Friday, November 8, 2013

Annual Report

November 8 is picture day for the dogwood. The two pictures above were taken today. The one below is from last year. The light was much better for this year's shot, but I also think the tree is prettier than it has ever been. For earlier years, see last year's blog entry. The tree is getting a little big for the spot where it is planted. It's time for me to move so I don't have to face any hard decisions regarding its future.

And sew on. I finished this quilt a couple of weeks ago after nearly four years of off and on work on it. The piecing is elaborate, but the quilting is amazing. It was quilted by the talented long-arm quilter, Ivyonn Galloway. I tried to get a picture of the whole quilt in one frame, but it's too big for anyplace in the house. When I took it outside and laid it down on the driveway, the wind kept picking it up.
Inside the outer plain border is a pieced border of flowers and baskets.
Further in is a border of loosely attached triangles, not quite prairie points, but something like them. Inside the triangles is a stepped checkerboard surrounding the inner pieced sampler blocks (below). The rest of the pictures are intended to show the quilting detail. Click on the photos to get a larger view and see the stitching more clearly.

I really like this beige tonal king-sized quilt, but although I stitched the blocks together, I have no real artistic ownership. The fabric choices, the design, and the gorgeous quilting were all the work of others. My contribution is no more significant than a careful paint-by-the-numbers rendition. I feel more deeply attached to quilts  I have a greater artistic investment in. I think that's why I like the scrappy quilts best. I make them up as I go along. And I have so many scraps!

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Autumn in the Ozarks

On Friday, November 1, I at last took the drive along the back way to Eureka Springs. I've been trying to get around to it since early this summer when I went to the Opera in the Ozarks and noticed several spots which were photo ops in the waiting. Fall colors were peaking last week and I knew if I didn't hurry, all I would see is gray, wintry vistas. Autumn in the Ozarks is splendid. Not to be compared with New England's display of homogeneous forests that set hillsides ablaze, the Ozark color is more of a calico variety due to the mixed nature of the hardwood forests. Breathtaking in their own right, but difficult to capture with a camera. You've just got to be there. 

The view above is approaching a bridge crossing Table Rock Lake. I stopped at a wide spot to take a picture and came face to face with a sign that said, No Trespassing, No Exit, No Turn Around. Sorry, I didn't mean to cause trouble, but I did either have to turn around or stay there forever. So scofflaw that I am, I put the car in reverse, turned around, and crossed the bridge.
 This building is on the bluff overlooking the lake just beyond the bridge. I'm not sure what it is, some kind of commercial enterprise, but I couldn't read the sign. It has a magnificent view of the lake, but I was unable to capture both the building and the view without getting out of my car. It did make me remember one of my father's tired old jokes: "People who live in glass houses should undress in the basement." Sad to say, the neighbor of this building is a ticky-tacky settlement of mobile homes of the type all to familiar on the shores of the lakes of the region.
 A bit further along my route, near Blue Eye, Missouri, I was astounded to come upon this development -- the last hurrah of Jim Bakker (of Tammy Faye Bakker fame). He is apparently still holding forth on TV, although I'm not sure if he has an audience, and I certainly hope he doesn't have any pledges. The whole thing is just creepy and pathetic. I followed the road into the mostly undeveloped development until I reached it's terminus.
 The buildings in this congregation outnumber the people I saw that day. It has sort of a ghost town feel. Some of you will remember Sam's Town in Cameron Park just before it was bulldozed. I was immediately reminded of it.
 Leaving Jim's Town, I proceeded toward Eureka Springs and continued to enjoy the splendors of the countryside, until, Eureka!

I at last arrived in Eureka Springs. I ate a hasty lunch at McDonald's without leaving my car and headed for home by way of Berryville.  

At home, I put the finishing touches on my latest quilt, "Stash Hash," a 56" x 64" patchwork of 2,688 pieces.