Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Baby Wrens...and Peaches..Oh, My...for the 4th of July

The wrens are eating like little pigs and they are starting to flap their wings in the nest...so it won't be long before they fly off. I thought you would enjoy a few closeup photos of them before they leave.

The Southern Illinois peaches are starting...and I made the first fresh peach shortcake (the kind with the thin batter, spread the peaches over the top, and cover with boiling water with 1 cup sugar dissolved in it. Yummy!

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Saturday, June 27, 2009

Exhibits at The National Quilt Museum

Wow...yesterday after work I stopped at the National Quilt Museum to see the quilt exhibits. If you have not see these exhibits...you need to. I think these three exhibits are some of the best ever displayed at the museum.

The current exhibits are:
Best of Show: 25 Years of Excellence - this is an exhibit of all of the past Best of Show winners from the AQS Quilt Shows. What a great tribute to the quilters from 1985 through 2009. You have to be in awe of this workmanship.

New Winds from Asia - quilts from China, Korea, Japan and Taiwan
This is the only showing of these quilts in the United States. You have to marvel at how successfully these quiltmakers have been in using what I would call difficult fabrics to work with - kimonos, obis, and other fabrics that tend to move around. Wonderful color and creative designs in this exhibit.

European Art Quilts V - a juried exhibition by some of the best art quilters from across Europe. This exhibit is meant to initiate discussions on current affairs around the world. The ingredients for these quilts include materials determined by the availability and traditions in the different countries. I saw lots of slicing and dicing in these quilts, and especially enjoyed one that included fabric beads that formed a circle.

You can get more information from the quilt museum's Web site: http://www.quiltmuseum.org/exhibits_current.htm . Don't delay in seeing these exhibits - the first two are on exhibit until July 6 and 7. The European Art Quilts will be there until August 10.

These exhibits are worth a trip to Paducah to see.

Bonnie B

Sunday, June 21, 2009

Baby Wrens and Other Visitors

Our wrens have a nest of little ones now and are busy feeding them. And I've snapped a few photos of other birds which have visited our backyard.

We're still having temperatures in the mid-90's so we've not done much outside. Wayne put new blades on the lawn tractor. Even in the early morning, it was warm out there.

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Sunday, June 14, 2009

Ave Maria Grotto in Cullman, Alabama

I just returned home from teaching at the Alabama Quilt Symposium that was held at St. Bernard Abbey, in Cullman, Alabama.

The students in my classes were great and I hope they picked up some tips for borders and edges for their quilt projects, and the Fun with Nine-Patch class was just that...fun. Most of those quilters had half of their quilt sewn together, and a couple had their whole top done. One quilter said she had never accomplished that much in a class before. Hooray! Our classes were held in the Retreat and Prep School buildings at the Abbey.

Also on the grounds is the Ave Maria Grotto. After driving past it a couple of times I knew I needed to find some time to go see the whole thing. I did, and here are some photos so you can see it too. These 125 miniature stone and cement structures are the handiwork of Brother Joseph Zoetl, a monk of the Abbey for almost 70 years. His monastic life was spent at the Abbey in daily hours of prayer and in laboring in the Abbey power house. When not busy shoveling coal into the furnaces, he took time to construct some miniature buildings, using stone, concrete, and unwanted donated materials, broken plates, costume jewelry, ceramic tile, beads, marbles, seashells, etc.

He gathered his ideas for his creations from extensive readings of history and the Bible. Of all the replcas constructed, he had seen only about six of them; all of the others were constrcted from photos or from printed descriptions.

They are amazing. He even included the Statue of Liberty as a tribute to his adopted country; Hansel and Gretel visit the Temple of the Fairies - note its beautiful little children and the awful dragon, which is bound by a heavy chain!

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