Saturday, October 1, 2022

In the middle of hanging the exhibition

 Today things got serious. After a quick trip to the market where I saw live proof that mushroom season is going strong now (people here get completely wild about picking mushrooms out in the woods, I myself have always been rather reluctant to eat any like that, especially after the Chernobyl accident)

I bought a few more curtain rods that I am using for hanging quilts, and then bundled the listed ones up, rather unceremoniously, I am afraid.

I confess - I didn't feel like doing this exhibition at all! I am tired after the work week, I was a bit hesitant about the location, and basically I had agreed to do it because I was offered the slot in the museum's exhibition schedule, and this will be a 'first time' art exhibition in the local history museum. That's an honour you don't turn down, especially not since I did receive the city's Culture Prize a couple of years ago. But. Andrea Soller from the town hall has been extremely helpful and active and has made it a lovely experience so far. The city bought new display walls, with lighting. They printed a lovely poster

and invitation cards and flyers, she has made the name tags for the quilts and just couldn't have been kinder in any way.

And when I went into the museum this afternoon I was surprised. Because I could tell immediately that this room has a lot more potential when you can see it 'bare' of other things.

So my husband and I set about and have come approximately half way through the process. The glass cases come with a bit of tricky issue as there are no hooks to hang into the vertical rods which usually hold shelf boards. Despite my well-prepared plan it is taking a little bit of time. "So this is what the big fuss about hanging is all about?" was my husband's question at some point. When he asks things like that it's never easy to tell whether he is pulling your leg or being really sarcastic with a bit of a nasty tone, and then it's best to simply ignore what he said. I simply said "Yes, and we are doing very well here," and let him hold something. He was a big help, though, it would have been very unpleasant to do this without additional hands, or somebody to step back and tell whether the quilt is indeed straight in the horizontal.

Here are a few pictures of how far we have come.

To be continued (and hopefully finished completely) tomorrow. And I am very, very happy with how it looks so far. I was impressed at the atmosphere of the room which has changed completely from how it used to be when I went in for the various history exhibitions I have seen there. I am actually excited about it now.

The opening is next Saturday, at 10.30 a.m. You are cordially invited!

Friday, September 30, 2022

On Quiltkarussel Podcast

Ten days ago I was guest of Emanuela Jeske in her German language podcast on quilting, patchwork and sewing. We had recorded the session a week in advance. We had first been in touch when the SAQA Europe/Middle East "Orient Express" started rolling through Europe, and the group had thought it would be nice to have a feature there, but that didn't work out for various reasons. Emanuela and I had been writing back and forth, and at some point she suggested that the two of us do that particular episode together. Which I reclined because I was not one of the people who had been overly active in the organisational matters of the Orient Express. But as my exhibition is coming up now I had agreed that we do a session on that occasion. Here is the link to the episode, as I said, in German only, sorry to non-German-speakers:

It was fun to talk to Emanuela, whom I had met briefly in person in May at the Guild's Patchworktage in Meiningen. We had not agreed on any topics beforehand, and I was simply answering her questions on the spot. Which worked well, and I think it was much more natural than if we had pre-arranged any topics.

 Tomorrow I will start hanging the exhibition and have just gone through my list of "do I have enough rods to hang them all"? 


Of course I don't, but shops are open on Saturday mornings, so I can still get some. And it will be another entire week before the opening, so if something is still missing, there will be time to get it.

Actually, I would have really liked to show the quilt that is currently the header for the blog, "Everyone has the right", which has just been on display at Birmingham with SAQA's Forced to Flee. But it hasn't returned yet and Bill Reker had not been too optimistic that the turnover of the exhibition coming back from UK to SAQA shipping centre would be fast enough to get it back to me before the exhibition opens. Well, there is still another week.

Tuesday, September 20, 2022

Teaching, sort of.

 On the day that the pool closed, and while I was on my way home from work to go to the pool for one last joyous swim of the season, my new car was hit by a guy pulling out of a parking spot on the central square in town. Looks like not a lot of damage, but the cost is going to be close to what we paid as downpayment for the leasing contract. Was I glad that we have booked full coverage. Trying not to think about it, nor fret, after all it is only material damage. But he didn't look when pulling back, trusted his beeper - "It didn't beep!", his words, I mean, how incompetent can you be? 

When I came back from the dealer to have the damage assessed I passed this cornfield, and the glittering of the sun on the dewdrops in the spider web caught my eye. Might as well stop along the road for this little precious moment!


