Friday, December 18, 2015

Looking ahead.

There are still a couple of posts I would like to do about my trip to NZ and Australia, but as life is rushing on here, they may have to wait, still.
It's Christmas time - and the myth that that's a quiet and reclused time is still violently active in German culture. Except, of course, that myths rarely have any kind of connection to reality, and if you look around at the people 'enjoying' their quiet time you start wondering. I had sort of done away with clebrating Christmas before I met my husband, I had started booking a holiday on sunny Canary Islands from the last day of teaching until the last day of vacation, and used to leave it all behind. That made it easier to ignore the hassle and bustle before the event itself, too. Then of course I go and marry a man of the church - not a good combination to continue that kind of behavior!
So I am trying to work my way through Christmas get-togethers from various sports clubs, my son had a concert last weekend, the school put on an Advent Market - and they are having a number of tests scheduled just before vacation starts - and it's all the usual wild and crazy thing and I wonder what people really think Christmas is about anyway. But I'm not going to go into that here in any depth.
In between all those various things going on I am making plans for next year. I signed up for an online class with Jane Dunnewold, which will begin in January.
I have been trying to find out how much a train ticket to the Quilt Expo in Beaujolais would cost, where I am taking the exhibition of the group International Threads in April. That's not that easy as you might guess. First trip to the station, where you have to go if you want to buy an international ticket, as the computer does not do it: There is no station Beaujolais. So I went home, as I first needed to inquire the correct station from Monique. "Villefranche", she mailed, and even gave me a short description of how to get there via Lyon - well, there are several Villefranches in the computer, each with a very French addition such as 'sur le Loire' or something, and at first I could not get the computer to give me a connection via Lyon. Luckily I can still read maps, and have a wonderful atlas, and found out that the Villefranche which I considered to be the most likely suspect is on this side of Lyon, if you come from my place, so I need to go through Lyon. Of course, by the time I got to the train station to ask for the price, it was two minutes after their closing time for the day. I still don't know the price. But I am hoping that I will find out eventually.  (You can see a little Youtube video about International Threads in Maastricht here.)

I did work on a longarm commission, which was urgent as it was supposed to be a Christmas present.

I've tried to work out a pattern for the Parquet Pattern workshop which might be on my schedule for teaching next year. It's always seemed so very complicated, with 9 template pieces, which all had to be kept very much in order and orientation...

Looks nice, but some adjustments seem necessary,
as sewing itself is complicated enough!

Now I have figured out that a slight shift of the points might make all the difference - and hopefully will remove at least part of the orientation difficulties, and should reduce the number of templates at least by two.

It remains to be checked with a new set of templates.

I'm mindlessly working on a scrap quilt, which I have been planning to give myself another exercise piece for the longarm, and getting to be comfortable with the new sewing machine.

And in all this I have been very much holding back about getting too involved again with the refugees, though I have been up to visit and talk to them. One of the members of our network suggested we organize Christmas presents for them, too. But I did not bite on that. All the people in the house I have been working with are Muslims, so I don't really see a need to do that. I have got much better at drawing lines of what I won't do, that is quite a success, and was only possible after my trip!


  1. Good to have an update. And some how I am managing a quieter Christmas, though perhaps mostly because I am not expecting so much of myself. Also, the main church things will be finished this weekend...again I am restricting my involvement. And we are not going to York until the Monday following Christmas, so there is not the big journey/packing etc to prepare for at the same time as preparing a little taste of Christmas for us. We usually have gone up just after the Christmas day service or in later years on Boxing Day. So, I feel like we can just have a bit of food and laze around the house discovering things about our presents and ...dare I hope? Reading a book?

    Glad to hear you have been able to figure out priorities for dealing with the refugees. I agree with you on the Christmas presents. A few purchased sweets or something might be sufficient - or not!
    Happy Christmas!

  2. I got tired just reading your post - you must be exhausted!!

    Hope the festive season is enjoyable.

    Best wishes - Christine

  3. Seeing this in the newspaper this weekend ( I thought it might be a way of bringing some quiet to a little part of the Christmas whirl - it's called The Candle Game.

    "Every Christmas, Dad lines up a bunch of pound coins (one for every family member) and melts the bottom of a candle to each so that it stands upright. Once everyone is sitting down and paying attention, they are randomly assigned a coin and candle. All candles are then lit concurrently (or as close as is technically possible, given alcohol consumption) and we sit, in the dark, in silence, as the candles melt. No sneezing, laughing or tactical blowing is allowed. About 20 minutes later, only one player’s candle will not have burnt out and they are declared the winner. The prize, of course, is all the waxy pound coins."

    happy holidays, margaret

    1. What a wonderful contribution, Margaret, thank you! Of course, pound coins are slightly more sturdy than even 2-€-coins. And the bigger the family the better. But a great way to slow down, at least for the duration of the life span of a candle. Happy holidays!