Friday, February 25, 2011

Why "Ethnographic Museum"?

Also this quilt will be a semicalligraphic one. I am adding excerpts from a book which was printed in 1833. I copied some paragraphs in old German handwriting. It is named "Journey around the world" and contains short descriptions of countries and people.

I might also add some more drawings with the character of "primitive" art -- I used a textile pencil and ironed it.

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

A close look on Korak piecing

This is my totlot. You can see the method closely.

I showed something like this before when the pins were getting on my nerves. I kept pricking myself and tried a basting. The result was much wonkier, too; I'm getting more experienced.
Basting is unnecessary; two pins on every patch will do.
I do not arrange more than 3-8 patches at a time, it is easier to handle.
The green base fabric will be covered completely.
The contrast is helpful.
I started with large-point pins, but they catch loops of the thread all the time, small-point pins work much better.
You can imagine how fast this work proceeds.
This piece can do without quilting because the stitches connect all layers.
Without a backing, all the stitches will be visible; I read that in Asia, the Korak pieces remain unbacked, showing the stitching.

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Surprises from the depth of our wardrobe

I started the backing for the reptile quilt with a golden frame, not thinking about what is in my stash. Going through my drawers, I found this fabric I bought on the Berlin flea market. The size is sufficient, I can even keep a part of it. I wanted a one-cloth cover, and this is close to it.

Just when I was thinking where to get base fabric from (which I need for the korak method), my husband offered me old bedcloth, enough for the rest of my life. And this is exactly what I need: Cheap and slightly worn-out cloth, no jersey, but woven cotton. The stiffness should be gone, and it should not be too good to be covered all over, not as stiff as normal quilting fabric.
It is ugly enough to be stamped or printed on and provides a basic pattern to work on with. It is stuff that has been used by someone I love -- I would find it difficult to incorporate something which comes from a person I don't know anything about; as for worn cloth, I have to trust a person to integrate material from her/him into my work.

And now, the ironing starts... yikes. And it takes a lot of discipline not to go on with my fun quilt (named Ethnographic Museum), but to finish what I started...

Monday, February 21, 2011

Upside down and all around

It is a good thing to try something unusual sometimes. Colors that never used to be mine -- like brown which I find very tempting at the moment. Please ignore the turquoise greens that shine through the gaps; this is the basic fabric that allows me to do the piecing. It will be covered in the end.
I apply the korak method again. The result is a 3-layer cloth which feels a lot sturdier than a normal quilt top. And it is heavy! I wonder if the Asian koraks were used to sleep under at all.
These parts are just laid out beside one another. So this is not a final choice. In the close-up, you probably can see where there are seams and where there aren't.
You may recognize the hand of my quilting friends whose mild alms make me happy.
Jens and I do reading evenings. When he comes home, we have tea and a cake, and then I read books aloud to him until supper. Last time, it was Seuphor on modern art. Much better than tv!

Friday, February 18, 2011

Full Moon changes my mind

No! This is not a reverse! It's a new top.
Still there's no reverse for the reptiles.

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Pondering over fabric choice

I've been rummaging my drawers for days, trying to find the right fabric for the reverse. There would also have to be an ever so light batting, just a thin layer. And I want the work to be fun and not boring, I do it all by hand, after all.
So, in order to make it fun, I decided to do a larger-piece korak for the reverse with a broad frame of the golden fabric in the picture. The work goes fast, and if I abstain from quilting it all, it will take less time than the top. I'm afraid it will be a heavy piece!
The moon is close to being full, and the color was supernatural tonight. Sorry for the blur, it is a zoom with hand-held camera.

Friday, February 11, 2011


I love to sew the binding. But I will probably not do another one in satin. It is so difficult, I can see the limits of my skills.
I find it pleasant to do these small stitches. It is the same technique I use for the whole korak sewing.
I'm still thinking about a backing fabric. And I know I'll have to quilt or tie it from the reverse. Last time I did that it was on the Bauhaus quilt, and doing the backing quilting was a proof of my patience, indeed. But it has to be done!

Tibetan Astrology: "This is a day when oppression may be felt. Strife indicated. Good for important requests. Avoid secrecy and plotting. Stay away from crowds."
Any readers in Egypt?

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Landing Maneuver

"Spaceship Landing". Gouache painting, letter format.
Sunshine and warmer temperatures, distinctly above freezing point, even at night. I'm so relieved. It may go colder, but the sun is definitely stronger now.
Most of the time, I spend on compiling a book on modern art, a kind of "how to identify artwork" for the 20th century. I promised to do it for my husband, and it is a lot of work. I cannot publish it for copyright reasons of the artwork. Just a glimpse! It has 128 pages, on which each term like "impressionism" or "colorfield painting" is illustrated by featuring a few artists and 2 or 3 paintings by each of them. It is crowned by maps of origin and connections, a table of mutual influences.
As you see, my husband has a special liking for schemes and tables, so he compiled this one.

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

The Right Year for a Jump

On Thursday, Asia celebrates the beginning of the Iron Hare year. It is said to be a good year, more pleasant than the past one.
According to Tibetan astrology, there will be a leap month that postpones the New Year's day on March 5. If you should be interested in astrology, have fun reading this. And looking back to predictions of the past, the year 2010, might give a glimpse on the value of Tibetan astrology. Just to mention that major misfortune was predicted for Pakistan...
Does it feel new to me when the year changes, according to Asian astrological systems? Definitely so, a lot more than January 1st. I wish you a fortunate year, a luckier year than the Iron Tiger turned out to be.
More Hares