Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Portland's Bridges... 
A Modern Interpretation

WestSide Modern met last Wednesday at The Pine Needle for a big announcement.

We have been challenged to design and create 
a modern quilt inspired by one of the bridges 
over the Willamette River. 
“Portland’s Bridges – A Modern Interpretation” 
will be showcased at the NW Quilting Expo 
in September of 2014.  
We have over a year to make our quilt.

Portland is a very special place … 

known for great food, roses, beer and coffee enthusiasm, “Keep Portland Weird”, home of Grimm … and sits at the confluence of the Willamette and Columbia Rivers. 

Portland is known as “Bridgetown” due to the number of bridges that cross its two rivers. There are eight bridges entering downtown and the immediate areas.

We each cross bridges, but how often do we we really look at them and appreciate them? Each bridge has its own personality.  

Bridges are metaphors for life. 
Bridges connect us, one to another. 
Like quilts, bridges are made up of many parts, the support structure, the span, and the foundation. Without one part, the others would not stand.  The bridges of Portland connect us to make a whole community, just as quilters connect fabrics to make a quilt.  Bridges take us places.  Bridges allow us to communicate.  Bridges keep us from being isolated.  We cross bridges when we face new challenges in our lives.

Sharon Wood Wortman was our guest speaker for the evening.  Sharon, locally known as “the bridge lady” has a devoted passion for bridges.  She has led bridge walks for 20 years for more than 20,000 people of all ages - for school groups and Portland Parks and Rec.  

She and her husband Ed Wortman authored The Portland Bridge Book, first published in 1989 and currently in its 3rd edition published in 2006.  She is working on The Big and Awesome Bridges of Portland and Vancouver, a 150-page, full color, hardbound book. Copies will be donated to Portland Public Schools and to Vancouver elementary school libraries.

For those participating in the Portland's Bridges Challenge, we will arrange a tour with Sharon!  

Sharon shared lots of fun and interesting facts about bridges and  invited us to listen to what inspires us about bridges.  It could be the structure, a gear, a support, or even the elevations of what is under the bridges.  

Did you know that there are Peregrine falcons on 11 bridges in the Portland Metro area?

There is much to learn about bridges.  We invite you to not be afraid of this quilt challenge, but to embrace the challenge of being taken to a new place in your quilting.  

The fear of bridges is called “Gephyrophobia.”  Do not succumb to gephyrophobia!

Pam shared these bridge book resources:

The Portland Bridge Book by Sharon Wood Wortman
"The Portland Bridge Book, 3rd ed." by Sharon Wood Wortman
available at Powell's Books

"The Portland Bridge Book, 1989 ed" by Sharon Wood Wortman
available at Powell's Books
This edition has no photographs;
 instead, there are lovely, inspiring sketches and drawings by Jay Dee Alley.

"Bridges of Portland" by Ray Bottenberg
available at Powell's Books
This book covers the history of each bridge with many black and white photos. 
There are quite a few construction photos that I find fascinating.

"Quilting Modern" by Jacquie Gering and Katie Pedersen
Jackie and Katie are inspired by urban architecture in their quilts.

After the Bridge challenge, we had show and tell and learned more about ikats.

Here are some quilts from show and tell.  
I will share ikat information in a future blog. 
Be watching for our Summer Catalogue!

Be sure to come to our next meeting on May 29th at The Pine Needle 
to learn more about this fun new challenge and how you can participate.

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