Tuesday, November 20, 2018

The Square Deal and the Venice Canals

While the outer border is not as blue as I want, it seems to be done. There are enough extra blocks to make one or two toddler quilts. It seems silly to continue making "slightly better" blocks and I'm out of that light blue that looks so good to me. Time to sew it up.

The Square Deal quilt in progress: working on the outer border

Before the wildfires, business took DH to LA and I tagged along for fun. The first day was spent wandering through the Venice Canal neighborhood. Built in 1905 to mimic the waterways of its European namesake, it originally included gondoliers singing in Italian for the tourists. However, most of the canals were filled in by the 1920s (voted by the city but costs paid by the neighboring homeowners) to allow cars. The few remaining blocks were saved because there weren't enough houses to cover the costs of infilling.

No gondolas now. It's all privately owned with one narrow street paralleling the beach that allows autos. Only a block from the beach and so, so quiet.

Here are views of the canals and their bridges. I especially enjoy the variety of homes spanning the past hundred years.
Venice Canals, Venice Beach CA

A few detail shots. Look at the wavy panes in the windows. And the balcony railing would be a good quilt border. Most of the homes had a small yard in front that included a dining room. How lovely to eat al fresco daily. There must not be many mosquitos; no screens.

Details of the Venice Canals
There's a charming fountain in the lower right photo. Loved the casual design with upside down flower pot base and copper spigot mouth. It made such a relaxing sound, too.

History of the Venice Canals can be found on this website.

Sorry this post makes the area appear pristine and perfect. Venice is about 20 miles from Malibu where lives and property have been lost in the Woolsey Fire. The worst fire in California is the Camp fire near Paradise. So many people have lost everything. Photos of the devastation frighten me more than hurricanes. Absolutely nothing left.

Enjoy the day, Ann

28 comments:

  1. That is such a fun quilt! I am looking forward to see the next quilt using the leftover blocks from this one. The fires in CA have been awful. I saw on the news last night there are still over 900 people unaccounted for.

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    1. I am enjoying the time spent on this quilt.
      We’ve been through lots of disasters but these fires came up so rapidly. The devastation is shocking and recovery will take years. At least many of us in Houston were able to salvage a few things unlike these victims.

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  2. The quilt is looking great. It's got a lot of energy and joy. My son and his family live in Manhattan Beach, which is south of Malibu. When I visited in July we went to the Getty Center and saw the devastation in the hills there. One side of the highway was scorched brown, the other green(ish). That was the location of so many terrifying photos - flames surrounding the highway. The fires are so frightening. My heart breaks for those who have lost so much. Here in NH we have snow, but there is never a threat of losing your house because of it.

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    1. The fires terrify me. Nothing left for many people while others will never be found. Such a contrast with the beautiful lifestyle we saw on our visit. I’m glad your son is safe.

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  3. Your border looks lovely--funny how one gets hung up on a certain block looking better, isn't it?
    and then you run out of that special color or print...seems to go that way...anyhow--I think this is turning out lovely hugs, Julierose

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    1. I know my quilts improve when I run out of a color or fabric but this time I’m quite sad there’s no more. We become more creative when we work through this. Thanks for writing, Julie.

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  4. I was horrified when I first moved there in 1976, No screens, what shall I do? But there are no flying bugs at all in the beach communities near the water! Can you even imagine?

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    1. It is like a bit of heaven when you realize the mosquitos aren’t a problem. I still don’t understand why. What a blessing for them.

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  5. Your 'square deal' quilt is looking great! I love the little bits of that blue, they lead your/my eye nicely back to the centre focus. Very sad watching the news, frightening.

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    1. Thanks, Linda. I’ve always thought value much more important than color but this is a case where it needs both. It does move my eyes back to the center as you wrote. Just fits together better.

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  6. I love that border, the way the light and dark create depth. Sad sad California and it's citizens...

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    1. I agree, Lee Anna. Having blue in the center and outer border somehow creates a bit of depth/dimension with the darker inner border. Fun. Thanks for pointing that out.

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  7. Perfect quilt!! I've loved seeing your photographs in this post, the houses look beautiful. We see a lot on our news about the fires, unbelievable and so frightening to see the devastation.

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    1. This quilt is a treat to work on. Thanks, Maureen.
      Sometimes news reports show the same views of a tragedy but this one really is as broad and devastating as it seems. Such a rapid flare up and so many lives torn apart.

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  8. Lovely! I think you have enough of the blue blocks to do the job; my eye seems to scoot from blocks with blue backgrounds to blue Xs and back again. Venice looks like a fun place for explore. The fires are terrifying.

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    1. Thanks, Kaja. You may be right. I certainly don’t want every block blue but changing a few has made a big difference.
      Isn’t it a treat to find new places to explore. I enjoyed walking the neighborhood. And it is a very quiet residential area.

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  9. Lovely quilt top - and I agree, it is done. Here we have neighborhoods that look perfect like your photos and two streets away things are not so good. And the fires . . . horrific to say the least.

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    1. Thanks, Julie.
      Cities grow in such unique ways. Neighborhoods vary greatly. Sometimes it may be construction while other times it seems that the personality of the inhabitants makes the most difference.

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  10. Isn't it funny how sometimes we know that with just a few 'perfect' additions, our quilt could be that much the better. It looks pretty fabulous to me, but then, I'm usually in love with the great way that you play with color.:)

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    1. Thanks, Audrey. Changing a few blocks has greatly changed this quilt. I’d love to add appliqué like you do but this one doesn’t need any. It is just the colors.

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  11. Great progress on 'Square Deal'.
    You were not too far from where I am.
    Happy Thanksgiving!

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  12. I lived in Venice from 1970-1980 as a young college student and wife. At that time, Venice was decidedly down scale, and the canals, at least what was left of them, were in sad shape. How wonderful that they are coming back. One of my biggest regrets is that I didn't purchase a cottage there, but even back then they were pretty pricey.

    Oh, and I love your quilt, too. Keep on keeping on.

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    1. Many of us who were students then wish we could have afforded one of those places. I wasn’t in LA but the homes near my campus were lovely, relatively cheap but still out of my reach. Their prices rose faster than my income. Boo boo.

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  13. I've followed the progress of Square Deal with interest and admiration. It is such an intriguing design. There's a subdivision near here called Venetian Village. It began as a summer/weekend place (40 miles from downtown Chicago) in an area with many lakes. The 1920's developer envisioned transportation by canal. Instead the streets have Italian and Italian-ish names -- Cremona, San Remo, Granada (not Grenada!), and Isola. That latter always makes me think of Ed McBain's 87th Precinct detective stories. (His pseudonym for Manhattan was Isola.) Any way, Venetian Village, IL, is far, far humbler than Venice Beach, CA!

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    1. It's always interesting to learn about these quirky kinds of architecture and housing development. It would be hard to have Italian canals in Chicago winters. Perhaps they should have thought about Dutch canals. ;-)
      Do you think this was a "style" in the 1910-20s? Kind of like enormous bathrooms today...
      Thanks for sharing, Nann.

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  14. There is so much to love about your Square Deal quilt, Ann. Your mix of reds/corals/melons/roses of the half-triangle squares just sing! And I love how they meet in the middle to form a diamond shape. And the blocks around the edge add so much interest. The two blocks you chose are not ones I would have put together but gosh, they look great. I need to think about using several blocks in a quilt, medallion-style.

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    1. Medallion style often works well. When I make one like this, I tell myself to try it more often.
      Thanks for writing, Nancy.

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