Bowllll 1

loose ends

What did I decide to do with the broken batter bowl?

Nothing.  But I didn’t throw it out. I boxed it up and it’s in storage under the stairs.  I really liked a lot of the suggestions for using it as decoration.  The problem boils down to the fact that (a) I don’t garden because I rent and (b) the flat I rent is in a very old house and it isn’t very well maintained.  Given the general state of disrepair around here, having broken stuff lying around as decoration doesn’t work very well aesthetically.  It fails to look intentional.  Someday soon I hope to be living in a house that isn’t falling apart and I think the bowl will find a place there.  : )

What did I get my 82-year-old grandma for her birthday?
I loved all the suggestions!  Given:
–what I’ve made for her over the years
–that she has enough stuff in her house
–her physical limitations
–that we live quite far from one another…
I’ve decided to do a photo gift for her.  I just finished my degree at the same school she attended in the 1940s and she has been sending me a new bit of University of Michigan paraphernalia every week ever since.  (I need a lot of paperweights and pens, apparently.)  I’ve been going through some photo archives to try to find a great images of the campus during her time here…maybe even a photograph of her, and then I’ll get a picture of myself in the same spot. I’ve got a month to get this done and already have some excellent leads.

image from here

What are those beautiful glasses for?

Cocktails! I was pretty pumped to find out more about them.  They were designed in the 1950s ( I do love my  mid-century design).  And what’s more, their designer was Finnish, like my grandma, so these things are officially made of win!  I found the same ones that I have on this website: All Modern Furniture…for $44/pair.  Wow… I guess I got them at 95% off?

No wonder I feel posh when I drink from them.  I’ve discovered that they also do fun stuff when you hold them up to your camera’s lens.

Speaking of mid-century design, I’ve joined (well, okay, I co-started) a quilt bee centered on mid-century modern design.  It’s over here. We are going to be posting about blocks and quilts, of course, but are also trying to collect some mid-century modern references (interior decoration, art, architecture, textiles, etc). If you are into this sort of thing, please read the blog and contribute in the comments!

I do read all of the comments on both this blog and that one, even though I do not usually respond.  By the way, if you have your google/blogger account set to no-reply (which means it does not show me your email address), then that all but zeroes out the chances that I’ll reply…I rarely go into the comments themselves to reply there.

Mid Mod Quilt Bee

I’ve been asked to join a few quilt bees over the last year or have turned all but one of them down.  This is in part because I’m very good at saying “no,” and in part because I really didn’t want my hobby to turn into a chore which was what I was afraid would happen if I was putting pressure on myself to finish several blocks a month on time…particularly blocks I have no design input or interest in.  What I really like about the way we’ve set up the Mid Mod Quilt Bee is that it’s focused around not only a particular aesthetic (mid-century modernism) but also a particular way of working (piecing improvisationally towards a goal).  I think this is the way for bees to go in this day and age.

Correct me if I’m wrong but I think that in the past, quilting bees were meant to divide up work to get things done quickly? If a wedding sprang up or something?  Companionship would have been a lovely side-benefit to sharing the work.  Now, I think camaraderie has moved to the center and the goal of bees has (or should) shifted from sharing “work” in the task/chore sense, to sharing “work” in the artistic sense. Does anyone know if my vision of bees of the past is mostly accurate or total hooey?

This Post Has 8 Comments

  1. I LOVE the concept of the modern bee as sharing work in the artistic sense. This is indeed the goal we have for Mid Mod Quilt Bee.

    While I'm no historian, it is my understanding the the bee of the past was a) a point of gathering for quilters (mostly women) and b) a way to finish a project quickly. And I think most of that work was on the actual quilting, not the piecing. So, already we modern folks are doing it different.

    Sadly, I think many of the modern, virtual bees are still about sharing work in the task sense.

  2. I love the idea for your grandmother's gift!

    I agree that many of the modern bees are about sharing the work. I think part of that is because people don't know the work of the others in the bee very well. That makes it hard to know what you can ask of them. I think if more bees had a specific focus (a la MidCent Modern) it would be easier for people to trust their fellow bee participants.

    On the other hand, some people join bees for the community and to have some fun making things they might not otherwise have made.

    I'm really looking forward to our bee!

  3. What a fun concept for your grandmother's gift!

    I'm excited for a more improvisational quilt bee. It seems like such a waste of talent to me to farm out intricate, cookie cutter quilt blocks just to save on sewing time. (did I just say that out loud?)

  4. I agree, I think pre-virtual bees were more about divvying up the work, and comraderie was a happy by-product. But I believe so much about quilting was born out of the practical need to sew bits together to create warmth, literally, AND figuratively. A friend told me that one of the first "communities" created on the World Wide Web were quilters. It's in the DNA of a quilter, and of a quilt: bringing bits together to make a whole that gives us comfort and joy.
    I'm gonna go check out that mid-cent mod bee, now. Best to you.

  5. One of my parents, I can't remember which at the moment, graduated from Michigan Normal College. (It has since become either MSU or Eastern MI.) I just get the biggest kick out of that! Who wants to be normal?! Not me!

    I believe a previous commenter is right in that originally quilting bees were held to get the quilting done. Piecing would have been done by an individual during the quiet winter months and then community bees were held during better weather when quilt frames and pinic tables could be set up outside. I like your idea of modern bees having the purpose of sharing the work in a slightly different way. Definitely modern!

  6. Modern Furniture I'm excited for a more improvisational quilt bee. It seems like such a waste of talent to me to farm out intricate, cookie cutter quilt blocks just to save on sewing time. (did I just say that out loud?)

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