After that I cashed in on the final part of my bargaining capital when I changed jobs, I went on a four-day spree to ‘teach’ a workshop at the Petersberg Catholic Community College where I have been going for many years now. (Normally, new beginners on the job don’t get vacation time during the first six months of employment, but as I said that otherwise I wouldn’t start until later, if at all, if I could not fulfill this commitment, I was granted that span of four free days.)

As always, lots of room for the participants, long hours of
sewing, and we don't have to do any chores, we can sit down for meals,
the only thing we have to do is put the dirty dishes on a little cart
so they can be brought back into the kitchen...


The group that attends this workshop at Petersberg has pretty much developed into an experienced patchwork group of its own, they don’t exactly need my teaching expertise anymore. 

Several years in the making, now finally finished -
a quilt by the youngest participant, who had started this when she was 15.


It’s mostly the same people, with little alterations, but they keep coming back and enjoying themselves in the wonderful setting and fortuitous conditions on site. And this time we took the liberty to call the ‘workshop’ a UFO-session. 


Definitely a UFO, it had been at Petersberg at least three
times before it finally got its binding this time around.

The gathering always needs a title because it gets published in the annual catalogue which lists all the classes being offered at the community college, but except for the fact that I could offer little suggestions or pieces of advice every once in a while I didn’t have to teach as such. 

Last year I had shown the pattern of "Burgoyne Surrounded", on which I
did a series of designs for the members of the German Patchwork Guild
on the website, and Iris had actually turned it into a quilt.
Inspired it its colors, she says, by a visit to Finland in winter.

And Iris then proceeded to cut up lots of old jeans from her
extended family and turned them into a finished quilt in no time at all, no UFO alarm here!

 It was noticeable that this time around they were very chat-oriented, more so than usual. But isn't it understandable? The first time without masks when leaving the table, conditions that seemed almost normal (while the prognoses are again dire for the winter season).

Lovely days of leisurely sewing amongst a group of nice like-minded people! I got to finish my piece for 20 Perspectives challenge that will be revealed tonight/tomorrow.


Sunday, September 4, 2022

Seven weeks lost.

 We have been living in this small town for just over 17 years now. From the very beginning I knew that the open air pool is THE highlight of the town. (By now I know it is the only highlight, but...) When we moved here, my son was 11 weeks old and I would take him in the baby carriage, park him on the side of the pool, with enough distance, and swim for a while, look out whether his feet were still appearing every once in a while when I was on a turn. After a few weeks that life guard would do a little baby sitting if I happened to be there with only few visitors. Ever since I have made it a point to take my first plunge on the first day of opening, usually during the first days of May), and go as frequently as possible. Definitely when it is raining, because then I will have the pool to myself.

This year I was off to a good start, had gone frequently and was in pretty good swimming shape, but when I caught the virus that stopped, of course. Couldn't go while I was still tested positive, and couldn't go afterwards because I was too weak. When I went back to work I just could not muster any energy in the evenings to dive in. After we returned from vacation it took me a couple of days to get back into a bit of a routine with driving to work, running all the errands that needed taking care of, but now I have gone back to the pool. Of course, by now the season is almost over. I started back middle of this past week, but they will close a week earlier this year than usually because of some renovations. So in the end I probably won't have had the full worth of my season's pass, as I missed out on seven weeks of swimming.  That is a big disappointment. But I am trying to console myself by telling me I should be happy that I am swimming again without any respiratory problems or other post-Covid symptoms as you hear from so many people.

So when I have time I am working on the 'Nature' prompt for 20 Perspectives.

I have cut up a piece of hand-printed fabric that was never much of a success, but that is fitting in perfectly for the arrangement here.

And I am planning where to hang which quilt in my upcoming exhibition. Two days ago I received the floor plan. In the end I think I will be able to hang more quilts than I calculated, but because of the location it might not be very orderly. I have to make do with whatever width of hanging space available in sometimes odd places, and it might be a bit of a jumble. I have decided to not be bothered by this.

It is a solo exhibition in a museum.

Sunday, August 28, 2022

Before going home

During our vacation on Fuerteventura, after that first, slightly clumsy attempt at posting from the tablet, I had taken some pictures with the tablet camera - because despite the fact that I called it a technological revolution in my life, it has not been connected to my Cloud - and wanted to post once more 'before going home' (hence the title of this post). Of course, relaxing, beach walking, swimming in the Atlantic facing Africa, eating with a view take so much time that posting somehow kept slipping to the back of the list, and we were home before I got around to it, although I had actually started the post with the title and uploaded some pictures. 

