Monday, December 25, 2017

Merry Christmas.

When I was trying to post a Merry Christmas greeting yesterday afternoon our internet connection wasn't working with any kind of noticeable speed, so I gave up and didn't get back to it in the evening...

So here it comes:
Merry Christmas to you all.

Sunday, December 10, 2017

Wise Trees

My current tree project is less involved than the former projects that I have done, DailyOak or my visits to the linden tree on the outskirts of town.
The linden tree has been severely reduced because of some fungus that is making it instable. But it wasn’t taken down completely, only looks rather ruffled now. About half a year ago a substitute linden tree was planted on the opposite side of the path. 

It will only take about 300 or more years to grow to a similar size as the original one. Only in the midst of this process, the cutting back of the old tree and then the planting of the new one did I realize that it had a name - they call it the Donatus Linde. 

But I still have a tree project, whenever I go to fetch milk at the nearby organic farm I take pictures of the large willow on their grounds. Willows grow much faster than linden trees of oak trees, so this one is probably by far not as old as either of the other trees I have been following.

But my affiliation with old trees continues, and when I see a link like this one I get very tempted.

So when I went to Fraueninsel in Chiemsee this weekend, I had to stop by the old linden trees there as well. 

Perhaps 1200 years old - Thassilo Linde on Fraueninsel in Chiemsee

It makes me sad that these trees have to be protected from too many people walking around them and thus condensing the soil, deprieving the trees of necessary air and nutrition. But of course, if I were let to do it, I would go closer, too.


 There is a special fascination in old trees. Just wish we had more of them still around.

Sunday, December 3, 2017

Stripping naked...?

A few weeks ago SAQA issued a call for photos of studio space. My studio never looks cleaned up, and nevertheless I gave it a try and sent in a photo of the current state of my working table. You can see it amongst many others here. It's probably not something to be proud of, nor will it improve my reputation, I am afraid. But it's the way it is these days. I am trying to clear up, but it's hard.

Friday, November 24, 2017

Finally a bit of sunshine

It's been a very grey and depressing November, but the past three days finally brought a bit of sunshine. Immediately there is the desire to take pictures again. As long as it is grey, colours don't talk to me, and everything is dull.

Last apples on the tree

Last leaves, seen from above

Reflection in downtown Landshut

I have been taking walks or doing my Nordic Walking excercise and it has been very good for my mood. The past two weeks have also been rather intense with regard to the fight for a work permit for one of the  Senegalese students from my class last year. Right now it is looking rather bad, but we haven't given up yet. What I admire about him is the patience and acceptance with which he is going through all this. Whereas I could scramble up the walls because of Bavarian bureaucracy etc. he just says everything comes as it supposed to come, and he thinks everything will be good eventually. God means well.
(I just hope God hurries up a bit with meaning well because I am not sure how long I can keep this up...)
So any stitching that happens is rather on the side, some longarming for a customer this morning, several other things piling up. And the next selection for the fabric club is in the making, the first color is in the washing machine as I am writing this.

Sunday, November 19, 2017

A week flown by

It's been an emotionally very intensive week with several things going on on the refugee front in my life, and I don't want to go into detail about this.
I have done a bit of therapeutic sewing on a traditional quilt that I want to give as a present for Christmas, I have found two people who will be doing four bindings and tunnels for the 70,273 project. Some knitting, again more on the therapeutic side.
Too many things going on...
But I did manage to take a few photos throughout the week. On relaxing walks, or when walking to school.

Frozen spider web - another, still more complete one that I wanted to take
a picture of collapsed just as I was focussing to snap the shot...

We haven't seen the sun in days, colours are very dim
and the greyness is suffocating...

Sunday, November 12, 2017


It's November, and this year the month is living up to my most unfavorable expectations.

But I have been sewing, quilting, planning, even though you would not assume from the frequency with which I have been presenting it on the blog.
I have quilted more pieces for The 70,273 Project and sent off some to be pieced.

I am working on the next challenge for the 12 by the Dozen Group and have posted a teaser on the blog.
I am working on a traditional bed spread which I want to give away as a present for Christmas, I am planning quilts that might be made for entering Quilt National, if I ever have the guts to do that.

And I am still involved with refugee things. I sent a letter to the editor in repsonse to an article in the Süddeutsche Zeitung, which was published and which has resulted, amongst other reactions, in the very unpleasant experience that a know right-wing radical took the trouble to find out my e-mail address and sent me a blasphemous mail about how stupid I am and that I should not invite all those stupid Africans to come here. Which I hadn't done in the letter, nor have I ever done it anywhere. All I want to achieve is that people who are here are being treated as human beings, and that Germany, and especially Bavaria stops waging a war against a few refugees by maintaining 'law and order'. I did receive positive responses, too, and even the author of the article I responded to wrote to me in a very positive manner. So overall the positive responses were more numerous than the negative ones.
I wonder where this country is coming too...

