Friday, February 28, 2014

High Noon

15 - Nordic Walking in the woods

16 - no picture taken. I had dropped my brand-new camera on the afternoon of the 15th, the lense was jammed, and I was too frustrated to think of taking my old camera to take a picture for High Noon

17 - at my Spanish teacher's
(the jammed lense had been fixed through manual therapy)

18 - the local river, a little bit upstream from our place

19 - returning deposit bottles

20 - fishermen at the river

21 - backview of the local café

22 - preparing lunch

23 - wooden building blocks, as usual not put away after having been used

24 - at my Spanish teacher's

25 - serious signs of spring

26 - taking books back to the library

27 - local dumpster

28 - this year's tree's shadow

Saturday, February 22, 2014

Bindings, bindings, bindings

I have already finished a number of quilts this year. Shapes 10 is on display in my exhibition in Freiburg already, and  Ultraviolet, or the radiation off S. Impey is on its way to the organizers of the Radiation exhibition. But Shapes 11, 12 and 13 are still lacking their binding.

I think I want all three of  them to be the exact same size – that was the original plan at least. Just yesterday, however, I wondered whether I should make each of them their individual size, whatever the piece allows for? The red one is the narrowest, because that is all there was of the fabric. Both the blue and the yellow are wider right now – and they need not necessarily be the same width. Now I don’t know what I want to do. Those are the situations that I hate about living so far apart from other quilters whom I could easily ask for their opinion. I can always ask my supporting quilter husband, of course, but with some of these decisions he is anything but comfortable, and to be honest – with some of them I don’t trust his judgement. Although he is almost always right when he says “why don’t you turn it around by 90 degrees?”

So when I finished piecing and quilting Shapes 14 this week I forbade myself to roll it up and put it away “for future use” until it has a complete and finished binding. It’s not that I don’t like doing the bindings – except when I have several waiting in a row. It just happens that I already have the next idea looming in my head, wanting to get out and onto the wall, then the binding job gets put aside, and again I get myself into the situation that I have several waiting for me... Completely my own fault, yes.
However, while I am doing bindings, something else might sneak in, too. For example, I have lots of cut-out sort-of circles pinned to my wall from making Shapes 10 through 13. Couldn’t throw them out, waiting for an idea what to do with them.

Only a part of the cut-out circles on my wall

This one uses circles from Shapes 7, 8, and 9 and could have turned into my donation for the SAQA benefit auction. That was the original idea last night, just before falling asleep, second attempt at meeting the “Early Bird” Deadline (read about the first attempt here).

But as it turns out this one is taking on a life of its own again. While waiting for the iron to heat up at various stages of the binding for Shapes 14 (yes – my new iron is so evironmentally friendly that it shuts itself off so quickly when not being used that it makes absolutely no sense leaving it on when I know I won’t use it for even only slightly more than 2 minutes) I put the original idea up on the wall.
Then I wanted a background, and discarded the idea ‘black’ for ‘blue’.

Went for the blue, and decided to iron the background fabric. Then I thought it might look interesting with a square arrangement of the cut out circles in an off-center position, and tried various positions across the blue fabric.

The positions vary very slightly, but it does make quite a difference in the appearance. Then I counted the whole stack of the circles that I have, tried an arrangement of 7 by 7 circles, and finally arrived at 6 by 6, going back to the idea of a square overall.

6 by 6 - the colours in the upper left hand
corner are not quite as light as in the picture

Guess what? It hasn’t been sewn yet, but it will be bigger than 12 inches. Yet again it will fit in nicely with the five pieces 40 by 40 cm I have to make for Alfeld in October as number four of those. Nothing lost – but will I be amongst the Early Birds for the SAQA donation?

Meanwhile,the binding for Shapes 14 is finished except for stitching the tunnel to the back. 

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Knitting needle storage, budget version

A few weeks ago Rachel Biel’s comment link to the Jan-29 entry on Shetland textiles history on TAFA-group on facebook pointed me to this wonderful blog by knitting designer  Kate Davies.  As knitting has been featuring more prominently in my life again lately as a pastime for using my hand without having to think too much about design and composition, because the stitches somehow happen naturally, I bookmarked Kate's blog and get the newsfeed on my blogger account now. Browsing back a little I discovered this post on how Kate reorganized herknitting needle storage
That reminded me of my knitting needle storage, which at that point looked like this:

An assortment of unassorted needle sizes, stitch samples, measuring guides...

