Friday, March 30, 2007

More Flowers

As things heat up in Tango Vita, I retreat to quilting. Here is my art, a place to go without the conflict.

I am fascinated by this one flower shape and keep returning to it. The latest started as a whole cloth piece quilted from the back. I traced flowers from my gaudy fabric and quilted around the outlines with a silk embroidery thread for the bobbin thread. Once the quilting was done (and the binding on), it seemed incomplete though. The idea was nice, but the outline of the flowers was too soft. So on to embellishing. Oops, supposed to do that before the binding goes on. Good thing these are just part of that learning curve!

I cut out a fabric that matches the back and part of the binding already on, and hand appliqued it to the front. Then I again quilted the flower from the back. Because the flowers didn't match up, a very serendipitous effect happened.
Wow, I can see that one happening again. Hum, it would seem I'm unintentionally working on a series.

Thursday, March 22, 2007


At last night's pre-meeting meeting, one comment disturbed me. It came up in a recent e-mail, and was mentioned again last night. How do we define "in good standing". One person was adamant that this must mean people who have been members for a very long time and volunteered for Tango Vita in the past. Unfortunately, that is not a valid position to take. New people to dance could take out memberships (and have every right to do so). People who have been part of the dance community but not Tango Vita could take out a membership (and have every right to do so). These people then have the right to vote. This is what makes us a democracy.

I personally joined Tango Vita now because I feel the need to have a voice in what is happening. Tango Vita should become a larger whole now. We have dance happening in multiple venues--Passion for Tango, Martin Batchelor Gallery, Cafe Casablanca, and Camosun College. Tango Vita should be the organization that supports the greater whole. For those who want tango to continue as a club, dance at the gallery, but don't force your will on others. This is not democracy.

I would love to see tango in Victoria become a larger whole. Wouldn't it be wonderful if rather than seeing ourselves as a club, we saw ourselves as promoters? Wouldn't it be wonderful if our new executive saw it as their mandate to bring in world class teachers, people like Hugo Patyn and Miriam Larici, Alicia Pons or others. We have this wonderful opportunity in front of us, let's move on.

Tuesday, March 20, 2007

Still Dreaming of La Boca

I finished my funky little quilt. I was inspired by the garish floral fabric and created two little pieces using the flower motif. I used Derwent Graphtint pencils to colour the fabric then quilted. I'm not sure how colourfast they will be, but it is part of the experiementing.

Friday, March 16, 2007

What Next?

Tango Vita seems to have switched the rules on their proxy votes. They are now demanding that members inform them in advance if they desire to leave a proxy vote. "In addition to a direct confirmation by the absent member to John or Nora, the Directors also need to receive a proxy form duly filled out and signed by the absent member. These forms will be verified before the meeting starts at 2. Consequently, we ask you to arrive earlier with the signed proxy forms, so that we do not delay the start of the AGM." Some of our members are presently in Buenos Aires. Those members left proxy votes prior to leaving. I have no word for how upset this makes me. Here we are hoping for reconciliation, for a repair and over and over again the present board is demanding that things remain as they are.

Again, I urge members to come out and vote. We CANNOT let things go on like this. How can you slight people like this. If one of our members, presently in India, also left a proxy are you going to claim his is also a forgery? To what extent will you go to prevent change?

Thursday, March 15, 2007

Dreaming of La Boca

While looking in my scrap baskets for some green fabric for the background on my next idea, I came across a small remnant of '60's floral fabric. Not even cotton, but a polyester too. I just had to use it. In another bin with assorted velvets and lame's from my days of making home made Santas, I found these small squares of fabric similar to aida cloth.

Also in my scrap basket, I found this garish pink floral--also from the 60's. I decided to use the flowers as my quilting line and quilt it from the back. My intention originally was to quilt from the back, reback and quilt again from the front. But the quilting lines disappear on the front in certain areas. I'm trying to decide whether to requilt from the back using a lighter colour or heavier thread. I don't think a metallic thread will work as it won't fit with the overall look of the piece. It reminds me a bit of La Boca.

Wednesday, March 14, 2007

Annual General Meeting

The date and time for the Annual General Meeting of Tango Vita was announced last night. It will be held on March 31st from 2-5pm at Henderson Hall in Oak Bay. If you feel strongly that there needs to be reconciliation and a change for the better, please come out and vote. Like a wise voice said last night "in 50 years, we won't be dancing together." There are leads in our dance community that we miss. There are friendships that have been fractured. When members of our community cry because all they want is to dance, that is NOT a good thing. If we leave it too late, we won't be able to repair it. So, let's repair this split. Let's agree that dancing at the cafe will continue and is good for our tango community. Let's agree that Martin Batchelor Gallery is also good for our community. Let's agree that diversity is a good thing. Most of all, let's stop this petty bickering and act like grown ups and dance together.

Monday, March 12, 2007


From the start, this quilt hasn't been quite what I wanted. The background fabric isn't exactly right, so the flowers couldn't be done the way I had pictured them. At the beginning, it was my intention to make three-dimensional petals to surround each face. But without the Art Nouveau fabric, the lines aren't as delineated, so I used silk flowers instead. Once the pictures were appliqued inside, it started to take shape, but still needed something. Like my daughter (the real artist) said, "they look funny without hair".

