Wednesday, November 23, 2022

The longer… the what can I write about to make it interesting...


The longer it has been since a prior blog post, the harder it gets to sit down at the keyboard and concentrate on ‘what can I tell …?’ and make an interesting post with which I don’t overload myself or anybody else who might want to read this. And – whizzz – another couple of days have gone by and yet another and…

Of course, it is impossible to catch you up on all that has happened, and therefore I won’t even try. Just pretend I have been writing regularly and act as if all is going smoothly, not to talk about that gap. (When opening the site just now as I am posting, I saw that I had a post about the exhibition in planning mode and never published it, I will look at it soon and then get that on the blog on the weekend).

Mostly I have been knitting socks during lunch break at work. And in terms of quilting I am working on my temperature quilt. The project that had started a while ago in thought, got stalled for a considerable time due to lack of data respectively difficulty in obtaining data. And then, when I finally had the right idea about where to ask, the data were in my inbox within less than 10 minutes. That is when I started – and, me being me and my typically ambitious plans, it is a full workload. And taking time.


Two years combined (year of my birth, plus the year I turned 55 - which also happened to be the year Covid zapped around the world), hand-stitching… So when I saw that my friend Bea @capricornquilts had started her own temperature quilt for 2022 I talked her into joining forces. We teamed up, started an online group for members of the Patchwork Gilde Deutschland who wanted to make one, too, and have had four online meetings. 


Which has resulted in the board’s offer to exhibit the results of these meetings and the efforts behind the screens at Dinkelsbühl, Germany, during the next Guild’s AGM in May. Now talk about increasing pressure to finish.

So here I am, nibbling on my still-lacking months. 

I have run out of one fabric, but as far as I could tell I only had to substitute for three days and found a close enough option. With my choice of fabrics, nobody is going to notice anyway, it doesn't disrupt a color scheme, as there is no fully-thought-through color scheme. No worries on that one.

More worried about time running out. And, of course, I had an idea how I want to include a border. Which adds another 114 blocks that need to be made after I finally finish the months. Of which I still have six and one week to go. But hey, that means I have almost 18 months finished. Not bad, after all these years.


PS: First version of this text was typed yesterday morning before leaving for work. In the evening I finished another month for 2022, started the last one for 2022, which leaves me with 4 months of 1965 plus a major part of the last month of 2022. The idea about that border has been thrown out, added back in, thrown at again... obviously it is still in flux and will be determined by the date of finishing the last data block, I suppose. Always interesting to follow my own process of decision making!

Saturday, October 1, 2022

In the middle of hanging the exhibition

 Today things got serious. After a quick trip to the market where I saw live proof that mushroom season is going strong now (people here get completely wild about picking mushrooms out in the woods, I myself have always been rather reluctant to eat any like that, especially after the Chernobyl accident)

I bought a few more curtain rods that I am using for hanging quilts, and then bundled the listed ones up, rather unceremoniously, I am afraid.

I confess - I didn't feel like doing this exhibition at all! I am tired after the work week, I was a bit hesitant about the location, and basically I had agreed to do it because I was offered the slot in the museum's exhibition schedule, and this will be a 'first time' art exhibition in the local history museum. That's an honour you don't turn down, especially not since I did receive the city's Culture Prize a couple of years ago. But. Andrea Soller from the town hall has been extremely helpful and active and has made it a lovely experience so far. The city bought new display walls, with lighting. They printed a lovely poster

and invitation cards and flyers, she has made the name tags for the quilts and just couldn't have been kinder in any way.

And when I went into the museum this afternoon I was surprised. Because I could tell immediately that this room has a lot more potential when you can see it 'bare' of other things.

So my husband and I set about and have come approximately half way through the process. The glass cases come with a bit of tricky issue as there are no hooks to hang into the vertical rods which usually hold shelf boards. Despite my well-prepared plan it is taking a little bit of time. "So this is what the big fuss about hanging is all about?" was my husband's question at some point. When he asks things like that it's never easy to tell whether he is pulling your leg or being really sarcastic with a bit of a nasty tone, and then it's best to simply ignore what he said. I simply said "Yes, and we are doing very well here," and let him hold something. He was a big help, though, it would have been very unpleasant to do this without additional hands, or somebody to step back and tell whether the quilt is indeed straight in the horizontal.

Here are a few pictures of how far we have come.

To be continued (and hopefully finished completely) tomorrow. And I am very, very happy with how it looks so far. I was impressed at the atmosphere of the room which has changed completely from how it used to be when I went in for the various history exhibitions I have seen there. I am actually excited about it now.

