Life as I know It

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San Luis Obispo, California, and South Bristol, Maine, United States
Author ~ Illustrator ~ Lecturer

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Needle*Thread* Quilt* Bliss

This quilt, which combines the traditional lone star pattern with applique borders and surrounding appliqued design, greeted us in the entry hall of my girlfriend's home. I think (judging by the fabrics) that it may be from the third quarter of the 19th century. Let me know what you think.

Dear friends,

Twice a year six lifelong girlfriends gather for a long weekend. And I mean long. We talk, eat, explore, stay up too late, laugh, cry, gripe, create new memories, and remember back to when we were kids in grammar school, middle school, high school, and beyond. These women know my worst faults and foibles, yet they still love me as I do them.

This spring's meeting was in San Diego at the home of a friend who is a quilter. One of our major outings planned was to the Visions Art Museum, which is a non-profit, international organization "dedicated to the promotion and appreciation of the quilt as fine art." It fulfills its promise beautifully. I hope that you will take time to visit this magnificent little gem of a museum the next time you are in the San Diego area.

The museum presents four major exhibitions a year. We were fortunate to see "Art Meets Science-A traveling exhibition from Studio Art Quilt Associates." My girlfriends and I spent time studying the quilts closely (they provide you with white cotton gloves so you can turn the quilts over and examine them). We were all so inspired by the creativity and craftsmanship evident in each quilt. I only wish I could share all of them, but at least here you can see some of my favorites, which I was allowed to photograph (without a flash) so that I could share them with all of you.

FYI, the museum has an impressive schedule of workshops, lectures, and other activities at its location in the fun NTC (the old Naval Training Center) Promenade in Point Loma, the arts and culture district of Liberty Station in San Diego, California. Surrounding this small museum are many others, also shopping and great restaurants. We feasted at Tender Greens and sat outdoors on the patio.

Entry hall, gift shop to left (they have an impressive collection of quilting books), gallery to the right. 

Girlfriends Kim and Kathie study the quilts. You can see how small they are (the quilts, not necessarily Kim and Kathie)

A Space Odyssey
 Sally Wright

Global Warming 1: Greenfields
Lili Christensen

Cells Dreaming
R. Kwong

Nature's Fractal
Frankie Kohler

Southern Hospitality
Nancy Cook

Virus H5N1
Anita Welty

Glial Neuron Conversations
Susan Jackan

Beyond Imagination
Cecile Trentini
I have to comment that if you could see the tiny stitches and detail in the black, well, you'd be humbled by the talent and skill.

Beautiful Worms (of course I LOVE the subject)
Aileyn Renli Ecob

Wood Cells 
Deborah Weir

Primordial Soup
Carol Churchill

Close-up of detail work

In the Beginning
Rebecca Kemble

High Water
Suzanne Mouton Riggio

Lipid Cells
Virginia Abrams

Susan Brubaker Knapp

Blue Boobs are Best
Sara Kelly
What's this all about? Blue boobs? Huh? This is a copy of a mammogram and the blue signifies healthy, non-cancerous breasts. Hurrah!

We all picked our favorites and Kim chose
Archeology Fragments 
Kevan Lunney

The Sierpinski Triangle Interpreted
Rebecca Kemble

Look at some of the delicious fabrics and the use of beads

I came home feeling refreshed, excited, and enthusiastic about a list of projects I want to tackle now that I'm finished with my book (this one at least). Trips like this are a necessity. Soul food. Sometimes girls just need to be girls, and that's what we were (and are). We had a ball.

Sending love across the miles,


P.S. The winner of the Gardener's Supply bird feeder is: Priscilla Palmer. Priscilla, please e-mail me your shipping address.

P.P.S. As a quilt inspired give-away, I will draw a name for this wonderful, easy-to-care-for cow, complete with quilted udders. She is fashioned from a late 19th century quilt that was in tatters and beyond saving. Leave a comment to be eligible for the drawing of this sweet quilted cow. 


Pat said...

A first for me - being the first to comment! Shutting down the laptop for the night and saw your new posting pop up - with a quilt! So of course, could not go off to sleep without checking it out. What fabulous colorations and details in the art quilts...and spending time with special friends is always the best! Thank you for sharing.

P.S. - I think that adorable patchwork cow would be quite at home in Wisconsin:o)

Carol said...

Some beautiful quilts. My sister quilts and she and I love to visit various quilt shows. I love quilts but don't think I have the patience to do one right.

Anonymous said...

Sharon - faults? huh! xoxox thea

Kieren Dutcher said...

Oh, how fun. She would look great sitting on the couch at our cabin, which happens to be in a place called Cow Creek! really!
It's up in the California Sierra Nevadas, above Sonora.

the REAL girl said...

