Tuesday, January 28, 2014

A Completely Different Kind of Work

When Hamburg had been bombed most severely in
1943, the homeless were provided with small houses,
built of cement modules.
Last night, our local government held a memorial hour for the victims of a Hamburg Concentration Camp. It was the prison for women who had been deported from Poland, Czekoslovakia and other occupied countries. I had the honor to provide a picture show of images shown during the speeches and the intermediate music pieces.
Some of these female prisoners had been taken to Hamburg
from Ravensbrueck, Auschwitz and other camps. Very few
survived and were able to tell their story. These women
built the cement houses in heat and cold, with insufficient
equipment -- no gloves to hold the heavy cement panels,
they were beaten, humiliated, and in the end transported
to even worse camps like Bergen-Belsen, where many of
them died even after they were freed.

The prisoners were close to starvation and kept dreaming
of bread, as one of the prisoner remembered after being
liberated. Their memories were read to the audience by
members of the local parlament, "Bezirksversammlung".
The President of the local parlament held a welcoming
A member of the Neuengamme Memorial held a historical
speech about the camp and the fate of one of the survivers
who was also present.
The music was played by the very young members
of the Felix Mendelssohn Youth Sinfonia Orchestra
(Felix Mendelssohn Jugendsinfonieorchester. I showed
a background picture for every piece of music.


The survivor, out guest of honor, spoke a few words to the audience, her host and interpreter (who had also held the historical speech) standing next to her.
This is my place, hidden behind the musicians, where I controlled the running picture show. Everything went as expected.

After the show, we were invited for a snack and wine. My nervosity faded.

Sunday, November 3, 2013

One Quilt -- A Dozen Fabrics for the Binding

 My quilt "Ethnographic Museum" is not very large, about 4x3 ft. I decided that it is finished, though it will never have bed-size; But some things don't improve when being enlarged. The reason is probably that there are plenty of details which don't allow it to be larger.
 The last part I did is the row of triangles on the right side of the view below. It is a convincing signal to walk upstairs, as you can find it in many museums. The quilt now starts with a strong clockwise movement, driving left. Must be a British museum.
 And now, I'm almost finished with the binding. As you can see in this picture, there are different fabrics instead of framing the whole piece with the same fabric. I just could not make up my mind. I also thought that the jeopardy of materials should be continued allover, this might harmonize with the character of the whole piece better than an "orderly" or conventional binding.
I might even turn this method of binding into some kind of personal brand.
P.S. The colors are not quite as bright as in the first picture which I took with a flash light. They are more like the 3rd pictures shows them, a little more subdued, looking vintage more than any other I made.

Sunday, October 13, 2013

Ethnographic Quilt, Close-Up

I showed you my "Museum" or "Ethnographic" quilt more in a survey recently; now, as I proceed, I like to give you some close looks which probably make your hair stand up about the irregularities of my stitching. Actually, I don't plan, but improvise; I don't iron, but fold and press the edge with my fingernails; I keep it on my lap or on a small wooden board which you can see in some of the pictures when I find it a nuissance to cut up my thread because it went through the tablecloth.
I enlarge the quilt by adding strips as a support for
the new piecing

Instead of ironing small scraps, I fold them by sharpening
the crease with a fingernail.
Looks almost like ironed. But I did not burn my fingers.
As you see, the edges are very irregular and torn, they
need an equalizing strip.
Fine steel pins are indispensable for this technique.
I connect the pieces with very small, bead-like stitches.

These bridges are split by another seam for a 3D-effect. They
also make the whole piece more flexible.
Sometimes I added very small appliqué bits which become
3D when surrounded by quilting stitches.
Here, I integrated the appliqué into the print on the fabric.
Very small scraps can be used in this mosaic piecing.