Sunday, September 30, 2012

17 of 70?

That's how far I got. 17 squares; for a bed-size quilt, it would be 7x10 squares, makes 70. Right on. I'm not even sure that the top 9 can be united with the bottom 4. I went astray from the initial principle of a nine-patch in diamond position. The red ones in the middle row stick to the rule. Maybe I'll use the bottom row for another project; what do you think?

Sunday, September 23, 2012

Playing with color: Old tiles and pottery

 You remember my chickens? I feel like using the typical colors of faience tiles: Mangan red, ochre, green, delft blue. In some cases a radiant lemon yellow.

 Printing it all in blue is another option. I'm still trying to find out which shapes make the best effects. And here are some very nice examples of ceramic antiques.

Thursday, September 20, 2012


 Korak piecing is fun. Printing one own fabrics is fun. But I start having doubts that both together have satisfying results. I'm not sure. Tell me: Is it a disadvantage if the pattern gets lost to this degree? I wonder should I mix my self-printed fabrics with more solids? I'm in an utterly experimental phase.
Linoprints, painted after printing
The whole cloth, looking pretty chaotic;
I thought it would get better
if I cut it into small pieces...

The complete square with own prints

More self-printed cloth
More Estonian patterns, birds and fish
A lino stamp
Paint on a glass pane for monoprint,
you can see the oak table though it
And what about my latest project?

The connections of the big nine patch are done, connecting 9 nine-patches and separating them with small squares. For a bed quilt, I found out I will need 7x10 patches. Nine of seventy! Will I be able to do that? But what can you do with a 24x24" quilt? To continue is my fate.

Sunday, September 16, 2012

A lovely day in Stade

My husband and I spent a wonderful Sunday in Stade, about 1h to drive from Hamburg. It is his home, and we went to see my p-i-l. Their garden is still full of blossoms, but fall is just around the corner. It was still warm enough to have a nap in the sunshine after lunch. Later, we went to town and visited an exhibition of the German expressionist Max Pechstein, also one of the "degenerate art"-painters (entartete Kunst).
The exhibition was shown in the left building in the top picture. Later, we took a stroll through the town. The door on this picture belongs to the townhall. The sculpture on top of the entrance symbolizes "balance", the art of diplomacy in administration.
We returned to my p-i-l's little paradise. The flower-beds were still humming with bees and bumble-bees. Summer is saying good-bye in the most graceful way with a blue, slightly cloudy sky.

Own Prints Integrated

I showed you some self-printed fabric in an earlier posting; I used it in this quilt as a connection of the squares. The right one, a connecting strip, is part of my own printing, and so is the small diamond upper left. All the other fabrics come from different sources. As I would like to avoid a "jail bars" look, I use dark and light strips, deliberately creating an irregular look. The upper rows are not yet connected, just row #2 and #3.

Saturday, September 15, 2012

On My Wall

Among the scraps that Rayna Gillman sent me there is one I particularly like; I see sailing boats in it, and it reminds me of the paintings of Lionel Feininger. What a shame I can't do screenprints, there is not enough room in my studio or kitchen. It is such an inspiration to have these snippets of big Art. I framed this one and hung it on my studio wall.

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Printing, Stenciling and Painting with Music

 ... Jefferson Airplane as a background. Need that. Lino cut print, ironed and painted with textile paints. Promising experiments with letter stamps.

Sunday, September 9, 2012

Visiting old Mills in Lower Saxony

   Today, we visited friends in a small place at half an hour distance from Hamburg. After having tea, the host who is my husband's best friend took us to some romantic places close to his house.
A lovely mill pond, a 19th century mill -- a sad view because the owner won't renovate the mill. The village administration won't allow him to chop down the neigbouring forest, so he keeps the mill which is deteriorating. A sad case of power struggle.
 The creek at the foot of the mill

Our next aim was the heather landscape; the bloom of the heather is over, it looks rather pale.
A big juniper on the plain which is kept free by grazing sheep. If they weren't there, the landscape would very soon be covered by forests again.
 Pine roots in the sand

There was another mill in the next village, a well-kept one which is inhabited.