I added beads, I removed beads. I added them again. Letting it sit, I pondered it from a distance. Wrong colour beads. Off course, by this time it was after five on a Sunday, so I had to wait until after work today to get the right colour.

From above, it is hard to judge how something will look from front on, so more sewing on of beads. And taking off of beads. It is hard to place beads on a vertical surface to look at from a distance. They have a tendancy to obey the laws of gravity.

As I stare some more, I think I might trim about two inches off the right hand side. The upper portion will be shortened once the quilted is done as well, which should give it a bit more balance. So, should I apolgize to those who are wallflowers, or those who aren't?

Sunday, March 11, 2007

Buenos Aires

Three of our tango group leave this week for Buenos Aires. I'm very happy for them, but I sure wish I could hide in their luggage, be their luggage, or carry their luggage. I think I'd make a good sherpa. I could guide them to shoe stores. Sit quietly at milongas with them. Sigh. To think no trip in November this year. I can't see waiting until next March, so I will have to go in October. Now to find a way to get permission from my boss. Ooh that could be tricky.

Tuesday, March 06, 2007

Fabric Choices

The completed hands:

I have this idea in mind for the next quilt. The background fabric needs to look like vintage wallpaper, specifically art nouveau or William Morris. I have seen exactly what I'm looking for. Sometime though, I get an image in my mind and because I've looked at so much it get clouded by what I've seen and what I want it to look like. I could create my own, but the amount of labour involved to paint the fabric would be more than I think I'm ready for yet. I also decided to try something larger than the journal quilt size for this as the scale would work better larger, so I can't just print an image onto fabric (the easiest thing to do).

So I went on line. When in doubt, research. Charles Rupert has a wonderful website with fabric and wallpaper from various designers and eras, including both William Morris and Art Nouveau. I looked at samples primarily from William Morris, then went shopping only to find that no where in town carried William Morris fabric, although I could order it. I went back to my favourite quilt store and found a "do-able" fabric, but still felt frustrated that it wasn't perfect.

So back on line with the intention of ordering something. This time, looking at the same web site, I checked the Art Nouveau fabric. Most are upholstery weight, so wouldn't work. One image struck me though. The flowers would be perfect for the little faces to peek out. It reminded me very much of a Liberty of London fabric. Wait a minute, those are flowers? I purchased some of that fabric last year for kaleidoscope quilts as the repeats are so great. I thought I had looked at it and rejected it. When I checked it again, I saw that although almost perfect for image, it is too small in scale. Note to self: do not go into a project with an exact idea in mind but a maleable one. That will allow me more options.

Kitchen Renovation

The first of the contractors came to look at the mess I call a kitchen. Right now, I have a twelve by twelve (roughly) space with less counter space than a bachelor pad. You would think changing things to make it servicable would be somewhat simple, however on one wall are two large windows lower than counter height. Original to the house—built in 1912—they would be costly to change. Add to that three doorways. I thought if we moved one doorway, it would allow us to move the stove into the kitchen from the back porch and add some counter. But as we looked, it became apparent this wouldn't work. The contractor and I discussed moving doors, changing this or that. He even at one point suggested loosing my closet—hello, like that would work! Tango clothes!

An hour and a half later, we had a workable plan. The original idea to move the doorway stays, but we will also have to change the entry to the stairs to the porch area. This will allow a wall to be created where the stairs presently are, stretching the kitchen about three feet. It will be a funky kitchen, but hey, it is a funky house.

Friday, March 02, 2007

The Hands

I've almost completed both the views of the Tango Hands and am not happy with either. The first idea with the three dimensional sleeve is definitely the best, but still not right. I'm not sure whether to just leave them both or be stubborn and finish them. In the old days, they would have gone into a UFO pile, but I would prefer to press through just for the satisfaction of saying they are done. I have an amazing idea for the next quilt and wasn't able to find fabric in town for the background. I need a William Morris print--or something similar--as it must look like old fashioned wall paper. And that is all I am going to tell you.


For any Tango Vita members, please read your latest newsletter carefully. Well worded, but too bad they don't see the irony when they say they refuse to support a business, but continue to allow both Rene and Lilliana to teach (both board members by the way). They refuse to support Cafe Casablanca, refuse to support Brent and Hedy, and refuse to support David and Diane. It is on the other hand perfectly acceptable to allow others to run a business under the umbrella of Tango Vita. Tango by the Sea would not have been held on a conflicting night if certain members were teaching that night.

Another point that must be made regards the Tango Vita web site. Teachers are supposed to have access to the web site. Last year, all the passwords were revoked. This includes the password for those in Port Townsend (who have nothing to do with the politics dividing our small community). James and Terri were given a new password when they complained. No one else was. This indicates that although Tango Vita claims to support its members, in reality it only supports a select group of members.

From an outsiders perspective (mine) it always came across as a vindictive move. I had no loyalty to Tango Vita at the start, only to tango itself, and to a group of friends, many of whom were also members of Tango Vita. As I refuse to choose that side, I am noticing that those "friends" will no longer dance with me or speak to me. As a result, I have finally become a member of Tango Vita. The question is, do you want "members that strongly support the existence of our Argentine Tango Association as it is now", or do you want to grow as an association, as friends and as a community?