Tuesday, October 24, 2017

texting and IQ - classes at Nadelwelt Karlsruhe

I have submitted a new class to teach at the Nadelwelt Karlsruhe in May next year, and have been accepted. So instead of selling fabrics at the stand I will be back to Nadelwelt as a teacher, May 4 through 6, 2018. Gillian Travis and I have been talking about how we will celebrate our birthdays, which happen to be on the same day and on that occasion, but we haven't decided yet what we are going to do.
The new class I will be teaching will be  a class in which I show my techniques when I am making my text messages quilts. Text is pretty popular right now, but a lot of people print on fabric whereas I have so far concentrated on stitching all the texts I am using. It will be an adventure!
The other class I will be teaching will be my class "IQ - from inspiration to quilt", which I will teach there for the last time. It has been a rather popular class, but last time I taught it I had the feeling that it needed to be re-vamped. So although I am not going to totally discontinue it, I will certainly change the schedule and concept and make it a different class, although with some of the same techniques. However, in Karlsruhe it will be the same still. So here's a last chance for gaining some IQ!
So I will not be selling my fabrics at a stand, either, but I will of course bring my fabrics to be bought in class, if students so wish.
And perhaps for the year after I might apply for an exhibition at Nadelwelt. It's been a long time since I had a solo show, and now that Maastricht has been cancelled, where I thought I had been lined up, and then a solo show in Rome also was cancelled... I think I need some more show-deadlines to push me a bit harder in terms of making quilts. But I might have decided to try to enter Quilt National next year. At least I have ideas for three quilts that would make up a decent 'body of work'. If I have enough time to get them done.
Last week I have been stitching text messages 14, which is in answer to a local challenge of the German Patchwork Guild on the theme of "(at) home".

Just a few more stitches, and then I have to figure out how to finish it. Probably won't be a three-layered quilt, but that hasn't been decided yet.

Monday, October 9, 2017

My Inner Ccritic...

I had submitted a small quilt for the SAQA Benefit Auction pretty earlier this year, long ago, in fact. And for the first time in several years I have not done any pre-advertising for the auction. Nor did I do my own ‘Dream Collection’ as I have done for several years in a row. I had not even had a chance to look at the different sections to find out which section my quilt would be in… But I received  a mail from Martha Sielman two days ago that my quilt had been sold. 

Piece for the SAQA Benefit Auction 2017
"Crossing the Red Line" - sold!

And not for the lowest auction price either. So that helped alleviate my bad conscience - which at some point prior to the beginning of the auction I had decided I would not have anyway.

About a week ago I had a small exchange with Jeanne Hewell-Chambers after quilting quilt #265 for The 70,273 Project, and I wasn’t too sure whether I really liked the pattern I had chosen. We talked about the inner critic and how you have to silence that part of your brain, and afterwards I realized that the pattern was indeed really pretty good. When you look at it, off the machine.

The 70,273 Project: Quilt #265, quilted, waiting for binding etc.
So not feeling bad about not sounding the trumpet for SAQA for once is in that same line. So much has been going on, I have been doing so many things, I might as well for once say ‘no, sorry, no time for that right now’. At least I sent in a quilt, it sold, and I will send in another one next year, too. And perhaps I will then pre-announce the auction again, too. But unfortunately I do have a very strong-voiced inner critic. I assume that is partly caused by the fact that my father, a philosopher, wrote books about achievement, performance, success, and that way such a frame of mind was vividly installed in my way of thinking. It's hard to step down from that, and it's hard to be a kind and caring observer of oneself. So when Margaret Cooter wrote about 'making time to do and make' only a few days ago I was truly touched inside. With all the things that have been going on during the past (almost) three years - since my involvement with German Refugee Politics began - there hasn't been enough of that in my life. Will it come back? I hope so. On Wednesday I am once again going to accompany one of the Senegalese students from my last year's class to the Central Foreigners Registry and Authority to try and get him a work permit. I am not expecting an easy ride (it hasn't been so far), but I have told myself once I succeed with his case, there will be more time for my own making and doing again. 
Yesterday I quilted another top for The 70,273 Project, this time it was #224. 

The 70,273 Project: Quilt #224,
quilted, waiting for binding etc.

The 70,273 Project: Quilt #224,detail

And I have started to stitch a small piece I am supposed to hand in by the end of the month. Kind of under the pressure of a deadline… 

text messages 14 in the making

But it’s been going pretty well yesterady and today, so maybe I will actually finish in time. How is that for relaxed and leisurely making and doing...? Perhaps I should take another trip to a Café Leisure soon.