Friday, May 27, 2016

As I am dyeing....

The last few days we had a few chances for family activities, which gave opportunity for these photos, amongst a few others.

We went to see an exciting basketball game, too.
And today I started dyeing the next instalment of my fabric club. It is always interesting to experience how dyeing affects me. When I start mixing the color, filling the buckets with water, my head starts spinning. I get a lot of ideas which kinds of color combinations I could also try out. But because I wear rubber gloves, I can't normally write them down, and because they come in such huge numbers it is simply not possible to keep track of them and remember them all. Which in the end leaves me quite exhausted, because of all the non-realized ideas.
Sewing these days is slow, but steady. But nothing to show right here, just yet. Waiting for news from Birmingham, too...

Friday, May 20, 2016

freezing through may...

I was really pleased to see that my donation to this year's SAQA Benefit Auction was included in the post listing good reasons to donate to the cause a couple of weeks ago.
That was during the first week of May when our round of family celebrations uses up a lot of energy. At least the weather was acceptable on the day we celebrated my son's birthday.

Apart from that weather has been very cool for May, which is supposed to be "pre summer". We're still wearing our winter clothes, although I have taken out of storage and ironed all the summer things. We can't go sailing either, for one thing, because our little boat needs the usual refurbishing after a few years, and it was too cold to put on the paint after the old layer was taken off, but also because we would be freezing on deck,

The now-11-year-old is also heavily hormone ridden these days and the mother starts wondering why she ever wanted to have children to begin with. I knew it wouldn't be fun and easy all the time, but it's really getting to be much harder right now than I thought it would. Hasn't been much fun lately!
So moments at the sewing machine are too few, but well appreciated when they happen. I am still working on my entry for the competition in Alsace, and when I woke up this morning I think I had the idea for a solution for the problems which I, of course, have encountered (and they are a different kind of problems than I was expecting).

backside view 

I  am not going to talk about the details of these problems, but they will need some radical steps to be solved. Which I now have to take, and that takes courage!
And I am seriously thinking about whether I will ever enter this challenge again (after I finish this quilt). I am not superstitious, but something is not working right in this direction. Strange - it was such an interesting experience to be on the jury for it...

Tuesday, May 10, 2016

"What is your favorite refugee?"

My son has been learning English at school since September and I am thrilled that he is very slowly beginning to come up with sentences that he has constructed by himself. Instead of asking "what is your favorite color?", which they had learned in the book, he came up with the question above when we were talking about refugee politics, the shaky and strange EU deal with Turkey and how all this is going to affect politics in Germany. He then continued to list his five favorite refugees from the people whom we have met and got to know here in our town. (Although I have seriously cut back on my involvement in the volunteer network, I am, of course, still involved with some of the people who are indeed interested in learning German, finding a job, making a living here and becoming part of society. Can't let them down after getting to know them closer for the entire past year. But this year I took care of a little birthday party myself, no lavish barbecue with hours of preparations.) It almost made me cry when my son listed his five favorite refugees - if everybody in Germany would take a stand like that, could name his or her five favorite refugees and be willing to do just a little bit for them, I think the entire country would be much better of!

We have enjoyed a few days of sunshine and a little bit of warmer weather. This winter has been strange and certainly March and April did not feel like 'the warmest since the beginning of weather records' as was talked about in the news.

I have submitted another last-minute entry (the Fine Art Masters at the Festival of Quilts in Birmingham) and am now waiting for the verdict, I have been thinking about which shows I want to try to enter. I am working on an entry for the Ste. Marie-aux-Mines challenge, despite my - well, how should I call them, mixed experiences - with entering that challenge? I'm wondering how difficult it is going to be this year - right now I am slightly suspicious that 'size matters' might once again turn out to be the problem.

But who knows. Perhaps it will easily fit into the prescribed size limit when it comes to cutting off at the edges after quilting. We shall see.