Saturday, August 25, 2012

Festival of Quilts, a few days later

In the days since I returned from Birmingham I have been trying to find the right balance to finish what needs to be finished in those last remaining (not quite) three weeks before Ste. Marie-aux-Mines, and at the same time to pay proper attention to my son, who is on school holidays and slightly amiss with himself without a school schedule. That’s not always easy. We’ve been to the pool a lot – but unfortunately it’s been hot, and lots of other people had the same idea. I used to be a competitive swimmer a long time ago, which has spoiled me in terms of being used to swimming in a divided lane, perfectly willing to share the lane with others who do their lap circles. But I have a lot of problems when I have to try to weave my way through lots of occasional sunny day swimmers who refuse to share (or give up) the lane they have conquered with any swimmer who actually puts her head in the water when swimming. So when the pool is crowded I don’t even go in, but do a little bit of aqua-gymnastics in a corner, or go and join my son on the slides. Personally, I go to the pool when the weather is bad, then I can be sure to find room for decent swimming.
But my son has also discovered the Asterix-comic strip which I used to read when I was younger, and he has been captured by a few other books as well, so I have had stretches of time when I could actually sit down and work during the day. So while I sat there stitching away on the two last remaining quilts for Ste. Marie, I had time to go back to the days at Birmingham.

On the finishing straight: Play of Lines XXIX
After many years of visiting quilt shows I am always amazed at how many people take sooo many pictures of quilts at these shows. I do wonder how many of them ever look at these pictures again. I admit that in my first one or two years of visiting quilt exhibits I took a number of photos, too (and that was before I went digital!) However, I very quickly realized that I never looked at those photos again afterwards, but that handwritten notes about a certain technique or special detail were much more likely to call my attention again later on. So I take only very few pictures, and in the evening it is a bit like a discovery tour, “now, which quilt did I actually take a picture of?” That hasn’t even changed much with blogging – I don’t take many pictures at quilt shows.
Interestingly enough the Birmingham system of showing the quilts with only a number and their title forced you to look up the maker’s name in the catalogue, and I had several instances where the quilts that caught my attention for whatever reason happened to have been made by people I knew personally.

Ita Ziv, Windows (6)

Judith Maggi-Fritschi, Cabin Fever

Mag Ramsay,
Rules the Waves
Admittedly, with Ita I recognized her style because I had seen her work in an exhibition in Munich a couple of years ago, and had met her there. And as I saw MagRamsay’s name when searching for the maker of her quilt in the catalogue, I did remember having seen the pictures on her blog a bit earlier, though I had not recognized the quilt as „one that I must’ve seen before“. I then finally met Mag Ramsay in person at the SAQA booth and over a cup of tea, which brings me to the next topic in my musings about what struck me about Birmingham. I really enjoyed meeting so many nice, interesting, friendly and open people. Having dinner and breakfast with Maggie Farmer gave me a number of insights into aspects of the English that I would never have acquired without her (Thank you for the entertaining time we spent together, Maggie!) I really appreciated meeting the women from Israel, and talking to Aina Muze  and Elina Lusis-Grinberga  from Latvia, and Jana Sterbova of the PraguePatchwork Meeting was enlightening and pleasant.
I have joined the Quilter’s Guild of the British Islesand signed up for their Contemporary group, hoping that that will also help me meet new people and stay in touch with the world.
I was very much impressed with the solo exhibitions, and think it is quite justified to plan for at least two full days if one wants to have enough leisure to look around. I did not manage to see everything that I would have liked to see, but then there is always only so much you can do in three days, including workshop participation and several lectures...
What left me almost untouched were the vendors. I have virtually stopped buying fabrics since I began dyeing my own – except for Balis. When Maggie Farmer produced one of her special finds I could not help but had her show me where she got it and bought a meter of it myself. The spontaneous idea for a quilt is now brewing. 

And I did buy a piece of African fabric at the African fabric shopI steadfastly passed by any stand that sold buttons. But I caved in with Oliver Twist’s hand-dyed threads and yarns:

This will give me a chance to emplow my new wool winder. Perhaps I can interest my son in doing the job for me. Might keep him busy for at least a little while...

1 comment:

  1. Welcome to CQ, Uta - I hope you won't be shy about joining in the discussions on the yahoogroup!