01 December 2010

Solo Quilt Show Arsenal Center

Quilt and show title.

My show officially opened yesterday. Beverly Snow, program director, and her staff have exceeded all expectations and did a fabulous job handling, hanging and labeling the quilts. Now, if folks only come to the Center! The show is up until December 24.
NOTE: There will be rehearsals in the space from 10 am to 6 pm on December 10, 11, 12. Best to visit another time.

Here's the info:

The Arsenal Center for the Arts
321 Arsenal St. Watertown MA 02472

Third Floor, Rehearsal Hall

The hours are Tues - Sat, 12 - 6 pm.

There's a small but very good boutique on the first floor for holiday shopping, and free parking in the garage opposite the Panera restaurant. On week-days, best just to go up to the top levels of the garage, as office workers' cars fill the lower floors.


For some reason, my show is still listed up Coming Soon (under Visual Arts tab on home page.) I hope center staff will have a chance to update the site soon.

SPECIAL EVENT - On Saturday, December 4, from 4-6 pm I will have a "petting zoo" with lots of vintage fabrics and design-related items from the 1950's. There's no formal presentation, but of course I'll be babbling away and answering questions.

The entrance to the Arsenal complex.

Entrance to the Arts Center; notice next to elevator.

The show - the space has great light.

The title of my show - Vintage Geometry - has a sort of double-meaning. First, my quilt designs are based on traditional geometric patterns, featuring triangles, square, rectangles and so forth. In addition, I use many vintage fabrics in my quilts, because I love old fabrics, and using them broadens my available palette beyond whatever is for sale in quilt fabric stores today.

Quilt-making is a tradition in my mother’s family – I have a quilt made by my great-grandmother in 1931. She saved the fabric scraps leftover after making clothing for her family. My grandmother Nelda made quilts too, and I began quilting by helping her replace worn bindings on quilts during school vacation.

Quilt featuring vintage panel print.

Ad for dress made from same panel print as used in quilt.

Grandma Nelda had a sense of humor, and liked to sew aprons, curtains and even blouses with fun fabrics that we call conversational prints – patterns with designs of birds, sports cars, antique musical instruments; just about any theme or motif could be explored by the imaginations of the hundreds of textile designers who worked for American companies when the US still produced millions of yards of apparel and home furnishing fabrics.

Reused curtain panel; fabric designed by Doris Lee in 1952.

Many of these fabrics were woven on 36”-wide looms, discarded when most textile production moved overseas in the mid-1960’s. This loss of manufacturing (well before NAFTA) was a detriment to the US economy, but a gift for the vintage shopper - if you see a fabric at an estate sale that measures 36” wide, you know it was made before 1970.

I love the old fabrics – memories of childhood? – and find them at Brimfield, estate sales and, yes, online. These old fabrics play nicely with new fabrics in the geometries of my quilts.

Another view of the show.

Posted by Picasa