Really Random: Retro-fied

BLOGTOBERFEST, Day 25

Linking up today with Cindy over here.

I meant to share this when I first found it… my fortune cookie at dinner, the weekend before we released our Modern Fortune pattern (I practically jumped for joy!  Took it as agreat sign, because, yes, I believe in these things…):

This was around the same time that I found this at the check out of a local hardware store…

Brought back a blast from the past, I remember my brother and I begging Mom to buy this for us (curiosity got the best of me, I had to find out if it tasted as good as it did in 1976).  It did not.  Clearly the recipe changed, or my 43 year-old tastebuds are slightly more sophisticated than my six-year-old tastebuds were.  I’m more of an Orbit girl these days… and what quilter wouldn’t be with these inspiring packages…?!?

I can’t help but see some modern quilts there.  And these mugs found at Target, recently?  So quilt-y…

I also think they look a little 1970s retro… which I tend to like (see Fruit Stripe Gum story above).  My last car was a 2002 New Beetle, sadly, I had to replace it this last month, but I bought another fun, little, retro car in it’s place:

I love it!  It’s a Mini Cooper S (not brand new, but new to me!) in Liquid Yellow, and I was thinking of naming her Buttercup or Daisy… just not certain.  That little yellow car just makes me happy–she is my Sunshine!  I’m going to have to sew some items for her, too. Then my BIL referred to me as Driving Miss Daisy.  Not sure if that’s a good connotation or not…  What do you think, is she a Daisy or a Buttercup?

Incidentally, there is an SUV in the area that I live with a vanity plate that reads “BUTTRCP”–and it’s silver, not yellow– I assume it’s a nickname of the owner.  This is a license plate we saw in Kansas City this summer, we were on our way to a quilt shop we had not been to before.  Guess what?  This driver led us right to it!

So, two questions for you today:  Do you have a personalized license plate?  and do you name your car(s)?

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Quilts and Inspiration

This is a special post for National Quilting Day 2012 (March 17)

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I’m one of those artists that sees inspiration every where I look… are you like that with your quilting inspiration? I’ve blogged about this before, here, and here, how I find inspiration in architecture, nature, color… But these days, I’m seeing more of an “in your face” type of inspiration. Quilting is hot right now, not only is it sort of “cool” to be a quilter (thanks to the internet and modern quilting movement!), you see quilt inspired items in home dec, stationary, sculpture, office furniture and accessories, buildings — dare we call this the decade of the modern quilt? Whether something is constructed or designed with its inspiration coming from quilts, or the design inspires our quilts… doesn’t seem to matter. Pattern and design is everywhere:

Malka photographed this wall outside the Convention Center at Fall Quilt Market (apparently constructed to hide something functional like lighting/wiring):
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You can see a modern quilt in buildings themselves…
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New interior finishes such as wallpaper and flooring are showing evidence of modern quilting and the new trends for geometrics (wouldn’t you love to have one of these floors in your home?!):
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Even in fashion, whether or not we might actually wear it… Rodarte’s 2010 Fashion Week collection was inspired by the aesthetic of the 1930s American plains:

This child’s dress from Baby Gap (summer 2010):

We even saw evidence of the connection with fashion and modern quilting in recent designer collections for Target. I know chevrons aren’t unique to quilting, but when I saw the Missoni for Target collection last fall, all I could see were patchwork designs!

And a personal fave from the fashion category: this patchwork inspired dress which was available in 2010 through the free trade site JohnLewis.com:

Maybe it’s always been there, inspiration for quilt patterns in the geometry of our surroundings, that is… but I can’t help but see a connection between the use of bold geometric graphics and pattern in design in general and the explosion of modern quilting and the geometric trends we are seeing in our craft.

So how abut you, found any sewing or quilting inspiration in unique places lately?

Threads of Creation

My mind, the new business venture that’s in the works, and certainly this blog, are all creative machines with multiple interests.  About fifteen years ago, a friend called me a ‘jack-of-all-trades, but Master of none’.  It was the first time I heard the expression, and I thought it amusing at the time it was said, but upon further reflection, I came to see it as a slight insult.

Even though my primary interests now revolve around fabric and quilting–and have for many years now– I could just as well have written a lifestyle blog, an interior design blog, a travel blog, an art blog, a foodie blog…. All things I have an interest in.  That’s why, sometimes, my writing ventures a little off the quilting path.  
source: http://wetpaintaz.com

I’ve always had diverse interests in music, what I liked to read, different craft techniques, different art mediums… I adore antique and vintage furniture and decor; but crisp, cutting edge contemporary design floats my boat, too.  I’ve always thought being, or sticking to, one thing rather stifling!  A characteristic of the creative mind–but certainly not a flaw.  That said, many times over the years I’ve found myself apologizing for not being more focused, more goal-oriented, more “left-brained”.

