Tuesday, January 12, 2016

Scrappy hibernation

Although that little burst of snow wwe had a few days ago was rather short-lived and the next one predicted  is taking a long time actually showing up, I seem to have gone into a bit of a hibernating stage.
I have been in the studio, doing things, but it’s been  (and felt) more like this.


I feel emotionally paralyzed from the awful things that happened during the celebrations in Cologne on New Year’s Eve, and even more so from the the frightful discussions that have been going on since. I’m afraid that Germany’s recent wave of welcoming towards migrants has completely dissipated into thin air, and I am feeling very uncomfortable with all the anti-tones that are suddenly appearing in many of the politician’s statements who had been rather moderate during the last few months. 
I am sewing together a Jacob’s Ladder top made from entirely my own hand-dyed fabrics which I want to display on the back of my stall when vending, to show more traditionally oriented quilters that hand-dyed fabrics work fantastically for traditional patterns. 

And, being the person I am, of course this is an ambitionally large piece, blanket size, so it’s taking time, as I am using pins, nothing rotary cut, but every single square and triangle was hand-drawn and cut with scissors, hoping to add interest to the design.

I’ve been trying out various lace knitting patterns from a couple of English/American knitting books because I want to develop a knit-along, translating these patterns into German, so I’ve been making samples to check out how understandable these patterns are. 

I’ve already decided on four or five patterns, discarded one (because it kept being short of one stitch regularly for no perceivable reason, and that did not seem a good omen), and am planning to launch the knit-along in May. Every three weeks participants will receive a pdf with the pattern, and it’ll be finished by Christmas. I hope to raise some money that way which I want to donate for organizations and projects that help children in need.

And I have done a bit of actually creative piecing, working on my next challenge for the International Threads, for which I am only about five months late. This one was supposed to include an embroidered square from the Afghanistan project of Pascale Goldenberg. But I did not want to turn too traditional about it, and had a long gestation period, until I finally had the idea of including the piece of tchador that I have had for a while. 

Since taking the picture I have actually started adding some hand-stitching, and I am also planning to put it on the longarm. After all, that machine is not only meant to do swirls on blankets, I want to use it in my own work, too.
Good that my order of new threads arrived today.

Perhaps hibernation is coming to a close and entering a really creative phase again.


  1. the Jacob's Ladder looks great! but I am puzzled by your comment that scissors-cutting will give a different look than rotary. how big are these squares? and if you want a freehand look, does scissors-cutting give you a different effect than freehand rotary cutting? (I know it takes longer, but does that count?)

    1. I think what I mean is when I am cutting the pieces individually, and then piece them individually, too, there is much more opportunity for variation than when using strip-cutting by rotary, which produces so many more similar pieces. It doesn't refer to the accuracy of sewing, more the scrappy look in terms of number of different fabrics that can be involved.

    2. that last word should have been 'included'!

  2. With all the work that you have don with the refugees, it is not surprising that you are feeling uncomfortable. I do hope that your creative endeavours will take way some of that unhappiness.