The opening is next Saturday, at 10.30 a.m. You are cordially invited!

Friday, September 30, 2022

On Quiltkarussel Podcast

Ten days ago I was guest of Emanuela Jeske in her German language podcast on quilting, patchwork and sewing. We had recorded the session a week in advance. We had first been in touch when the SAQA Europe/Middle East "Orient Express" started rolling through Europe, and the group had thought it would be nice to have a feature there, but that didn't work out for various reasons. Emanuela and I had been writing back and forth, and at some point she suggested that the two of us do that particular episode together. Which I reclined because I was not one of the people who had been overly active in the organisational matters of the Orient Express. But as my exhibition is coming up now I had agreed that we do a session on that occasion. Here is the link to the episode, as I said, in German only, sorry to non-German-speakers:

It was fun to talk to Emanuela, whom I had met briefly in person in May at the Guild's Patchworktage in Meiningen. We had not agreed on any topics beforehand, and I was simply answering her questions on the spot. Which worked well, and I think it was much more natural than if we had pre-arranged any topics.

 Tomorrow I will start hanging the exhibition and have just gone through my list of "do I have enough rods to hang them all"? 


Of course I don't, but shops are open on Saturday mornings, so I can still get some. And it will be another entire week before the opening, so if something is still missing, there will be time to get it.

Actually, I would have really liked to show the quilt that is currently the header for the blog, "Everyone has the right", which has just been on display at Birmingham with SAQA's Forced to Flee. But it hasn't returned yet and Bill Reker had not been too optimistic that the turnover of the exhibition coming back from UK to SAQA shipping centre would be fast enough to get it back to me before the exhibition opens. Well, there is still another week.

Tuesday, September 20, 2022

Teaching, sort of.

 On the day that the pool closed, and while I was on my way home from work to go to the pool for one last joyous swim of the season, my new car was hit by a guy pulling out of a parking spot on the central square in town. Looks like not a lot of damage, but the cost is going to be close to what we paid as downpayment for the leasing contract. Was I glad that we have booked full coverage. Trying not to think about it, nor fret, after all it is only material damage. But he didn't look when pulling back, trusted his beeper - "It didn't beep!", his words, I mean, how incompetent can you be? 

When I came back from the dealer to have the damage assessed I passed this cornfield, and the glittering of the sun on the dewdrops in the spider web caught my eye. Might as well stop along the road for this little precious moment!


After that I cashed in on the final part of my bargaining capital when I changed jobs, I went on a four-day spree to ‘teach’ a workshop at the Petersberg Catholic Community College where I have been going for many years now. (Normally, new beginners on the job don’t get vacation time during the first six months of employment, but as I said that otherwise I wouldn’t start until later, if at all, if I could not fulfill this commitment, I was granted that span of four free days.)

As always, lots of room for the participants, long hours of
sewing, and we don't have to do any chores, we can sit down for meals,
the only thing we have to do is put the dirty dishes on a little cart
so they can be brought back into the kitchen...


The group that attends this workshop at Petersberg has pretty much developed into an experienced patchwork group of its own, they don’t exactly need my teaching expertise anymore. 

Several years in the making, now finally finished -
a quilt by the youngest participant, who had started this when she was 15.


It’s mostly the same people, with little alterations, but they keep coming back and enjoying themselves in the wonderful setting and fortuitous conditions on site. And this time we took the liberty to call the ‘workshop’ a UFO-session. 


Definitely a UFO, it had been at Petersberg at least three
times before it finally got its binding this time around.

The gathering always needs a title because it gets published in the annual catalogue which lists all the classes being offered at the community college, but except for the fact that I could offer little suggestions or pieces of advice every once in a while I didn’t have to teach as such. 

Last year I had shown the pattern of "Burgoyne Surrounded", on which I
did a series of designs for the members of the German Patchwork Guild
on the website, and Iris had actually turned it into a quilt.
Inspired it its colors, she says, by a visit to Finland in winter.

And Iris then proceeded to cut up lots of old jeans from her
extended family and turned them into a finished quilt in no time at all, no UFO alarm here!

 It was noticeable that this time around they were very chat-oriented, more so than usual. But isn't it understandable? The first time without masks when leaving the table, conditions that seemed almost normal (while the prognoses are again dire for the winter season).

Lovely days of leisurely sewing amongst a group of nice like-minded people! I got to finish my piece for 20 Perspectives challenge that will be revealed tonight/tomorrow.