So here they come.

The evenings were a special time for the guys, who watched
quite a bit of the European Championships that were taking
place in several locations all over Europe, track and field in
the wonderful Olympic stadium from 1972 (where my husband
and I had gone to see the European Track and Fiel Championships
20 years ago, and loved it).


One of the 'corners' where I walked every day, and when the
tide was up we would be watching surfers.

While the guys were watching TV, I sat there handstitching my
comparative temperature quilt of my birth year and the year 2020.
I got almost 4 months completed.

Lots of cacti around, and this one was just starting to bloom.

I took my son 'shopping' one day, and when we finished off with
some ice cream I saw this colorful display of sunglasses in the store next door.

a picture of my 'studio' in our living room.

Right after dinner the guys would go and play a couple of rounds of
chess. My husband was surprised to find that the Junior has acquired quite
a competence at this through computer programs. He didn't stand
much of a chance.

To be honest, I would have loved to stay there. But here we are back, and I have gone back to work, finally facing an uninterrepted stretch of working weeks. With covid right after the beginning, and this vacation that I had been able to negotiate because we had booked and paid for it before I decided to change jobs, it has been a bit of a bumpy start. But so far I like it and think it will be a good working environment, in general.

Saturday, August 13, 2022

Vacation time

 My family is spending 2 weeks on Fuerteventura, one of the Canary islands.

I have been here before, but it is the first time for my  It's cooler here than in Germany right now. The beach is lovely. The water has perfect swimming temperature.
  It is very relaxing.

I was excited about the possibility  to see the Supermoon, but on the night of the full  moon it was a bit cloudy on the horizon. So this picture from the evening before must suffice, it's pretty impressive as such, I think.

I have seen my first pomegranate tree today.

And I saw gorgeous displays of fish in the supermarket yesterday, 

which almost made me want we were staying in an apartment where we could do our own cooking. But only almost, I am quite happy I don't have to cook. Tonight's paella at the restaurant was delicious!

I brought my temperature quilt for handstitching, narrowed down to 4 months.

And I am making progress.

But posting via the tablet is rather tedious... this is not going to be a long post!

Saturday, July 30, 2022

SAQA Benefit Auction time coming up.

As every year during the past 12 years I have donated a 12x12” (30 by 30 cm) quilt for the SAQA Benefit Auction. 

For a while I wasn’t sure, didn’t have much of an idea. But with the history of a dozen continuous contributions it is simply not possible to take a gap year. (Nobody said so, but expectations to oneself...)  Because of the lack of ideas thought I might just send in a piece I had made during the early days of the pandemic, working towards a topic as given by the monthly challenges for the SAQA Europe/Middle East group. I had started full of enthusiasm to participate in those challenges, then the work that needed to be done for the completion of the nursing course took over, my disorientation over Covid could not be overcome by participating in such challenges, and I petered out. I only made this one piece towards the challenges, and I didn’t even post it on the appropriate facebook page, I think. It’s called ‘Home’, and it is a graphical arrangement of the letters that make up the word in English, abstracted, from the outside to the inside. 


"text messages - Home"

But somehow I wasn’t satisfied with sending this one as a contribution to the auction and kept putting it off.

Only a couple of weeks before the deadline for signing up a piece to be auctioned, and, more importantly, for sending it, I finally had another idea. I had been collecting some of the plastic debris I was dealing with while I was working in the OR. I know I can’t save the world by not throwing away these plastic seals for the containers of operating instruments, because there is just too much. I figured I would eventually know how to put them to use, even though it isn’t exactly easy to find a sensible use for these. 


Add to these the plastic clips from Covid protective masks that have been accumulating…


And a piece of self-printed fabric that was lying around and waiting to be cut up.


The idea arose from the multi-faceted conglomerat of the political situation in Ukraine/Russia, weapon shipments, lack of a sensible solution and my growing frustration and hopelessness about it all. Although of course the effects on the people are everything but, the whole thing seems just like a game of tic-tac-toe, undecided, and who is going where? 


I put this feeling into a quilt. The game is completely open at this stage. We don’t know who is next… and we don’t know who will win. 

"Who wins in the end?"
I suppose this one would qualify as another of my text message series,
but I still haven't figured out the number I am at right now...


By now I have heard from Martha Sielman that my piece has arrived and will be up for auction in September. You can view all the pieces submitted here

A slightly easier way to see them is here.

The auction will be online from September 9 through October 2.