Sunday, November 19, 2023

California bye bye....

(This post was started while I was still in Sacramento, California, just before I had to start thinking about packing my suitcase. However, putting in the pictures and even more importantly the headings under them proved to be so tedious on the small devices I had with me that it did not get published before I left, and then the coming back etc. Here it is - and will be continued, as promised below.)

My vacation in California is drawing to an end. Only a few hours remain before I have to be at the airport, and I am a bag of mixed feelings after two wonderful weeks, having to go back to a cold and grey country where some issues remain to be solved.

I loved my visit to Joshua Tree National Park, where I had gone right after Quiltfestival. I stayed in a motel just outside the park, between two entrances to the park. I drove through various sections of the park and went on an almost extensive hike. Steep up and down, and I did feel my muscles the next day.

The desert environment of Joshua Tree National Park was fascinating.

Sunset after a hike

From Joshua Tree I drove over to the coast, down memory lane when I stopped in Santa Barbara where I had lived for a short time in the middle of the Nineties of the last century. I can tell you, a lot of emotions caught up with me while I was there!

Near Santa Barbara harbor towards the end of the day.

Courthouse of Santa Barbara

Driving up the coast along Highway No.1 I stopped at various bays 

and lookouts and elelphant seal beaches 

before taking the detour due to closure of the road south of Big Sur. Which meant I had to drive south again from Pacific Grove because I DID want to see the coastline along that part.

A visit in Palo Alto with Judith Content followed, whom I had interviewed for the German Guild's magazine last year. We spent a wonderful afternoon talking about art, making, collecting, and Judith and I went on a walk to the park just around the corner, where she did a small installation for me.

Judith Content with some of her sculptures in front of her interesting and artistic house.

The next day included a meeting with Dolores Miller and visit to the San José Museum of Quilts and Textiles, where Excellence in Fibers is on display right now. 

Ruth Shafer, SlipCover, 2022, find more information here

Next door to the quilt museum is the Institute of Contemporary Art San José where an interesting exhibition by Adia Millett was enriched by four quilts from the Eli Leon collection of quilts, now at the BAMPFA . One of these four quilts, for me, jumped right up to the rank of second most favorite quilt I have ever seen.

Untitled, pieced by Fiora Ates (1907?-1997?)
I was absolutely thrilled to see this, and to be able to go up close and look at details, freedom of interpretation and liberty of execution.

To be continued...

Friday, November 10, 2023

Quiltfestival Houston

 When I was writing the last post I was sitting in the airport waiting area, with a bit of time to spare before boarding the plane to Houston. First time ever  I got to attend the quiltfestival there. I shared a room with my friend and former colleague Debbie from Nashville, who wasn't a quilter when we were colleagues but has turned into one now, so it was a good opportunity to get together.

View from our hotel room on the 18th floor on the night of arrival

I had wanted to go for a long time, and this year things developed so that it was possible. (My mother was a bit peeved that I wasn't there to visit on her birthday, but I hope she will get over it.)

 I was an accredited media person and will write about the visit in the German guild's magazine after I return home.

The accredited press member in front of Devida Bushrod's
 'A Tribute to Maya Angelou', one of her personal heroes.

I had always been in a bit of awe about 'Houston', meaning the quiltfestival. And it is impressive indeed.

But after having been to FoQ at Birmingham, it's really not that much different. It seemed that there were more vendors in Houston, and compared to the amount of people in the vendors' hall I thought the quilts really would have deserved more attention! Yet perhaps everybody out there shopping had been in the exhibition on Thursday before I came? Or went to see the quilts on Sunday after I left? 

Here I will share just a few select quilts, a rather subjective collection. 

Helen Godden explaining her quilt 'My Australia'

'Urban Development' by Jera MacKenzie

'The Wishing Ring, Variation', Eliza Agness, collection of Roderick Kirakofe

Best oof show: 'Monkeys in her hair (Evie)' by Deborah Hyde

'Malaki - The Apple of My Eye' by Cindy Peterson

And perhaps, time permitting, I will try to enter for one of the challenges next year? But oh, the shipping...

Thursday, November 2, 2023

crying for Daily Oak

About two weeks ago, when I was on my way to fetch eggs from the local farmer where I always go for organic eggs, I passed the site of my Daily Oak, which had been my project many years ago - a dozen? It looked completely different,  and I realized it had been split in half, only the western part of it still upright. 
I was shattered. This doesn't cause a digital outcry like the vandalism of the Sycamore Tree at Hadrian's Wall just a few short weeks ago (which I understood in a way, but also compared to the not-really-happening outcry about the ongoing destruction of the Amazon forest), this oaktree doesn't have a digital following, nor do its just about 240 years of age make it one of the 'ancient trees'. But I have grown very attached to it, and every time I went by I would look up at it, greet it, often pause, although I wasn't going there daily any more withthe purpose of documenting how it looked at various hours during the day, how it fared throughout the seasons. 
A couple of days ago I could finally muster the strength to go back to take a few pictures, trying to assess the damage. 
If you check back with the photos from when I was posting about it back then you can see how much its silhouette has changed.
The wound is terrible.
 The entire situation has changed completely.