29 May

Tripsdrill

As a gift for our son, we went to a nearby amusement park. This one was very much oriented towards locals; there were no signs or information in english, or any language other than german, for that matter. Imagine everything typically German, clean it up even more, add plenty of bathrooms and strategically located food opportunities (not just junk, but sit-down meals and local specialties as well) and voilá, Tripsdrill. And how cool is it to place a park in the middle of vineyards? Gorgeous scenery everywhere you look. You did notice that giant Fliegenpilz mushroom on the right side of the pic, didn’t you?
Tripsdrill Countryside

It’s the Wirbelpilz, one of those big spinning, swing things:

Z Swinging

Speaking of spinning, here’s TS&WGH (and the kids) in the Wäschekorb-Rundflug, or “Flying Laundry Baskets.” All the rides had oldy-worldy german themes: spinning coffee cups and gugelhupf (cake moulds), Waschzuber-Rafting in wash tubs, G’senkte sau a rollercoaster that’s Dr Zivago style sleighs, a clawfooted Badewanne Fahrt roller coaster with lots of splashing water, and much more. All in an idyllic setting of medieaval fachwerk (half-timbered) buildings.
Laundry Baskets

And here’s the kids and I in the Flotten Schlappen-Tour leather-look sandals:

Spinning Shoes

And Zavi on the Weinkübelfahrt in a wine barrel, spinning through a little vineyard:

Z in a Wine Barrel

Lest you think all they had was spinning rides, there were a few others too. In honor of Memorial Day, Zavi salutes the Indy 500!

Soapbox 500

And I don’t know who these girls are, but we loved these boats that had coffee pots, watering cans, and wine bottles that you could squirt water with. TS&WGH and Zavi got into a serious squirt-volley with a pair of parents in another boat. Who says fun is just for the kids?

Squirt Boats

They had a small petting zoo with cute goats. Instead of just feeding the goats, you could brush them as well. Good, clean family fun…

K Brushes a Goat

Until this one stole my map!

Bad Goat

And here’s one to file under “could never happen in the States.” They had a figure eight track with bikes just sitting there for anyone to use. Not just any bikes, but big, heavy clown bikes that wobbled up and down as you rode them, and this one with a swiveling front AND back wheels. Law suit waiting to happen if it were the US.
A on Swing Bike

27 May

It’s Friday, There Must be a Fest!

Thank you all so much for your kind comments regarding my last post. Yup, that nasty self doubt knocks on my door all the time. I try not to let him stay long though. You guys definitely help chase him out!

So, being Friday in Germany, there has to be a fest somewhere. Lucky for us, it was around the corner at the firehouse. They are celebrating their 100 year anniversary (although our town dates to 791).
Feuerwehr Fest

There was a disco in the truck bays, face painting, food, and the kids got to go for a ride around town in one of the fire trucks:

Firetruck rides

We had burgers, bratwurst, gyros, fries and beer, of course. What a great excuse not to cook dinner.

Fest food

Some cultural notes: Like most all small town events, food is served on real plates, not plastic or paper (it’s better for the environment). We wondered about the blue and white decor — could be because blue and white are the Bavarian colors and the Bayrisch know how to party; could be that our town’s colors are blue and white; could be that that’s what coordinated with the awning fabric which was on sale in Poland. There was no coffee and cake. Our Germerican neighbor suggested that there would certainly be coffee and cake tomorrow 😉

Lastly, look at what TS&WGH picked up today while out shopping. A fliegenpilz for our garden:

Garten pilz

27 May

I guess this means I’m an artist!

Great news! Two of my quilts have been accepted into the Zonta Club of Cincinati “Quilts for Change show! I’ve procrastinated literally for years about sharing my quilts with a larger (and judgemental) audience. However, at AQT last year, a wise classmate offered that if you like your quilts, you should enter them; judges and trends be damned. So, I jumped off the precipice and did it. While I am making a good number of quilts this year for my possible show, I decided that some of them should be entered as well , since acceptance could add, or prove, worth to the quilts. The two accepted into Quilts for Change will not be in my show, but I like them each for very personal reasons.

Shades of CR Mackintosh

Shades of CR Mackintosh” was made as a Christmas present for my mom and step-dad. They are enthusiasts of the Craftsman style and I wanted to see if I could make a quilt that would reflect that. I was also part of a bee with several appliqué-ers and was ready to try my hand at that. I had appliquéd before, but over the 8 or so months with this particular group, had gleaned lots of new tips and tricks. This hand quilted piece was a labor of love for me and a cherished gift for my mom and step-dad, and for that I want to share it.

Seaweed?

The other quilt, “Seaweed?” is one I made after hand-marbling fabric. This particular piece spoke to me to be embellished in an organic way. I had never approached a piece of art like this without a clear goal and I still don’t really know what it “is,” but I think that’s the beauty of it. I entered it because I think it’s rather unique, and if I like it for no good reason, maybe someone else will too.

I’ve been browsing the internet looking at some other the other quilts and artists which were also accepted and wow, I can’t believe that my quilts were even considered! I am in good company: Susan Schrott, Pamela Allen, Carol Taylor, Ellen Zak Danforth, Sue Reno, Sandra Woock, Kathy Munkelwitz, B. J. Reed, Susan Shie. These are just a few randomly chosen quilters/artists on the list. Pretty much everyone on the list makes award-winning quilts. I am amazed and depressed at the same time — amazed at the wonderful work these people are making and amazed that mine were chosen as well, and of course, depressed because of the self doubt that comes along with wondering how I could ever consider myself to be in the same league as these other women.

