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It’s Fun When Quilters Visit the Nutmeg Designs Booth: A Link to my Home Economics Past

Chinese Coins Quilt Pattern Trivet by Margaret Almon.
Chinese Coins Quilt Pattern Trivet, glass and gold smalti on wood, 6 inches, ©Margaret Almon.
Color Box Log Cabin by Margaret Almon, glass and ceramic on slate, 8×8 inches.
Broken Dishes Quilt Pattern Mosaic Trivet by Margaret Almon.
Broken Dishes Quilt Pattern Mosaic Trivet, glass on wood, ©Margaret Almon.
Asymmetric Log Cabin Mosaic by Margaret Almon
Asymmetric Log Cabin Mosaic by Margaret Almon. Glass on wood, 8×8 inches.

I love when quilters come into my booth, as at the 2012 PA Guild Show in Wilmington.  They come closer and are happy to find that the mosaics that looked familiar are indeed based on quilt patterns.  I had a conversation with a woman who loved the colors in my work, and that she feels the way about colors in fabric.   I won the Adele Swenson award for excellence in Home Economics in the 9th grade.

It took me awhile to figure out that the allure of Home Economics was that I liked  choosing fabric, not the actual sewing.  I still remember the colors and textures of fabric I chose in junior high: nubby linen in red with black flowers, brown plaid with gold threads, cream cotton with a tiny strawberry print, maroon fine wale corduroy(which apparently I was spelling the Canadian way, cordouroy, which the spellchecker took issue with), and black cotton with shimmering gold flowers for a blouse with gold piping.

I am glad that I can interpret quilt patterns in glass, keeping the color, and the thread connecting me to my younger self.

Mosaic Quilt Blocks in my Nutmeg Designs Etsy Shop.

 

5 Fabulous Quilt and Textile Bloggers to Inspire Any Artist

Lime and Violet Log Cabin Mosaic by Margaret Almon of Nutmeg Designs Deciding to make quilt patterns in glass was one of the most exciting choices I’ve made as a mosaic artist.  The Log Cabin block in particular brings out my creativity and allows me to play with color.  The challenge of making scrap quilts gives me a good springboard for my own mosaics made of scraps of glass.  Stratoz creates a lot of glass bits in his studio, and I love putting them to good use.

Quilters also quite adept at blogging and I’d like to share some of my favorite quilt bloggers.  They are a storehouse of creative energy.

Barbara Brackman’s Material Culture: Information from a Quilt Historian About Quilt Fabric Past and Present

There is so much history encoded in different fabrics, and Barbara Brackman provides fascinating detail, and always has photos.  I especially enjoyed the Perkiomen Valley Patch, as I live very near the Perkiomen Valley in PA.

Lisa Call:  Contemporary Textile Art

Lisa Call says she creates vivid geometric abstract contemporary quilts.  I feel a kinship to her experimentation with color and her passion for her art.  She has an interesting post about working in a series, and the permutations the theme takes.

The Textile Blog

John Hopper writes about every imaginable textile from quilts to embroidery to macrame!  I’ve learned a lot from his meticulous research and writing.  He highlighted a contemporary quilt artist Paula Nadelstern and her cool kaleidescope quilts.

Sew On and On:  My Joyful Journey Through Arts and Life

Valerie Kamikubo populates her blog with visual treats, and her observations about art and creativity.  The colors in her post of dyeing fabric are very vibrant.

Planet Textile Threads

For true quilt heaven, check out Planet Textile Threads, a collection of quilt bloggers aggregated into one place.

Further Reading

Beautiful Thrift: Coin Quilt Patterns in Mosaic

Making a Variable Star Mosaic: Ohio Star

Over at Stratoz:

7 for the Weekend–Celebrating a 2009 Quilt Show

Stained Glass:  Bartering a Bear Paw Quilt Design

Quilt Shows in Pennsylvania

Clear, Bright, Gleaming: Easter and Clearance of the Spirit

Log Cabin in Copper and Green by Margaret Almon

This morning I went to my husband’s Episcopal church for a sunrise Easter service.  I don’t usually go, but this was the first year in my memory of a sunrise service, and I loved this as a child.  In Edmonton,this involved getting up at 4:30 in the morning, and putting on a new pastel Easter dress and a warm coat over top of that, and then standing outside, often with snow still on the ground, and an overcast sky, with the Moravian Trombone choir intoning beautiful chorales, and singing “Jesus Christ is Risen Today: Alleluia!” As the Moravian Music Foundation notes, the 18th and 19th Century Moravians considered music a necessity of life.

This morning’s service began in darkness at 6:00 am, with the lighting of the Paschal candle, and proceeded by candlelight vigil as the sun rose, and the stained glass windows became illumined.  Growing up in the Moravian church, I was accustomed to simple spare sanctuaries.  As an artist, the Episcopalian church is a revelation, with art as part of the spiritual life, art as a way to reflect as much light as possible.

As I prepare for the Bucks Chapter Guild of Craftsmen Craft Studio Clearance Sale on April 25th, 2009, I started thinking about the word “clearance.”  I looked up the etymology, and was surprised to see it is from the Latin root, clarus, “clear, bright, gleaming,” and ultimately from the Indo-European kele, meaning to call.  This is serendipitous for a mosaic artist, as the essence of the glass comes from light, bright and gleaming.  I have a closet in my studio, that is full of mosaics, squirreled away in the darkness, hibernating, mostly forgotten.  I brought them out, to be in the light, and become reanimated, like the log cabin square in copper and green.  Many of these are from earlier incarnations of my work, and I can see the seeds of my current work within them.  It is a fact of enjoying creating art, that I have more art than I can really store, and so I am clearing out for the new, and sharing some light at a lower than usual price.