Monday, November 26, 2018

First time public appearance

Last Saturday a small convention and discussion of refugee issues and politics took place in our town. The organizers had invited me to show some of my quilts, in recognition of the fact that I have been active in the volunteer group in town for several years now, and because I received the Cultural Award of the city earlier this year. I picked out the quilts that have some connection to the topic of the convention, which, as it turned out, adds up to 7 or 8 quilts by now. However, unfortunately the room where most of the convention took place does not really have many hanging options. There are no fixtures on the walls, no gallery rods, and because the building is old and the particular room is under the roof with slanting walls it was not possible to put nails into the walls. So I could only hang three quilts.
One possibility was in the stairwell, where "Promised Land 2015?" could be placed in good view as people were going down the stairs -

or they had to notice the mirror image as they were coming up and then turn around.

I assume, though, that a lot of people were using the elevator and thus never got to see this.
The other two quilts were in the room itself, on the sides of the front stage.

"Capsized" on the right side of the stage.

On the left side of the stage, "Everyone has the right" made its first public appearance.

"Everyone has the right" above the grand piano.  
I think they both looked quite impressive, and I did get a few admiring remarks and comments. However, most people were concentrated on the talks and conversations with each other, after all it was not an art exhibit as such. But it was good to see them presented to a public.

Thursday, November 22, 2018

I have used this heading before: Time flies.

And here is the perfect picture to illustrate that in a f´reflective way:

When I discontinued the fabric club one year ago I thought I would be starting a job assignment within only a few weeks of the end of the dyeing. That fell through for reasons I still don't quite understand, mostly because I was never told why. I did not press to find out more, though, because in the weeks that I was working towards establishing myself in that community I had realized that the person I would have had to work with was an extremely difficult and narcissistic person, so in a way I wasn't too sad I did not have to figure out how to deal with him in a real working situation. But I had shut down the fabric club, and several other applications to various kinds of positions always received a similar reply: Your CV is extremely interesting, and you bring such wonderful qualifications with you - but somehow you just don't fit our scheme/expectations/you name it... Germany believes in report cards and diplomas and a goal oriented job education, so if you cannot produce a diploma for a job you want to work in you are not adequately qualified, no matter how qualified you are in other areas. By April I was getting sick and tired of that, and had to live through another phase where it seemed that some of my students would not receive the work permit they needed to start the course I was preparing them for.
The teaching job was fun, but paid by the hour, no social benefits or health insurance. And I realized that I could not take it any longer to be working hard to educate and motivate young refugees who wanted to work, and in a job for which Germany desperately needs people, who would then be refused the permit - and all that in a precarious work situation for myself. So I took a drastic decision, applied for a slot in the next nursing school class and resigned from the teaching job at the end of the school year.
On October 1st I started that new phase in life, and it has been a very interesting and busy time since then. My family is getting the knack of new routines. My son has at least admitted that my being out of the house quite a bit now has a drawback because the male food production is not comparable to what he was used to get to eat before. My husband is making somewhat more of an effort in joining in with household chores. I am also making a point of not taking pains to care for their provisions on days when I am not home at lunch time, and I cook considerably fewer meals than I did before. (With the consequence that indeed I enjoy cooking a bit more than I used to before - as I had suspected.)
And I myself, too, have to find new routines and change my time management. If I want to continue stitching. Which I do, of course, but it will be under rather different circumstances, with a lower time budget, and it might completely change my activities even more.
I have managed to add some scraps to A Scrap a Day, but I need to catch up a bit, too.

I am planning to fill up the remaining area within the next few weeks. Even if it takes a bit longer than December 31.

I will continue to write the blog, but it won't be as frequently as before. Perhaps I can figure out how to add that gadget of email-notification on the side bar if people are interested. I am not going to turn this into a blog on my experiences as an aspiring nurse, for sure. But it is very good for me to leave the house in the morning and know I am going to work. Haven't done a late shift yet, so I don't know how it feels to come back late at night. I would appreciate it if people kept reading what happens to me and my textile doings. They do remain at the core of my heart, but being a bad self-marketer I never managed to make enough money on that so that I would get the feeling I was actually making an income. So here I go - yet another radical change in my working life, after all it is not the first time I did that.

Saturday, November 3, 2018

Entered: Forced to Flee

So I managed to finish my piece for "Forced to Flee" in time - well enough in time to get it to the photographer, and to pick up the CD with the pictures before last weekend because I wanted to get the entry done with over the weekend.
Only on Sunday evening did I see that he had forgotten to put the detail photo onto the CD. At that time of day it was too late to take a decent detail photo myself to add to the entry. But luckily the deadline was only on the 31st, so I could go back to the photographer on Monday and get it. And still be on time. (Then he told me I should have called him, but I would never have dared to call him on the weekend - yet what would I have done had it been a last-minute thing? Besides being really annoyed...?)
On Sunday I had decided that I was going to enter only the new piece, up until then I had thought I would enter two of the older pieces as well. But because I assumed that there are going to be so many entries I then decided to leave the two older ones out. Of course I hope it's going to get in, and of course I am worried it might not, and then I will have to reconsider where to enter it to give it other chances...
On Sunday, however, I also read the prospectus more closely - one of my problems with entering shows, I don't read those things closely until the last minutes - and found out that it says we were encouraged to blog about our work in advance. While I had been holding back from talking about it. Oh well...

So here follow a few pictures from the process of making it.

Dissolving the stabilizer that was behind the lower part, always a scary moment...

Pulling the lower part back into shape-
wondering how much of it would be
falling apart due to insufficient fastening
of open crossings...

Adding some details in hand stitch.

The piece has an upper and a lower part, which required two distinctly different methods of assembly.

Upper part, the sky, being assembled.
Here is the upper part, after the 'background noise'-writing had been added and the necessary stabilizer behind it had been dissolved as well.

And here is a detail of how I transferred some lines onto the piece after the two parts had been put together.

This watersoluble plastic was kind enough to prove rip-out-able, though, and did not require yet another process of dissolving.
I put a piece of heavy linen as the backside fabric, no batting. Stitched and layered, that's what was required. Although in worst case, I could argue that the lower part, which is stitched onto a layer of fabric hidden in the middle, would let it qualify for a three-layers-piece, should the need arise.
I am still going to wait about posting a picture of the entire piece until I hear from the jury whether it got in...