Friday, January 27, 2023

It’s a Small World

When I was eight years old my family spent eight months in the United States, and towards the end we all boarded a huge white station wagon, toured the Southwest, and ended up in Los Angeles. With three kids in tow who had been taken hiking the canyons, visiting pueblos and various National Parks, a visit to Disneyland was part of the program before we were scheduled to fly home. (It wasn’t as big then as it is now, from what I gather from the website.) 


And I LOVED the pavilion ‘It's a Small World’, 


and sang the song for years afterwards (we had bought the illustrated book with a blue plastic record). My parents must have suffered....

Just before this past Christmas I realized that I had never heard from SAQA during the Benefit Auction about my donated piece. I checked the SAQA store, and sure enough, there it was, my piece ‘Who Wins in the End?’ still waiting for a buyer.


I thought that 2022 might be the first time in all my years of SAQA membership and benefit auction donations that my piece might not find a new home. Kind of frustrating that was, indeed. But only a couple of days later I did receive the message that it had been sold after all – I wrote back to receive the contact information for the buyer – waited for a reply – then finally received the information and sent a thank-you message a few days later. I wrote in English although the first name looked to me like a German spelling.

I thanked her for buying it, and that I was happy it had found a new home in California, because I had spent time in Santa Barbara, and this gave me a new feeling of connection to the state. And a couple of minutes later I received an answer in German. She was thrilled to not only have a quilt of mine now, but a personal mail as well. And she told me that we were ‘connected’ in another way already - she had been told about me from the buyer of her parents’ house in northern Germany, for whom I had quilted a special quilt at some point (when I was still selling fabrics and trying to start being a commercial longarm quilter). That house, where he now lives, is not too far away from the town where my grandparents lived for many years and where I spent my childhood summers. It’s a small world after all.

And about time to think about the next Benefit Auction piece.There's a tradition to uphold by now.

Saturday, January 21, 2023

A sort of planned post from almost long ago: 'Exhibition is on'.

The yeat is 2023, and although Life 1.0 took a precedence over creativity for a while and about 1/17th of the year is over, i.e. we are already facing the next Christmas again... I still want to publish that post I had written about my exhibition in October. This is how far I had got, and I will not correct or add or alter anything just now:

 Saturday was the big day, the opening started at 10.30 a.m. I was touched by how many people came. The mayor was there and gave a speech, making it her personal matter to celebrate that two recipients of the city's 'Culture Prize' - the museum and I - had teamed up together like this. 

Here is my husband talking to the mayor.

A lot of interested people came, some friends, and it was a friendly and open atmosphere.


As I said - I won't alter or add... although it is by far not as developed as I had thought it was... I will just go on with life!

Because now two quilts that were shown in that exhibition have exciting things happening to them. 

One quilt has found a new home, and the new owner is so excited to have it displayed above the sofa in her living room.

Shapes 20 in its new location

And the other one has just been juried into the German Patchwork Gilde's prestigious exhibition "Tradition bis Moderne" and will be traveling to at least 8 different venues throughout the next two years, including a stop at EPM in Ste. Marie-aux-Mines in September.

Mellowed Yellow

I had entered two quilts to be juried, and this one was my 'I hope this one gets in!', so I am very happy about this success. Sewing these scraps grounded me during the first Corona lockdowns, while I was listening to 'Pale Rider', and now it has turned into a successful entry, it was a good start to the year.

Friday, December 23, 2022

Merry Christmas

 By now we have received a whole load of Christmas cards. And I usually just enjoy them, am grateful for people thinking of us, even though it would be nice to hear from some of them more often throughout the years as well. But this year I realized that two cards touched me more deeply than others. One came from a small local organisation called "Helping Sick Children" (Kranken Kindern Helfen) which runs a school for sick children in the children's hospital in Landshut. We are members in that organisation, although we haven't really done more than being paying members. Obviously the card was made by one of the children in that school.

The other card came from far away - the one letter I receive per year with stamps from Rwanda.

It was sent by Doctor Alfred Jahn, who used to be the Children's Hospital Director in Landshut and is now operating children in Rwanda who suffer from palatine cleft at birth, an organization I donated the money to when I tried my hands at hosting a knit-along several years ago. I have repeatedly donated smaller amounts of money to this organization, always grateful that my child was born healthy, and that we live in an area where universal healthcare and pretty good medical support is readily available. Through my Senegales friends I have learned close on what that means, when a sickness of a child (or an adult) that needs to be treated in hospital can be a life-threatening situation simply because the expenses cannot be paid, and yet treatment would be relatively easily possible. Somehow it all ties together. Recently I listened to an episode of the UNHCR podcast "Awake at night", where Chris Mburu tells about his life, and how it changed when a Swedish woman decided to support him through school in Kenia, although they had never met. This episode had me in tears - while driving to and from work - because it made me feel that my engagement for my Senegalese friends who have come here and were facing the terrible difficulties of German ways of dealing with illegal immigrants was a bit like that. I managed to have a bit of a positive impact on their lives, and there are still ways I can help. Which is wonderful. I received beautiful presents from my special protegee's relatives in Senegal when he went to visit in November, and it was wonderful to feel their gratefulness. Even if it made me a bit ashamed - it is relatively little money compared to what we have and spend. And it means all the difference in the world for them. So although I had to withdraw from my intensive involvement in refugee work to protect my own health, there are still ways I can, and do, and will continue to help. Which is a wonderful feeling.

Merry Christmas, everyone!

Sunday, December 18, 2022

Snow-driven burst of creativity


We have snow on the ground. It would be enough for snow-dyeing. And I wouldn’t even have to negotiate with my son as to who gets which piece of the grounds because he is not interested in shoveling snow anymore. But I don’t have any pfd fabric in the house, haven’t prepared anything. It was interesting that several people approached me during these past few months whether I might take dyeing fabric for selling up again, and I was almost tempted to order a shipment. But there is really not a whole lot of time left besides working full time, and the temptation wasn’t quite strong enough.

Yesterday was very crisp and clear and cold, too, and on a drive to the next village where I dropped something off I got out of the car a couple of times to take some pictures. 


And in addition to that crispness, which made my creative juices flow I also saws Sidnee Snell’s post on Instagram of a quilt she had shown at the last zoom session of our 20 Perspectives group, and that got me really inspired. So I have been working on my piece for the upcoming challenge. I am not going to talk about it in detail here, just show a few pictures. 

I had the idea to repurpose one of the two sketches I contributed to the Patchwork Gilde @b.lange.patchwork ’s challenge for rendering swear words in textile form for the next magazine on the topic ‘150’. Before the pandemic I had bought this piece of fabric with prints of Frida Kahlo, 


and I took one head to turn her into a ‘Heulsuse’ (cry baby). 


I really liked the back view of it before I added the tears, but alas, that's gone now.

Now I am adding on to that piece, and it will make a nice detail of the finished quilt which is due by the end of February. I am using some of her features for special effects, too.


I decided to put the features into separate six-point-diamond arrangements, though.


 On the side, I am still working on my advent calendar spinning, I am up to date!

And yesterday I decided how to proceed with one knitting project where I will be running out of one kind of yarn eventually. I am changing colors in the lower part of the sleeves, and will do so in the bodice as well.


A good day, on the creative side.

By the way, the chicken don’t like the snow, they are staying in the area under the cover where there is still bare ground.