Friday, June 30, 2023

Confusing times

Would you pay a quarter million (in any currency) to enter a dilapidated tin can that would take you into a cold section of the ocean near a famous wreck to see this wreck only through the projection of a camera, which you could see just as well by just sending that little boat-y-thing down unpeopled? Yes, the Titanic has a reputation, and its sinking was a catastrophe. But these past years we have had several ship wrecks or catastrophes in the Mediterranean, and the number of victims taken together is far larger than the numbers who drowned in the Titanic catastrophe. Our newspaper today printed the sob-story of the widow and mother of two of the victims, and how she is affected, as she told it in a BBC interview. I do feel very sorry for her, it must be terrible to lose two family members at once, and in a situation like that. But who is talking about all the widows and mothers and children who lose their relatives in the Mediterranean waters, and often they don’t even know what happened, contact with their relatives just stopped. 5 rich people dead in the North Atlantic (who is paying for those search missions?) – thousands of poor and desperate people dead in the Mediterranean, and the EU is paying heavily to maintain Frontex patrol boats to keep these people out of EU waters, ignoring distress calls. There is speculation now that push-back boats may have caused capsizing by ramming – my tax money is paying for this, and I am finding it distressingly difficult to think about it.

Then there was this fake? thing in Russia – or do you believe this was a real live rebellion, when nobody held them up, and everything was settled by negotiation within a few hours?

Germany has a first district governor from the very right wing party that is being watched by Federal Office for the Protection of the Constitution, and support for the front ruling party Social Democrats on a Federal level is plummeting … What is happening in the world right now? How can this multiconfusion get stopped - or even only endured?

In situations like this my making procedures tend to turn to the small-smaller-smallest, in terms of pieces I am thinking of assembling.

 It's all more a thing about keeping the hands busy rather than making art. When the hands have something to do it keeps the mind from wandering...

And then grand ideas have a hard time keeping their head above surface. But I do want to start on a piece to enter for the challenge for the Brno festival, an idea that has been hovering in my head for a while, and that I have gathered material for. So cross your fingers that I will get around to it.

Last Tuesday the 20 Perspectives group had the internal reveal of our pieces for the ‘Monochrome’ challenge. Today the individual blog posts were published on the group blog. For the reveal mine wasn’t entirely finished, and I thought all I needed to add was the facing, but when I started on that this morning by measuring the width I realized that once again I have a size issue. I use the parquet tiles on my floor to ensure straight edges, and realized it is one inch too narrow to meet the required width.


Although I was working with a preinstalled ‘frame’ on the design wall… it just doesn’t seem to be my strong point. And despite the fact that this is not a juried exhibition where a piece just a bit too narrow will be excluded simply because of this formality, I have decided to cheat just a little while on the ‘finished’ photo on the Perspectives blog until I have repaired the lack of one inch and then replace the finished photo with the new one.

Readers of this blog will know, but who will notice for real?

Amidst all this outside confusion and my son’s High School Graduation Ceremony I did manage to last-minute-enter my SAQA Benefit Auction piece. 


Red Eye of Reflection - Donation for Saqa Benefit Auction 2023

And immediately sent it off, paying dearly for airmail and global package. €58 for a parcel of less than 300 grams – this quilt better sell at a high level to make it all worth while!

Tuesday, June 20, 2023

Temperature Quilts, EQA-Diversity, AGM – Patchwork Gilde Deutschland in Dinkelsbühl


The Patchwork Gilde Deutschland holds an annual patchwork event around the legally required AGM meeting in order to attract many members to attend that meeting. The location varies. Last year, it was held in Meiningen, for the first time in what was formerly GDR. This year, we returned to Dinkelsbühl, a Frankonian town with a very compact and well-preserved medieval inner city and appearance, north of Augsburg.


I made the mistake to drive there after a full morning shift, and on the afternoon before the holiday – and I hadn’t believed the navigation system regarding the route it wanted me to take. So the trip took considerably longer because of a detour, I had to take a power nap on a rest area, and afterwards there was a traffic jam due to an accident and closing of the road… it took me almost 6 hours to get there, whereas it should have been a trip of only a little over 3 hours. But it was fun to be with my fellow volunteers from the Guild, and we started off the event with a joint dinner in a very scenic and delicious restaurant with beer brewing on the premises. On Thursday, we hung the exhibitions, according to a detailed plan, and on Thursday evening the official opening took place.