Behind it, a cobble-stone lane led to a surprising little chapel.
It was part of a rural courtyard with victorian buildings,  nowadays seemed to be an old people's pension.

Saturday, September 8, 2012

Direction Map

Qian -- The Sky. Metal, light, reflexion. Western directions. Medical aspect: Lungs, large intestines, skin. Hot spices (yes, white; they do not belong to the red group!) like ginger and pepper. Alcohol. Space, motion, aviation, technics.

The central sqare contains all the elements as a kind of situation map. Each of the patches points to the related square. So the center is a kind of map for the whole panel. And what is in the middle of the map? Another nine-patch aiming into infinite microcosm? No, just five colors in dynamic motion, as the elements are in permanent exchange.

Friday, September 7, 2012

7 of 8 Guas

Some more informations about the Ba-Gua system of ancient Chinese cosmology -- and progress of my sewing class. Things that you, my quilting friends in the anglo-american world, have learnt at 6.

I promised to tell you more about the Ba Gua. There are different systems. I do not always mention a direction because they are indicated differently, depending on the view (feng shui, medical system etc.)
This Gua is "the mountain", Gen. Season: Fall.  It is part of the earth element. There are 5 elements in Chinese cosmology. How can they make 8 Guas of 5 elements? 3 elements are doubled, earth, wood, metal. Each is represented by a yin aspect (cool, substance, liquid, dark) and a yang aspect (hot, energy, firm, light). So, obviously there can be only one water -- yin -- and one fire -- yang. The yang aspect of earth is Gen, mountain. Don't ask me why I chose egyptian symbols for the surrounding, maybe because ducks are seen as an earth animal in diet, maybe just because of the gold.
Thunder. Dark green, turquoise. Sudden, frightening events, nervosity. Electricity. Early spring. The clouds in the middle add a component of water. The violet corners are to indicate the light of distant thunderstorms on a night sky. On a medical level, it is liver.
Earth. Yellow. Center, quietude, balance, harmony. Pastel colors. Sweet taste.  All times of moderate temperatures. Stomach, pancreas. Enjoying.
Wind. Sour taste, fresh growth, spring. Liver and gall bladder. Oxygene which I symbolized by the squares with small particles, green meadows, east. Optimism, expanding activities, muscles.
 Dui, the lake. I did this a second time because the first one was surrounded with white triangles, and as I told you, I found that the overall look was less attractive. This is minor metal, reflexion of light, an aspect of space -- Qian, sky, is the large aspect, dui is the smaller space. Metal, spices like mint, cool and sharp
Water. Also this one is a new version because I started with a batting which is too stiff to go with the rest. Kan, water, is black and called "danger", symbolized by the aggressive fish. I used some "wood" symbols, too, like the turquoise bits, because water nourishes wood.  Water rules over kidneys and bladder, the disturbance causes fear.
So what is still missing is Qian, the sky and a central panel. Will probably surprise me as much as you.

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Changed Plan

Usually, I don't make plans. This results in very crooked and skewed quilts. Now, I'm trying to make more orderly squares, they are not perfect, just handmade. I found that the squares all in green, all in red etc. looked very boring, so I changed my plan and started making a darker background, so the central squares stand as diamonds. As I saw, the quilt-as-you-go method ends up with connecting the squares by use of strips. I will try to make them versatile enough to break up the grid which reminds me of jail window bars.

Sunday, September 2, 2012

Dui, Serenity

Dui, serenity, southeast, white and grey, metal, reflecting surfaces. The lake. Water is referred to in two of the chapters. If you look at it from a pier or from a boat, it looks black. But if you see the surface in a landscape, it shines and reflects. Plants and trees appear as silhouettes, insects dance as black dots over it. Also facades with many windows have this reflecting surface and thus belonge to the same symbol group.  And this is the plan. The colors seem to be chosen roughly, but I cannot change the plan, it is part of Chinese medicine and oracles. Just the idea about "all" is my own.