Friday, June 18, 2010

Waiting. Watching. Wondering.

Plant lust. What can I say. One of the people who lives in this house has a bad case. Never met a plant he didn’t like, or at least want to like. All manner of things follow him home. After years in Calgary, where gardening can be a heartbreaking proposition things are so different here. In fact, out here in the country gardening is less a genteel pursuit and more a case of constant fending off.

However. Two years ago Wilf brought home a plant that was suggested for areas of light shade. He planted it, lost the tag with its name and carried on. Year one – a flurry of large heart shaped leaves, but nothing more and it died back. Year two – repeat performance. So – nothing very exciting, but something green to look at, we thought. And then…… this year in March the plant took a deep breath, heaved up and started to grow. Like Jack and the beanstalk, it started to grow!

March 31, 2010 – nothing is visible behind a flurry of daffodils:

Mar 31 2010 garden

May 5, 2010 – it grew 18” while we were in Winnipeg:


Looking at the top (for the last time):


Around about this time we were at the Farmer’s Market, and saw a pot full of familiar leaves. ‘That’s it!”, we cried. The tag said Cardiocrinum giganteum, and a consult with Mr. Google revealed the common name of Himalayan Lily. Turns out after the seed is planted it sort of moseys along for four years, at which stage it gets a bit bigger and starts with the big leaves. For two years. And in year seven up shoots a stalk, heading for a floral display. After which it will die back, leaving us with daughter bulbs and seeds for the next go round.

May 16, 2010

May 16 2010 lily

June 5, 2010

Jun 05 2010 lily

June 18, 2010

Jun 18 2010 lily

We’re finally getting some sun, and you can see that the cluster of buds has opened and the flowers are spreading out. I don’t think it’ll be blooming by the time we head south, but I’ve got a friend lined up to take pictures.

I tell you, plants with a last name of giganteum really do provide much entertainment!

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Geophysical – a quilt show

I’ve had a couple of questions, mainly through Facebook, if I’m still quilting. And yes, lack of pictorial evidence withstanding, I am still quilting.

The Canadian Quilters Association has a big convention/quilt show/extravaganza every other year. It moves about the country – the 2010 show was in Calgary last month. As well as the National Juried Show there are various invitational shows as part of the event.

I belong to The Fibre Art Network , a group of Western Canadian based fibre artists. We applied to the Canadian Quilters Association to have a show as part of  the Calgary event. Of course there needs to be a theme or organizing principle behind such a proposal, and there was much discussion about what would be appropriate. One day the email arrived with the parameters for the show. In my distracted state I read ‘Get Physical’, and immediately began thinking about Olivia Newton-John and head bands and leg warmers and….. I managed to get my attention back and read further:

GeoPhysical’, pays tribute to geology, and the scenic and economic riches it provides to western Canada. FAN members are challenged to interpret, in cloth and thread, “the earth and the forces that shape it” without reference to subjects man-made or currently living.

Well. That, of course, made much more sense.

I’ve been working in a series for some time now, looking at lines, working within a restricted range of fabrics and colours. Thinking about this project I was thinking about underground structures, and layers and fractures. I looked at stratigraphic depictions of what’s under the ground in areas of Alberta, and while I love the lines and colours of those depictions (i.e. this) I decided that I didn’t want to go the representational route, choosing instead to continue with the lines that have held my interest. I did feel the need to expand a bit colour wise, so those of you who have been used to seeing me work through all the variations of gray/gray violet/black and more gray…..

stoneman sharon drop fault

Drop Fault machine pieced, hand stitched and quilted. 18”x26” 2010

stoneman sharon drop fault detail

Drop Fault detail

I wasn’t able to get to Calgary to see the show, but both the big show and the Geophysical show were apparently a big success. Part of the mandate of The Fibre Art Network is to document group shows, so I’m happy to report that you can view all the pieces in the exhibition over here: Geophysical.

I’d also like to thank Colleen Peake and Gay Walker, the Calgary FAN members who co-ordinated the show. They managed all the complicated communications and arrangements to pull the show together – all of our hard work creating art would have come to naught without them. And thanks also to Kristin Miller who administrates the FAN website and makes our work look so good.

Okay – all this writing, thinking and looking at quilts makes me want to get to work!