This morning, I watched a public television program about a group of craftsmen and engineers in Britian who were trying to construct, from Leonardo da Vinci’s never-executed sketched designs, a catapult and a flying machine; it was fascinating.  Leonardo filled sketchbooks with designs and ideas that were never executed, either due to lack of funding or lack of a patron, but often he abandoned projects or ideas so he could move on to the next great idea.  Sound familiar?  I don’t think anyone today would argue that Leonardo da Vinci was not a success, most would agree he was a genius.  He lived just 67 years, and yet he made vast contributions in the areas of painting, architecture, music, mathematics, cartography, civil engineering, hydrodynamics, and science–obviously he mastered many trades during his relatively short lifetime.  His creative curiosity was hardly a character flaw.

That program reminded me that my occasional inability to stay focused on one task, or one project, or one idea, isn’t necessarily a negative thing.  Sure, I do admire those unique people I’ve met that knew at age ten exactly what they wanted to do with their lives (and did it!), while I’m still uncertain in my forties what I want to do with my life; but would I trade my adventures, my creative experiments and the people I’ve met as a result of these explorations?  Probably not.  (Incidentally, at age ten, my answer to the question of ‘what do you want to be when you grow up?’ was always “an Artist”)

Why do we have to define ourselves as something?  Why should we pigeon-hole anyone or any thing?  Anna Maria Horner had a fun Q & A with her intern, also called Anna, an undergraduate design student.  AMH asked her what she hoped her life’s work would be, dream of dreams.  Her answer was superb:


That’s something I struggle with on a daily basis….I’d like to be able to say at the end of my life that I have spent my days doing the things that I love, whether its photography, painting, designing or whatever, I hope I can look back on my body of work and not see it as work, but rather what I had a passion for. It might mean that I have to choose only one of those (or none of those) to make ends meet, or build a career, but as long as the bill-paying work doesn’t overshadow finding enjoyment in what I do, then I will have lived the dream.


How smart is that for a 19-year-old?  I was a very mature 19-year-old, having had a lot of responsibility placed on me at an early age, but my future goals were certainly not that mature.  I’m now 42, and I’m just figuring out what that smarty-pants intern stated so very eloquently.

An Inspired Idea

I recently attended a Tour of Homes in my neighborhood, all were at least 100 years old. I ‘ve always been interested in architecture; ancient, historic, contemporary…you name it. I love architecural details; cornices, gargoyles, spires, shape, color… My surroundings fascinate me in even the smallest ways almost all of the time. I enjoy walking neighborhoods, because I notice details I never see even if I’ve driven by it dozens of times. I spent most of my childhood living in an 1880s home, with a porch like the one below, a stained-glass window in the open stairwell, an etched glass window on one of the exterior doors…and even though I believed the upstairs to be haunted for the first 5-6 years of my life there (I outgrew that belief) I loved the character of that home.
What I noticed in particular on the Tour of Homes were the lovely stained glass windows, both as part of the original architecture of the home…And as salvaged items used as decoration in the homes…They are all sort of quilt-like, aren’t they?
Simple lines…with beautiful colors and patterns…
And, I was totally amazed by these daffodil windows. Incredibly unique.
They sort of look like an applique quilt, don’t they?

I’m thinking I need to make a quilt inspired by the beauty of these windows. Keep your eyes open, for you never when inspiration might strike…

Monday Mile Marker #6 (#7, and #8!)

So I got a tad behind on my mile posting! A mere three weeks, that’s all. However, I have been recording, I have been racking up miles, I have been working out…just not posting. Apparently.
So, my Monday Mile Marker #6 for the week of September 29-October 5: 11 miles.
#7, for the week of October 6-12: 29 miles…yes, TWENTY-NINE!!!! This was the week of the Quilt Expo…
and Monday Mile Marker #8, for week October 13-19: 18.5 miles.
Perhaps the extra miles are coming easier because I’m enjoying the blessed, beautiful weather of my favorite-albeit-far-too-short season…
Feeling stronger. Feeling healthier. Feeling energized. Feeling Motivated. Feeling Inspired.

Visit Wendy’s blog for more info on the Crafty, Creative & Fit challenge…