Monday, October 21, 2013

Inspiration Everywhere

I've jumped right in, both feet first, to life since the move.  As a natural introvert, it's rare for me to schedule lots of things during one week, but last week was that week ... I had four events I considered myself committed to attending, and then my husband squeezed in a fifth.  By yesterday, I was worn out and cut the final one short, and today I didn't even want to get out of my pajamas.  I can't do this when I'm working full time, since leaving the house and engaging with people requires energy, often my sewing time is, for me, time to charge my batteries to full strength.

However, I wanted to do so many of these things.  One was an appointment about getting back to work, one was the local quilt guild meeting, one was my sorority alumnae chapter.  In between those things I ran errands to the post office, worked out, found a couple of local fabric stores, and house hunted with my husband, as well as meeting friends for drinks another night.  For most extroverts, that's a normal life, but for me, that's full speed and can't be sustained for long.

It was good though.  The guild was quite an experience - like walking into a convention center after Star Quilters.  So much going on all around, and an amazing speaker.  I hadn't known who it was going to be when coming in, but in one area I saw a setup with fabric and quilts and thought, "wow, that looks a lot like Paula Nadelstern's work; I wonder who she inspired?"  Well, it WAS Paula Nadelstern, and her presentation was entrancing.  She was funny and candid, and kept me glued to my seat for an hour.  One of the quilts she brought in person was this latest one, called Service for Eight:

I don't know that I could ever take on a project like she works on, despite her assurances that she stinks at math and can't sew very well.  But it was still something that stayed with me.

On Saturday I went to the Nasher Art Museum where one of the exhibitions was on philanthropist Doris Duke's Shangri La and the extensive documentation of her acquistions and construction of the home based upon her inspiration by Islamic art.  The pieces were amazingly intricate, and the photography was breathtaking in its color and texture:

I found myself so inspired by the patterns in the pieces that I wanted to buy the book to be able to design my own quilt based on some of the pieces.  The appliqued tent panels shown here on the dining room wall were particularly amazing, as was her clothing that was on display.  These photos don't even begin to do the designs justice and it was wonderful to be able to examine them close up.

At any rate, my own work hasn't been quite this inspired, but I'm working on it.  I've joined a guild bee which meets tomorrow evening, and then my calendar is quite empty until the weekend.