school district.
As soon as they won the opportunity to go  the the Superbowl, pop ups shops aka tents showed up on many street corners selling t-shirts and other souvenirs.
It's easy to be seduced.  Years ago, which may have been the last time the Eagles went to the Superbowl. I spent the season sending an Eagles something  or other to my son in law school.  Each time the Eagles were scheduled to play, I sent him a mini football, or shot glass or balloon.  As with any good superstition, I continued to do it  and  they continued on a winning streak.  I don't remember what year that was, but it sure was fun finding Eagles memorabilia to send in the mail.  It's hard to know if the recipient had as much fun receiving as I did sending.

So this week, as a fair weather fan, I had to purchase a few t-shirts:
Go Eagles!!!