As the inner city is not very large and all exhibition venues were within the city wall it was easy to access all the exhibitions and get to see them all, despite the fact that I was stewarding the EQA-exhibition several times.


I had been so stressed out with receiving the quilts for the temperature quilt exhibition, the EQA quilts for the exhibition by the international representatives and the postal box mess-up that it took me a long time to calm down. But it did happen eventually, and I was able to enjoy the days there already, at least a bit, and even more calming down happened after I returned home.

Hanging "Sew EQA - EQA näht"
with strong and effective helpers.


I had been responsible for organizing the exhibition by EQA International Representatives, which was part of the stress beforehand due to the shipping issues. The location where the “Sew EQA – EQA näht” exhibition was shown is a rather rustic barn, storage room for stage props for a historical play enacting a mythical part of the town history. I think the surroundings were very interesting as an exhibition space, although it was a bit cold at times.


And I had been partly responsible for the display of the temperature quilts that were the result of the online group Bea Galler and I had led during 2022. Both exhibitions were very well received.


#temperaturcode22 by Bea Galler

*Year befor my 60th Birthday by Carola Runge

4 Seasons in Freiberg by Yvonne Joseph

I managed to see all the other exhibitions, although I did not take many pictures there. As always, I loved the children’s challenge quilts. It is fabulous what they come up with in answer to a cue, I always make sure to see them, and to cast a vote for the prize-giving at the last day.


I wish I were a chicken by ??? -
I didn't find out the makers name as I did
not attend the prize giving ceremony

Next year’s AGM is going to be held in Moers, near Düsseldorf. Haven’t been there yet – should be interesting!

Thursday, June 1, 2023

Post Postal-Upset Syndrome, and more

Still recovering from my various experiences with the post office and the arrival of quilts which were supposed to be exhibited at the Patchworktage in Dinkelsbühl ten days ago. Not all of them made it (on time), one was returned to the sender, for one I am still waiting for some sort of notification. But I am not going to go into details about that anymore - and I am not writing about Dinkelsbühl here, perhaps in a separate post in a couple of days.

Last week Friday was a big day in our family. My son received notification of his grade point average regarding his High School graduation and is now in the official chilling mode after final exams. Parents are very relieved, and a bit surprised that he reached such good results with what to us seemed so little investment on his side... But we are grateful he is done with secondary school and can now start finding his own way, outside of the Bavarian school system which bedazzled me for most of the time after he finished 2nd grade, and which I think never was a good system for him to be in. Official graduation is still a few weeks away, tomorrow he and three friends are going to Italy with our family car for a week, and the empty nest feeling is creeping in. I am not quite as much beside myself as on his first day of school, though, and still have to admit I am secretely grieving. If only I could have had a couple more ... 

During the week prior to the announcement, while still waiting after his last exam, the two of us also had a serious talk about our vague plan (my carrot, to get him through school without having to repeat a year) of going to see the next solar eclipse in the US in April 2024. That happening, however, coincides with basketball goals and plans of his, and he was honest enought to tell me that those seem more important to him right now. As April is not entirely doable for me either due to various patchwork commitments on my side either, unfortunately I won't be going to see that eclipse. But we found out that there are several total eclipses coming up in the relatively near future and normally to be expected life-span of the ageing mother, and decided to grab as many of those as possible. I even typed the list into my phone. Which feels like making plans - however vague ones at this point - with a grown-up, so we are entering a new phase in our relationship. And that helps alleviate the creepy feelings of regret for not having been able to have more children when we finally had managed to have him. 

After I posted the quilt I made for my son's birthday in my last post, with a fabric I had custom printed, my good friend Kathy Loomis suggested I could use tiny scraps of this fabric in all of my quilts from now on, as a reverence towards the importance his early drawings had in my development as a quilter. I liked the idea so much that I am following up on it. Currently working on my next piece for the 20 Perspectives group, with a reveal later during this month, I have inserted a few snippets of the fabric on the design wall.

Detail from Monochrome, as of yet untitled.

Still love working in yellow. Even if these snippets are not yellow.