Tuesday, April 27, 2021

April 2021

 These past few weeks I have been working on ICU, with Covid patients, and a few others thown in, and it has been a challenging time. I was glad to have a three-times-a-week distraction as I was working myselft through a whole series of design options, possibilities, ideas for the #gildemodernburgoyne that is based on the Burgoyne Surrounded block. It has been an enlightening activity as I kept stumbling over new combinations, focus points etc.

 As I was preparing a short report on this (as ov yet still ongoing project) last week I asked the board members of the Guild which were their personal favorite designs. That was reason for yet another surprise. Because of the 20-something participants in the vote, very few chose the 'same' as a favorite. The array of one-vote-designs was very large (a number of people gave three or more votes), the number of quilts that got more than two votes very low, and so instead of chosing a three-piece-set of favorites for publication in the Guild's magazine I had a five-piece set. All of the five below got two or three votes.

 Interestingly, my personal favourites were not among them...

These are - so far, two more days to go! - 

This is an "oops" from the one above, but I find it very interesting.


Amongst many others - don't get me wrong, I do like the board members' selection a lot, too!

Apart from that, I have started to study for my exams (coming up in July), done some spinning.

And started stitching on my contribution to SAQA Europe/MiddleEast's project "Orient Express".

It has been a rather cool April, and it was only the other day that we saw the first butterflies.

I tried my inexpert hand at cutting back the apple tree (which probably will make people who have more knowledge in this than I do gasp with horror) - but I figure if it survives, in the fall I will give it another trim to bring it into real shape, and by then I will have looked for more information about how to do it 'right'.

We did it in two instalments, and this photo
was taken after the first phase. A lot from the
top still went down the next day.

And, as my longarm is taking its way out my door, I caved in to temptation and got myself a little toy, a very small elna machine which I found on ebay. My husband doesn't know about this yet, and I am still keeping it a secret as both guys keep teasing me about sewing machines and accumulation and I had actually said I would not need another machine in my life. Which is true. Need is not what I would have called the feeling prior to/in connection with this purchase. Greed is more like it.

Monday, April 12, 2021

Forced to Flee - SAQA exhibition goes zoom webinar

 My piece "Everyone has the right", a detail of which is currently showing as the opening picture on this blog, is traveling with SAQA's exhibition "Forced to Flee". It is being shown live right now:

Pauly Friedman Art Gallery at Misericordia University in Dallas, Pennsylvania: March 25 - June 6, 2021.

And an online panel and webinar will take place tomorrow, Tuesday, April 13, at 7 pm Eastern (US) time, as I was informed first by Kathleen Loomis, who also has a piece in the show and will be on the panel, before an official notification came from SAQA today, too. It is a free online event, all you need to do is register under 


Unfortunately, because of the different time zones I won't be able to attend it myself, which I am really sad about. But perhaps some of you will be able to stay (or be) up (until) that time. I am certain it will be an interesting event.

Everyone has the right - text messages
(currently traveling in Forced to Flee)

The other pieces and participants in the exhibition can be seen online here, on the SAQA website.

Thursday, April 8, 2021

yet again, two more weeks of lockdown/restrictions

 Yesterday the Bavarian government announced two more weeks of regulations regarding opening of shops depending on numbers of infection within a district. Because some types of shops have taken their cases to court - why are hardware stores allowed to open, but not shoe stores? - it is getting stricter again for every type of store. The same with schools. Authorities keep saying schools are an important field for social interaction and that's why it is so important to keep students going there in shifts (half the class only, the other is at home doing assignments), with masks, overstressing teachers who have been working at their limit for so long, while many participants say digital teaching is more effective - and safer in terms of infectious process. It is getting very very tiresome. 

We are having another bout of winter with gusty winds and temperatures that make me shudder (ok, mostly due to the wind chill factor, but that is unpleasant indeed). I am not used to turning on the heater much anymore in April, but I have done so for the past days constantly. It snowed all day yesterday, although it didn't settle on the ground. I am worried about my little pohutukawa tree, a reminiscence of my New Zealand travels (although I bought it here), which returned from its winter storage almost four weeks ago.

So far it is still looking ok, but I do hope it warms up quickly.


On the other hand, my field of sunflowers is putting up an amazing speed of sprouting, I took these little fellows inside the house. 

