Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Ottawa

A couple weeks ago my husband's cousin phoned to tell us she was getting married! Whoohoo! It was to be a very small affair, arranged at the last minute, and she was sure we couldn't come, but ... we went! We were so happy for Judy, and we have so much fun with the Canadian branch of the family, that we couldn't possibly miss the wedding! Turns out the groom's family is as crazy as we are, so the small crowd grew. Family and friends came from all over Canada, as well as from New York, California, Massachusetts, Illinois (us!), England, and Germany. It was a blast, and by the time we left we had become good friends with a wonderful extended family.

Ottawa never fails to charm me. I've been there several times but always in August, when the weather is warm and breezy and the foliage is lush. It must be great all year. My husband has a friend who works in Ottawa and in the winter she ice skates down the canal to her office each morning and back home at night. Wow. This trip we drank in the beautiful views of water and rolling hills, and managed to find time to see the Byward Market, the National Art Gallery, and the locks at the Rideau Canal. We also strolled by Parliament. I love the effect of the old-fashioned legislative buildings reflected in a modern skyscraper.
I'll limit the rest of my photos to things that, as a quilter, I found at least intriguing and inspiring. The wedding was on the balcony at the National Center for the Arts (it was supposed to be in one of the little rooms inside, but the day was so gorgeous they set up outside). The symbol on all the doors was, well, I don't know the name for it -- an interlocking shape related to a hexagon.
An incredible set of metal doors hung in the room where the reception was held. I was awestruck. Here's a photo of most of one side of one of the doors -- each was about 15 feet tall, covered with rich textures on both sides. I kept looking at them all through dinner.
The art museum had an exhibit of Inuit (aboriginal Canadian) art side by side with Sami (indigenous Scandinavian) art. No photos were allowed, but you can see some of the art and read about the exhibit here. I didn't see an inukshuk, but I love the idea of them and bought a necklace and earrings made to resemble them.
Inukshuk, which are symbols for a safe journey, are stone figures made by the Inuit to provide directions. What a wonderful theme for free piecing! You can read more about inukshuk and see two photos of them here. Do follow the link -- that first photo with flowers growing around and on the inukshuk is just amazing. Four seasons of inukshuk would be a great quilt.

Much more mundane but nonetheless charming is this grate we saw on the street. Another fabulous quilt-to-be.

And completely off topic, I have been thinking about using old clothing for a quilt. When clothes are in good condition but we no longer wear them, we donate them. But some clothes are stained or worn in spots and we add them to the rag pile. From now on I'll see if at least parts of those 'useless' items might have some good fabric left. Take a look at this shirt made of a woven-in plaid fabric.
I hope you can see in the photo how the inside is much brighter than the faded outside. My husband has had this shirt for years, and I love it, but I think a quilt is in its future.

9 comments:

jillytacy said...

I enjoy seeing what you see as you travel! you have a great eye and I can see quilts on these subjects. i especially like the fish and the hexagony thing. I'm also with you on the idea of reusing clothing for quilts. I have the clothes and it's on my to do list. I just need the time!

nicolette said...

What a great journey! And so much inspiration!

Julie said...

Recycled shirt fronts make great cushion/pillow backs, the closure is already in place. If there are stains worn bits a patch would look good too. I like to recycle old clothing into quilts, that is I collect our old clothing with the intention of using it in quilts;)
I love the pics, the door is stunning would make a great contemporary quilt.

em's scrapbag said...

My dear friend Gayle, who got me into quilting, made a quilt for a mutual friend when this friend's mother died. It was made completely out of her mothers old clothes. It was really neat. And Sharon truely treasured it.

Pattie said...

Great photos as always, Cheri - thanks for sharing them. I'm with Jill: I like seeing things through your eyes.

Imagine a city that takes time to make a creative grate? That speaks well for Ottawa! :-)

Catherine said...

I have seen many pictures of Ottawa, given that it's our capital, but your pictures actually made me want to go there. But only in the summer. Their winters are way too much for me. LOL

Gene Black said...

I have used a "recycled" shirt in each quilted piece I have made so far. All, coincidentally have been men's shirts...well hey, I am a man..heheee
They are pretty easy to chop up with the rotary cutter and use. Go for it.

Libby said...

Ice skating to work...that is a stitch. Is that too silly to say on a quilt blog? I'm having too much fun recycling clothes and linens - at least in my head I am. I have more ideas than I can ever follow up on.

Lazy Gal Tonya said...

great post. love the photos of the reflected building and fish grate. Great shirt for fabric. But wow oh wow, love finding out about the Inukshuk. That's all new to me. Love the idea, love the stones themselves adn what a lovely idea. Really would make an excellent quilt.