25 May

Meet my nemesis

Meet Madison. Years ago, we rescued him and a lovely grey cat from the pound. She bonded with TS&WGH and he, Madison, bonded with me. He sleeps on my head at night (it only took me 9 years to realize that if I scooted down in the bed and put an extra pillow above my head and scrunched mine all to myself that he would sleep on the extra pillow and not directly on my head). He purrs REALLY loud. He thinks it’s very important that someone get up at about 5:30 in the morning, but he won’t get out of bed himself. He headbutts you when he wants to wake you up or just give him attention. He thinks he MUST be near me at ALL times. He doesn’t eat people food normally, but he’s got this thing for marshmallows and chips.
Madison

Madison

23 May

Magic Mushrooms

I present to you, my next forest quilt. The last one was in the snow, so this one has warmed up quite a bit. In real life, it’s a rectangle, but my happy snappy digital camera has a wide angle lens that’s great for pics of vacation stuff, but exagerates any tilt I have trying to photograph my quilts. Anyways, the quilt is called “Fliegenpilz 1” for the red and white mushrooms found in european forests and used as a good luck symbol here in Germany. I hope to make a few more variations, hence the numerical nomination. This is smaller than my two previous works (34 3/4″ x 54″). I had grand plans for a border of hexagons representing stacked logs, which then changed to a grand plan of tie dyed logs, which ultimately was just too much for this poor little quilt. Finally, after much throwing about of fabric, it put it’s foot down and told me that it wanted to be simple and finished. I relented, but saved all the other bits to see if maybe they want to become another quilt on their own; maybe with some arty overdyed fabric?
Fliegenpilz 1
Here’s a couple of details. It’s a mix between the forest in Traumwald and the quilting and hand stitching in Am Rand von Omas Weizenfeld. Could this be a series?

Fliegenpilz 1, detail

Fliegenpilz 1, detail

21 May

ATCs done

Here are the finished ATCs (Artist Trading Cards). The first row are the ones I did from start to finish. The second row Susanne started, then they went to Elke and then I finished them. The last row Elke started, Susanne added on and I finished. I love them all, especially the last ones. Those colors are yummy, and though I would never have chosen to fuse circles and wedges, I was so inspired when I saw them that I knew immediately how I would finish the cards off. I think that’s the coolest part about this exchange. I love that potential of someone else doing something you’d never do, and then you get to get your hands in it too. I will consider wedges and simple geometrics more now. The last step of the exchange is for me to keep one card from each row and then send one of each to both Elke and Susanne. I’ll get one each of the one’s they are finishing off. I’ll post my nine when the others arrive, of course. BTW, you can check out more work from the group we belong to on the Texies’ blog.
My ATC work, finished

20 May

ATC Swap

Remember the round robin style ATC swap I’m doing? Here’s my backgrounds:

Kristin's Background

Here’s Elke’s:

Elke's Background

And here’s Susanne’s:

Susanne's Background

So, now we each keep a third for ourselves and then send the other two thirds to the other two players. We work on the backgrounds from each other and on our own, then send the ones from the other players to the opposite players.

Here’s what I did on Elke’s background (hand dyed band and painted Lutradur sent to me by Joanna van Rittbergen, sewed on with decorative stitches and Sulky Glowy thread):

Elke's background, step 2 by Kristin

Here’s what I did on Susanne’s background (colored pencil, machine thread drawing and couched silver ribbon):

Susanne's background, step 2 by Kristin

Here’s what Susanne did on Elke’s background (free motion machine meandering, fused fabric and Spinnvlies circles and wedges):

Elke's background, step 2 by Susanne

Here’s what Elke did on Susanne’s background (silky fringy stuff, organza, tulle):

Susanne's background, step 2 by Elke

Now, we each cut these pieces into three cards each, finish them off, keep one for ourselves, and then send the other two to the other players. We will each end up with 9 cards, worked on to various extents and in various orders, by the other players (with the exceptioon of one which I have worked on myself start to finish).

On another note, today was Craft Day. TS&WGH took the kids away and my girlfriends came over to share lunch and then work on craft projects as long as we want. Here’s Sidney and Tanya sorting blocks from a UFO and preparing a quilt border, respectively:

Working hard

And Silke’s going to hate me for posting the picture with her in it, but check out the pillow cover she just made with a 3-D fabric hydrangea. This is only her fourth or fifth quilty project. We’ve hooked her!

Silke's pillow

What a wonderful day :-)

20 May

Fabrics, Washed

I’ve washed and ironed all my fabric from Thursday’s class and TS&WGH says I must post the obligatory stacks of finished fabric 😉

So, here’s the ones I like:

Keepers

Here’s the ones I think I will overdye another day:

Still need work

Here’s a closer look at a few of my favorites:

Faves

This one, TS&WGH think looks like a retinal scan. We both think that it needs to be cut in half, and then both pieces need a bunch of hand stitching and a border of some sort, then it’s done. I used to wonder how people would come up with the ideas of what to dye or alter in some way, but now I see that a lot of it is probably experimenting with the processes and then letting the fabrics tell you what they want to be.

Retinal Scan fabric

This one wants to be a forest with a clearing through through the trees and the witch’s house from Hansel and Gretel. Just in case you can’t see the house, I’ve lightened the area around it. Again, hand stitching and buttons will clear up any confusion.

Hansel and Gretel Forest

And, finally, the money shot, Katja in her hand dyed velour dress:

Katja's hand dyed dress