Wednesday, February 27, 2013

As Promised - more QUILTCON

In my last post I gave you an overview of content and controversy.  I wanted to move on from there and show you my most precious experience:  a class with Yoshiko Jinzenzi.

I stayed in Austin until Sunday for this class.  I have been taken by her design and purchased her book but to meet her in person...  She combines simplicity (a dot or dog or square on fabric) with a knowing of what makes sense to her.  She is so modest and so willing to share that I am taken aback and in awe of her. 

Having the opportunity to be in a sewing room with her was amazing.  QuiltCon made this happen and I am so grateful!
And I have to say that meeting up with the joined Bay Area peeps for dinner was wonderful.  We are so close and yet so far (travel time).  I'm wondering if we can't create some "meet ups"  that don't involve travel to a distant state?  If not, good luck to Lauren who is moving to Japan.  I hope she will stay in touch and, of course, start a Modern Guild where ever she is in Japan.
And a few more quilts:

This last quilt was People's Choice for best in show.  I agree 100% that this quilt from simplicity of piecing to beautiful quilting was the winner.  What do you think about this quilt?
Aaaaanyway, that's it from the Robertson household.

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Back Home After QUILTCON - So Much To Think About!

I have returned home from QUILTCON.  What an amazing experience - thought provoking, overwhelming, uplifting, controversial, hectic, inspiring and much more.

 First, I must say that the organizers (the board) did an amazing job and should be commended for how well this first time event ran.  The classes and teachers were wonderful.  The quilt show could have used a little polishing (many, many comments and questions about the categories that quilts were in and the criteria for the categories).  The lectures ran the gamet from thought provoking to inspiring to controversial.  I am certainly thinking about my voice as a quilter and where I fit in.

As a result of one particular lecture, I have thought a great deal about the concept of Modern Quilting.  I hope that Modern Quilting will focus on inclusion rather than exclusion as it finds its definition.  It was disturbing to listen to a lecture on what Modern Quilting is and hear a view point that was exclusionary and rather demeaning towards other quilting styles.  It felt all rather highschool-ish and clique-ish in a mean girl sort of way.  It certainly was controversial and blogs are alive with discussions related to that viewpoint.  If it had been presented as this speaker's personal viewpoint, I think that would have helped.  Unfortunately, the talk was presented as a definitional, factual lecture - THIS is Modern Quilting.  THAT is not Modern Quilting.  Again, it was thought provoking!

Jacquie Gering gave a moving lecture on her quilting journey.   I loved her description of her family as "Makers".  She was followed by Denyse Schmidt who was the keynote speaker and gave a wonderful presentation on her quilting and design journey.   

I'll finish today's blog with just a few photos of quilts in the show.  More to come, I promise!

Aaaaaanyway, that's it from the Robertson household.

Thursday, February 7, 2013

Traveling Shoes Were On Again in January

I wanted to share with you a little of my birding trip to the West Indies (don't those two words ...West Indies...evoke mental images of old sailing scooners like in the movie Master and Commander - The Far Side of the World, sailing for days and then coming across an island in the ocean...exotic vegetation and scenery, beautiful people, all rather romantic and far, far away?) 

I'm here to tell you that Trinidad and Tobago are rather far away as they are about 7 miles north of Venezuela, but sailing through the sky is much faster than the way Russell Crowe went about it in the movie.  We flew to Miami and then on to Port of Spain, the capital of Trinidad.  Here's a view from the airplane:

The West Indies were first a Spanish colony, then the French took over and lastly the British. They drive on the "wrong" side of the road like the Brits and have a lilting, almost Jamacian style of speaking.  Everything moves much more slowly in Trinidad and Tobago.

Luckily for me, my friend Sarah's husband does not like to bird, so she and I get to traipse around the world looking at birds and animals in strange, far away places. So far we have been to Ecuador, Eastern Africa and now Trinidad/Tobago together. We're planning another trip to South Africa for the fall.  But I digress..

Our guide picked us up and took us to Asa Wright Lodge high up in the northern range of Trinidad.  After we left the little city of Arima, we quickly changed over onto unpaved roads that became narrower and narrower - with hair pin turns that made it impossible to know whether someone was coming from the other direction - which they usually were!  I did alot of flinching on the way up, but I suppose got use to it through the course of the time we were there because that was the only road back down and we were often going back down to go to various birding locations. 

The lodge was formerly a coffee and chocolate plantation in the 1800s and early 1900s (how good does that sound?)  and they still grow and roast their own coffee for the guests.  The main building is gorgeous in a very understated old world way with a beautiful veranda that looks over the valley and island.

Here's the hallway leading back to the Anteroom, the Anteroom and then the veranda:

All meals are taken at the property in the main dining room (although a lunch was packed if you were going out for the day).  Tea was served every day at 4:00 p.m. on the veranda and then came Rum Punch at 6:00 p.m. with dinner in the main dining room (family style) at 7:00 p.m.

Here's a peek of the dining room at breakfast:

And this is one of the cottages although not the one that I stayed in:

Our cottage was 21 more steps up that walkway, right under a massive tree full of screeching Yellow Rumped Oropendulas (large vocal birds that make beautiful hanging orb like nests - the guys make the nests and then the gals come and check out the work.  Sloppy work does not get you a partner!  The gals want high quality construction before they will give a guy the time of day.)

Trinidad was lovely except for the chiggers - nasty little biting things they are!  We met some very nice Brits while on the trip and we were all staying in the same place in Tobago, so it was nice to have the continuity of people to talk to and have dinner with.  Next blog I'll show you a little of Tobago and the Blue Waters Inn. 

This trip, of course, is why I have done so little sewing.

Aaaanyway, that's it from the Robertson household.

Monday, February 4, 2013

A QuiltCon Hello!

Are you going to QuiltCon?  The Modern Quilt Guild has asked bloggers who will be attending to introduce themselves with a photo (my grandson Mason and me at Thanksgiving) and reveal 5 things you might not know about ourselves.  The Modern Quilt Guild.

Well, I'm going to QuiltCon and I'm a blogger, although lower case blogger as compared to the well known Bloggers, so I thought I would join in the introductions and here goes with the 5 things you may not know about me:

1.  I have a Labradoodle named Boo (o.k. you probably know that...) but before Boo I was the companion to 3 Dalmations (not all at once - sequentially).  That's about 30+ years of Dalmations.  It wasn't until I got Boo that I knew what it was like to have a nice, friendly dog who didn't beat up on the other dogs.  What a breath of fresh air!

2.  I was born in the midwest (St. Louis to be exact) and went to grad school at University of Missouri at Columbia.  Before I went to law school, I was a scientist working for USDA.

3.  I collected antique quilts for years and still have a small collection.  I came to quilt making from quilt collecting.  I made my first quilt in 1972 (I am pretty sure that is before many of you were born!)

4.  I am a birder (a person who looks at birds through binoculars and gets all excited about identifying them) and I travel all over the planet looking at wonderful birds and animals.  I have been on every continent except Antartica in search of unusual birds.

5.   My grandsons call me "Maw-Maw".  I pretty much dote on them and love seeing the world through their eyes.  I feel that I learn so much more from them than they do from me!

I look forward to meeting as many of you as I can at QuiltCon, while taking classes every day, going to lectures, looking at the quilt show and visiting the vendors to see what I must have.  Whew!  I'm tired already!