Sunday, September 16, 2018

Ste. Marie-aux-Mines, come and gone

For the tenth time, I think, I have just spent almost a week in Ste. Marie-aux-Mines at the European Patchwork Meeting, or Carrefour Européenne, as it is called now. At least seven or eight of these ten times I came in a row, and it feels like I reall know the place now. I see changes over the years, and I feel comfortable when things are like they used to be. For example the hospitality of Serge and Olga at the Taverne au Mineur, and the delicious food you can get there, right on the corner of the central square and close to the Vendors Hall. I keep finding new instances of Found Art, as I posted on my German Blog, and I know where to go to get to the exhibition places.
The SAQA-meeting was in a different spot this time, though, and that's how I got to see the swimming pool for the first time - we met in a room next to the pool, not in the pool proper...

The first heated pool in Alsace: pool in Ste. Marie-aux-Mines

I met new people, remet some whom I had met before, and I had the most interesting encounter with a couple from the States who started talking to me while I was stewarding the Wide Horizons VI exhibition. They started telling me about Karlsruhe, and I said I had grown up there, and they asked for a specific part of town which they pronounced absolutely correctly, thus showing that they must know this place pretty well, and it was exactly the part of town I grew up in. So I said that I had grown up there, oh where, in one of the highrises, yes, in one of the highrises, and in which one, what house number... It turned out they had lived in the same house as my family moved into, on the 2nd floor, while we lived on the 9th, and we had coincided for almost 2 years there. What a meeting! I will have to ask my parents whether they remember these Americans, or their cat, which they claimed would be the only remarkable thing about them that the neighbors would remember.

I went through the exhibitions pretty systematically, was impressed with some, really liked some pieces very much, and felt a bit over-quilted by Saturday. So Barbara and I skipped half a day of the show and went to the flea market in Sélestat, where I was thrilled to see this little kid enjoying a puddle. That reminded me a lot of my son when he was little.

I saw many many quilts, and I felt inspired by a number of them, in a way it would be great to be sitting down at a sewing machine right now, but I am still in Ste. Marie and will only go back tomorrow. But I do hope to take some of the urge to create back with me, although some things will change and it will be much more difficult to find time to sit down and sew in the next few months.
So before taking down the Wide Horizons VI together with Paolo and Paola Zanda, I took a selfie in front of my quilt that will be traveling for a year now. To remind me of the people I tried to commemorate with it, and the fact that their lives were cut short - and that it is necessary to make as much of one's own as is possible.

Mediterranean Blood Count, 2017.

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