I had a lovely conversation with the pixeladies on zoom yesterday. I have known them personally since they had come to Ste. Marie-aux-Mines for one of the EPM meetings way back then when we were still traveling and I want to include a section on their online teaching in an article I am writing for the German Patchwork Guild's magazine. Talking to them was so much fun and gave me a bit of a boost, emotionally. It made me wonder why I haven't done that more often, now that everybody is doing zoom-casts all the time. I have joined in with some of the regional SAQA meetings for SAQA Europe/Middle East, but they tend to be on Monday nights when I have my piano lesson, and so I can't join in often. This whole covid thing is just wearing me down - and I find it hard to concentrate on creativity and mindfulness for myself. Although I try.

During this chat with Kris and Deb I realized that the #gildemodernburgoyne design-a-thon I have started for the Guild is perhaps not the type of creativity I usually strive for. But it also is a type of creativity, albeit it lacks the haptic aspect that is so important when handling fabric. Of course, ideally, it would lead to a design and a plan that will be executed, getting me back to the fabric. (However, at that stage, the creativity part for me would be mostly finished as I am not really somebody who works from plans.) But I have made a quilt with that pattern - in my own un-planned manner, and wasn't exactly considering making another one ... we will see.

Yet I have been continuing on the design path, and yesterday, in between two night shifts at the hospital, I published my day 10 on the Guild's website forum. As I had said, I wanted to try out the block put onto a corner, and at first I stuck with the rainbow coloring. Here I will present a selection of the various design options I came up with. In this first one, the sashing between the blocks is still relatively broad. The effect of the circle in the interior block gets lost, and the lines of squares appear to be much more prominent than in the other orientation. I did not spend time adapting colors of the squares in the nine-patches between the blocks and the sashing sections, but that would certainly increase the overall unity of the rainbow coloring, pulling the blocks together.

Here, width of sashing was reduced, which results in a more prominent effect of the lines. Blocks between sashing and blocks are four patches.

I also tried a version with colored sashing, taking up the rainbow hues, in both a wide and a narrow sashing.

There were several other versions I tried, and the most surprising one happened when I tried to 'go darker' in the inner block. Probably I had chosen two different hues in the rectangles because when I tried to change their color with 'swap color', this is what happened.

Saved is as a "whoops!" and am kind of in love with it.

Monday, April 5, 2021

After Easter, still in lockdown, ...

 After having been vaccinated, and as my parents had been vaccinated right at the beginning of vaccination, I took the liberty to go and visit them for this past weekend, despite the fact that there had been an urgent call to 'stay at home if possible'. (There is so much bickering going on between the heads of the federal states, each of which is taking their own liberties in terms of opening or closing or allowing or not that it is getting very very exhausting - first to stay ahead of the knowledge of what is allowed or not, and since we have been dealing with all this for over a year now, psychological resilience is fading, seriously.) We stayed within the limits of contact persons, so everything was legal in that realm, but I did figure that three vaccinated adults could meet, even if it meant a five-hour-train-journey each way. 

I managed to take a walk with my mother who is still recuperating from three serious surgeries in succession last year and who is severely limited in her ability to walk freely. Seeing her like that is indeed a moving sight. There was a bit of spring in the air, albeit temperatures were still a bit chilly and the leaves were just about starting to come out.


 My parents have a very nice Japanese flowering tree in front of the house which is always the first sign spring, and it was in its full glory.

And I did catch a beautiful sunset through their living room window. The house is situated right opposite a wood section wich is always beautiful to see.

And my mother and I spent some time with me showing her what I had learned about EQ8 with my #gildemodernburgoyne project for the German Patchwork Guild. After all, she had paid for most of the programme, it had been my Christmas present. My design experiments have progressed over the last week, and I could show her what I had been doing.

Today's post includes a bit of a rainbow arrangement, at the request of one of the web-editors who are helping me with technical issues and other tidbits. For a full-blown design I would also take the colors into the nine-patches between the blocks, but I did not do this for the computer mock-up. This is only half a rainbow, I did another version with the full range, but that would be a very large quilt indeed!

While showing my mother the possibilities, I also for the first time looked at other layout options, such as squares on the diagonal, and will explore those a bit more in the next few days.