Oh my goodness, recently one of our garden shops hosted the local quilting guild's work. It was the first time I had ever seen quilts made into art...scenes from rivers and gardens and faces and foods....unbelievable!
How wonderful to have a group of women to hang out with and to visit with....

just a blessing!!!

Unknown said...

Your weekend reads like a delightful time. Most interesting interpretations here.....Please though my name in the drawing.

Scent-sational Gardens said...

These are fantastic quilts. They look more like paintings than quilts. Oh to be so talented!!


FlowerLady Lorraine said...

Those are fantastic quilts, what a wonderful show to go to. Out of the ones you've shown here, I'd have to say the Space Odyssey is my favorite.

I think it's wonderful that you have a group of friends you've know since you were children.

Have a great weekend ~ FlowerLady

Anonymous said...

The story of quilting is intertwined with the history of women's rights and expression of art. It is wonderful that so many "modern" women are active quilters.

allisamazing said...

My daughter is a quilt fanatic and we went to our first quilt show last year. Just love all the beautiful and creative quilts.

Jimmie said...

I love the Blue Boobs are Best quilt. It is a beautiful expression of womens' rights, just as the earlier anonymous poster said.

Please enter my name in the drawing. I would be moooooved beyond words if I should be the lucky winner!

Diane in North Carolina

rebecca sweet said...

Sharon, I am beyond inspired by these photos! I've always had a soft spot for quilts, and someday (with all my free time - ha!) would love to learn how to make such treasures. But I NEVER knew they could look like these! I'm in love with all of them - but especially fond of Wood Cells, Worms, Blue Breasts...oh I guess I could go on and on. I love them ALL! Thanks for opening up this new world of quilting to me! XOXO

Susan said...

I have been there a few years ago--truly worth the trip to San Diego! Although I learned to quilt all the old, traditional patterns, I truly enjoy doing "artsy" quilts to express my story. These were amazing. XOXO

Julie Marie said...

Good morning Sharon!... oooh, what a fun girls weekend you had!... I would so have loved to be there with you all... the quilts are just fabulous!... I am blessed to have two that my little great~grandmother made shortly after she was married at the tender age of 16... they are my pride and joy... my favorite one you have shown I do believe is "Southern Hospitality"... that one really called out my name, but I am in awe of all of them... Loved the one called worms too, as I just finished reading the article you wrote in my Country Living Gardener magazine from 1995 called "Wonderful, Wiggly Worms"... too cute!... especially since you refer to them as "your girls"!... Congratulations to Priscilla on winning the birdhouse!... and I would love a chance at winning that darling quilted cow!... sending much love to you, xoxo Julie Marie

Unknown said...

Those quilts are fabulous! And I have just enough quilting experience to REALLY appreciate the skill (it took me 14 years to finish a sampler quilt -- really, a few weeks on the front end and a few weeks on the back and a bunch of years of avoidance in between).

jaz@octoberfarm said...

i love quilts. i am about to sell off my quilt collection! tats fit me perfectly! i am like martha gone bad!!!

Thistle Cove Farm said...

What fabulous eye candy! The museum trip sounds delightful as does the long weekend with like-minded friends.
Thanks for visiting Thistle Cove Farm and for your thoughts. Home made is always best -smile-.

Lemon Verbena Lady said...

Hi Sharon, To tell if the Lone Star is 19th century, I would hold it up to the light. If you see black specks, that's cotton seed and I would say that it is 19th century or earlier. The colors would also make me think it is 19th century. Glad you had fun on your loooong weekend. I would love to have Bessie in my collection! Love that blue and white fabric. xxoo Nancy

Blondie's Journal said...


These quilts are just incredible! Creative, fun, symbolic. I would have really enjoyed seeing them. Thanks for sharing your trip. It's lovely that you get to meet up with your oldest friends, it takes some effort and a lot of love not to drift apart. I'm not one to have a lot of friends, but the ones I do, I hold close to my heart.

Hope you are having a wonderful week and congratulations on finishing your book! :)


Anonymous said...

Saving any little piece of a quilt is a beautiful thing, what a darling cow. Nanc

Anonymous said...

please enter me for the cow.
What a gorgeous treat for the eyes those quilts are-blessings are yours for having kept so many wonderful girlfriends
Pam G.

Gardener on Sherlock Street said...

Sounds like fun getting together with your friends.
Those are interesting quilts. I'm used to the traditional pattern and the lone star with applique is awesome. Cute cow!

Anonymous said...

Sharon how lovely for you and your friends to be able to meet and enjoy each other. The quilts are amazing!
Martha Ellen

Joan S Bolton said...

What amazing quilts. I had no idea they could be so imaginative. Thanks for sharing!

Lorrie said...

The quilts are all beautiful. I love the names - thinking about what inspires people to create, from viruses to neurons to architecture to botany. Fascinating glimpses into people's minds.

Priscilla Palmer said...