Which already is a huge improvement over how it used to look over years, when I still held on to the long needle pairs – which I never used anymore, because it felt much too strenuous on hands and wrists when handling those. I always use circular needles, no matter whether I am knitting rows or rounds, or the double ended set of five needles for socks. So when I finally got rid of the pairs I managed to downsize to this little box, but still was always searching for the right size of needles. And, as I never closed the cover, it was accumulating dust.

Kate’s idea of using a pouch for fishing gear seemed tempting – but I was hesitant for two reasons: first I did not want to spend the amount Kate mentioned on her blog, and secondly I did not want to go into the fishers’ shop here, as the whole town would probably be talking about it the next day, and no trip to a larger town with more anonymous options in sight... But I was doing an order of office supplies, leafed through the catalogue, and found another option: a number of zip-lock bags, which I tied together, and stored in a see-through zipper pouch. One bag for the crochet needles at the top, then the measuring guides, and then follow the bags for sizes of knitting needles, starting at 2 mm, up to 6 mm, sometimes two bags per size, sometimes only one.

A new sense of order is entering my knitting life!

Serves the purpose fully. The challenge is, of course, to return needles to their respective little bags when a piece is finished...

The stitch samples went into the second pouch out of the set of three that I ordered, for sentimental sake only. 

Friday, February 14, 2014

High Noon

1 - a decaying leaf

2 - Bavarian "Wirtshaus"

3 - Spanish lesson

4 - bright day
5 - basket full of remnants

6 - window of reflections in neighborhood

7 - shadowy self portrait

8 - salad buffet

9 - teaching Irish Chain

10 - Spanish teacher Elvira

11 - grocery shopping

12 - trying out arrangements for Shapes 14

13 - my sewing machine

14 - my bike which already took me through New Zealand many years ago

Thursday, February 13, 2014

Meeting size restrictions

I am the co-rep for SAQA’s region Europe/Middle East, and moderator for the regional blog. The establishment of such a blog had been strongly suggested by the board, and after some hesitation at first I finally caved in and agreed to do it. The SAQA Europe/Middle East blog has been online since the end of October 2012. Ever since then, it’s been leading a rather dull and uneventful life, as contributions by members have been scarce and far between, and I had said from the very beginning that I would only be doing this in a function as moderator, not usually generating posts. A brief lively period occurred last September/October, when we had a give-away of SAQA’s second collection of Aurifil threads, which had been donated by Alex Veronelli of Aurifil. During that brief period, I came across and (with Lisa Walton’s permission) copied the idea of publishing posts about the making of SAQA members’ contributions to the annual SAQA Benefit auction. In the newsletters, we have repeatedly asked our members to take a few documentary photos, write up a few lines about the inspiration and the process, and submit it for publication on the blog.
It’s still early in the year, and I am hopeful that there will be more contributions than the one from the Netherlands that I have been promised.

In order to fulfill my own duties in this project, I decided soon after Christmas that I would get an early start, finish my contribution, and get the documentation done.
As I have been working with reflector fabric, and trying to include text in some of my recent work, I wanted to make a small quilt that featured both. I came up with the idea that that bore potential for a contemporary interpretation of the Nine-Patch, and set to work.

The text is a contribution to the discussion of art and meaning, and spread out over the Nine-Patches that make up the Double Nine-Patch.

Lettering on the back of reflector fabric, in mirror image

Everything went fine until I had it all finished – and measured the sides. It was one inch larger than the 12” requirement. 

Checking back with the organizers of the auction, I was told that they had accepted 13” squares before, but that the two from last year had not sold. Now, I did not want that to happen with mine, so decided this would have to find a different solution.
Yes, obviously I do have a size problem, it happens to me all the time. Not to worry, though – except for the fact that I won’t be able to use this as my blog post for the “Grand Gallery”, and I will have to come up with another idea for that purpose and the auction, this little one will find its way into my exhibition at the Fagus Werk in Alfeld in October. For this I am making five pieces size 40 by 40 cm (16” square). Accordingly, I have mounted this little one on additional darker blue background fabric and am now waiting for the wooden frames on which it will be displayed. And I made sure that there is enough blue fabric around the original part so that the finished piece will actually fit over the wooden slabs! Don't want to run into yet another size problem, at least not with this piece.

One item on the list crossed off. But another still open.

Tuesday, February 11, 2014