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.

Monday, October 7, 2013

The Museum of Ethnic Arts as a Temple

The Museum Quilt project takes me to holy places. It is a confrontation with the things and symbols that our ancestors or people or tribes thought to be magic or sacred. I wonder if the people who are in charge of such objects are aware of it; to them, they are precious as rare artefacts, evidence of craft and skills, intelligence, or artistic height. Some museum directors (like in case of our local ethnic museum) seem to be aware of the spiritual radiance of their objects and let also events take place like the exposition of Buddhist relics.
By making this quilt, I am aware of effects that go beyond being playful.

A portrait of the goddess Kali, crowned with African style fabric and surrounded by other, mainly floral scraps; an explanation in old German writing, portrait and writing by hand.
I have to be careful to join in the style of the quilt that I started with. I starts looking different already.
A drawing of a couple is the center of another panel. You can look at it upside down as well, because a quilt, when lying flat on a bed, can be turned either way. I prefer quilts on beds. The female person or goddess was taken from ancient ceramics of Sumer culture. I gave her a consort. They both step on a scorpion to ward off evil, and I see them as divine teachers and donators, the male one bringing the light and mammals for domestication, the female with plant sprouts and birds.

Friday, October 4, 2013

Taking up a UFO

You might remember the quilt I started a few years ago. I called it the "Museum Quilt" because it is about symbols, as they can be found on ancient artefacts, and partly are authentic, partly invented.
I took working on it up again, after finishing my latest quilt, because I thought it should be continued.
A divine couple, partly taken from very ancient pottery
A Japanese calligraphy from Rayna Gillman's stash

Critters out of Wanda Hansen's scraps
Mountains that Yael Eshkar gave me
I apply the korak method which allows me to connect the pieces rather informally. It will be full of stories from long forgotten times -- or modern whimsical fiction --, when I'll finish it.
Coming back to an old task (this one was started about 3 years ago) can be quite inspiring.

Thursday, October 3, 2013

The Quilt Walk

 A bright and shiny day, just perfect for a walk. Yet, it is not really warm any more, during the nights, temperatures are just 5-6°C (41-43° F), and at daytime, they hardly go beyond 18° (64° F). The wind is pretty icy.
 "Looks like Chernobyl", said my husband. He was carrying the object I intended to photograph.
 We went to a small lake near our home.
 What is shining thru the quilderness?
 Or creeping over a quillow?
 It is a just finished object of textile art.
Showing its reverse down by the water.
My husband was very helpful displaying the object which is only 2 layers thick on some spots, so the sun is really shining thru and the colors are as you see them, no help of digital remastering.
The hedge is just right to display the full format. And here is the artist in full format.
Thank you for walking with us!

Wednesday, October 2, 2013

Binding Finished

... and I'm dashing into bed. Tomorrow is our National Day, we'll take a walk and I want to take better pictures out in nature. So expect nicer colors tomorrow!

Monday, September 30, 2013

The Binding is Still Due...

But the rest of the quilt is coming closer to being finished. I'm still pondering if I should mark all the crossings on the reverse with the 45°-angle positioned squares, as I have done on the front side. It just means that these spots will consist of up to 10 layers of fabric... I'm also thinking of a surprise binding; so there might be something coming for your pleasure. Hopefully.
The reverse color distribution is mere serendipity. I arranged the front tiles and later looked at the reverse. It was beyond control.

Sewing the bridges was a lot of work, and I pricked my fingers a few times, as I tried to stitch the bridges which were in the middle part. But sewing stripes of tiles would have meant to arrange the tiles already, and I preferred to be free in my choice till close to the end.

Sunday, September 15, 2013

Off Topic: Paying my Old Home a Visit

Today, J and I took a walk in a part of town where I lived from 1983 thru 2003, for almost 20 years. As it is rather close to the center, it is exposed to changes more than the suburbs or villages; this former quarter of workers and fishermen, a place of factories, workshops, and poor families is becoming an attraction for night-crusers and past-noon-breakfasters. The place has become more colorful, more crowded and even a little posh since I lived there.

The chimneys of the fish factories are still there, the "Fabrik" has become a well-known concert hall. It used to be a place where machines were produced. The hammering, rocking rhythmes are still there.
Backyards of these former stores and workshops are now turned into cafés, theatres, dancing halls and kindergartens.

 The size of some houses shows that the place used to start as a village, but became residence of many whose wealth was created in the factories.

I found a mural recalling the building of the shopping mall "Mercado" which was started where a Jewish cemetary used to be. The negotiations about building it or not became an issue of international attention. The mural shows the solution: The cemetary which had been given up and sold already, had been desecrated long before, the tombstones had been turned into cement for a bunker. The compromise was to build the shopping center OVER, not on the cemetary. Under survey of Rabbis, the fundations were layed with great care. Unfortunately, even the mural about these events was desecrated by a grafito.
This is the back entrance of the shopping mall today. And inside in the basement, there is a memorial wall with the names of all the persons who were buried on this cemetary. Also the Mercado is different from most highly commercial shopping malls. It consist mostly of small pavillions for shops, cafés, and restaurants, much in the way they existed before the mall was built.
 Some cafés and shops in this quarter still have the whimsical character from the era before it became fashionable to live or to go out here.

And sometimes, funny things seem to happen like someone leaving a broken teapot on the pavement on a sunny Sunday afternoon. Teatime in Ottensen.

Thursday, September 12, 2013

Just a Few Squares Missing

More squares are finished. Spread out beside the finished part. They still need to be quilted and connected. I'm not sure about the white square, front left; it came from another project. Will it fit in?

Cloth for the middle piece in the top left square: Ruusulampi

Thursday, September 5, 2013

Five New Squares

After a time of heavy painting, there is a time of more intense quilting. Didn't find the time to do more prints; so I'm using the chicks that are still there instead. Sometimes I abandon the rules to the degree of making something completely different; if you look closely, you will find an 8-point star in the right top square. Guess the only rule is to have something like a square in the middle and a lot of 45° angles around. And to use the heaps of lovely squares that my quilter friends gave to me. Having started with such a tiny stash just a few years ago, I cannot properly reward your kindness.
Front crossing
Front crossing
Pumpkin, the color of the season, appeals to me a lot. But having started to compose the quilt, I have to keep the new squares in balance with what is finished already. The reverse strips are finished; I'm just uncertain if I should embellish the corners with the little 45°-squares, too, because the crossings bulge up to an enormous volume on these spots.
What do you think?
Reverse crossing