Good Morning Sharon,

Thank you! My shipping address has been posted to you via email.

and, thank you for another lovely blog. I was shocked to find my name at the bottom of it though! My sister will love this blog ... so I will share with her ... she is in quilter's heaven ... she just got a quilting machine.

Have a blessedly wonderful day!
Priscilla Palmer

Pondside said...

Such a good example you sit with this post, Sharon. We all need to take time, no matter how busy we are, to re-connect with friends. I love the little cow and would like to put my name in the draw - and as for the quilts...I loved "In the Beginning".
With only four weeks until the wedding here, I am looking forward to my SLO cousins arriving for the festivities.

baju muslim anak said...

WONDERFUL Post.thanks for share..

kj said...

Sharon honey, fractal is one of my favorite words but 'cells dreaming' captured my swirling heart....

Until I got to blue boobs. OMG sharon! In all my life I will never have another mamogram without channeling blue boobs. Heck, I might even start sending holiday cards saying ' I wish you blue boobs with love'

You are a special doll of a woman, ms Sharon lovejoy. Heeheexoxoheehee


Larkrise garden girl said...

Hi Sharon I have been to Visions quilt museum with my girlfriend and you always come away from there
thinking.I just got back from Sock camp at Port ludlow so beautiful! I took lots of pictures of the beautiful Pacific northwest. I love cows and I would love to be the winner,Hugs Cheri

Dee/reddirtramblings said...

I dearly love quilts, and I see most of them as an art form. Throughout my marriage, I've collected them from all over Oklahoma and beyond. Recently, I found one which is 48 states and their state flowers. Of course, I brought it home, and it sits at the end of our bed.

Yes, I need one of those trips badly. Love you my friend. Don't enter me in the contest for the cow because I won last time. Love the kneeler by the by.~~Dee

black eyed susans kitchen said...

Stunning work in those quilts Sharon...I loved them all. This post was pure inspiration for me...time to start quilting again.

Lori said...

Hello Sharon! I am so glad you got away and spent some treasured time with friends. Quilts are like friends ... each holding bits and pieces of our lives and always there to give us comfort and keep us warm.Tomorrow is May Day and I plan on giving some of my favorite little girls Toad Cottages & Shooting Stars to start their Lovejoy library. : )
Blessings -
Lori in Indiana

jerilanders said...

There is no doubt that quilts are an art form and have always been an artistic expression from nimble fingers. I have to confess, however, that I am of the old fashioned sort, and of all those art quilts, I prefer the Lone Star at the top of the page.

suzanne said...

Dear Sharon

A weekend away with your girl friends~! how wonderful...I love nothing more than a good laugh and I can imagine you had allot of that. Those quilts are amazing. The hard long hours of work involved in making them. I made a simple square by square quilt that took forever with no detail. These are treasures deserving of a place to show them off. Sometimes I wish just a little that I wasn't so far far away to see things like this..

Have a happy week Sharon
Lots of love

Little Bird said...

I am in awe of the talented folks who created these quilts! What a pleasure for you and your gals to see them together. As always, thanks, Sharon, for bring a wonderful "new" thing to us via your blog!

Busy & happy, gardening in NM!

Vee said...

Those quilts are all amazingly artistic and tell a story. Simply wonderful. I so enjoy a good quilt show myself.

Sharon Lovejoy said...

Dear Friends,

My computer has been in the hospital and I am now becoming accustomed to a new one.

I'll write tomorrow and announce the winner of the quilt pillow cow.



Priscilla Palmer said...

Hi Sharon,

The "Moon" feeder arrived today ... on the Full Moon ... how cool is that! In purple too, my favorite. Now, that leads me to making squirrel feeders too... the wildlife will love you and me!

Thanks again,
Priscilla Palmer

PatsyAnne said...

I don't know what is happening about this giveaway - can I still enter - LOVE this little cow - could start a herd if I could find (or make) more....


Vicki Boster said...

Bravo Sharon that you and your girl friends continue to meet and enjoy each other as planned. It's so easy to let these types of things fall by the wayside-- life tries to get in the way.
The quilt museum is certainly outstanding. Such amazing displays of color and creativity. Your photos are absolutely lovely.

You are lucky to have so many lifelong friends--

Carol said...

Wow! Fabulous work Sharon . . . thank you so for sharing. How wonderful to have that many dear friends from since childhood and to get together so often. Special.

Judy Ann Lincicum said...

Sharon, i just found you and your blog and I'm so excited! I live in AZ now, but I was raised up around San Luis area until high school. I'm very familiar with the beach areas, and spend summers in Arroyo Grande and Paso Robles. I miss all the flea markets and sense of small communities out there. I'm going to make my self homesick, but I will follow you faithfully each morning while I have my coffee, along with my other favorite blogs. (it's just how I roll) Thanks you blogging! Judy