11 Feb

Friday was FABRICday!

Just because I have tried to refrain from purchasing brand new, off the bolt, fabric in a small effort to reduce the amount of stuff on earth, doesn’t mean there is no new-to-me fabric joining my stash. Friday was a boon day. My friend Kathy (of organza tea-bag fame) has a sister who is a fabric rep (or something like that), and she occasionally sends boxes of her no-longer-useful samples to Kathy, who brings them to our quilt group meetings for us all to paw over. I took home a small pile of decidedly un-Kristin fabrics with hand bags and a baby quilt in mind.

Free fabrics!

Friday was also the annual (or maybe semi-annual) sale at the Betty Barclay headquarters. I think that the fabric, buttons, zippers, etc which are on sale are the leftovers from the previous season’s samples. Maybe they are even factory leftovers, but I imagine that the bulk of the clothes are made in an overseas location. Either way, I figure that since these items are leftovers, they are OK for me to buy. So, I dragged the kids to the warehouse where we could cut fabric ourselves and the pay by the kilo. Zippers were .50€ each and buttons were 10 for .50€!

Here’s the bag we took home (with baby doll for scale):

Big bag o' fabric

We started with yards and yards of tulle because it weighs next to nothing. Then Zavi found some lining fabric destined to become a ninja costume. I cut a yard or two of black corduroy and some tweedy looking wool blend. Then we scrounged on the floor and in the remnant bin for other interesting bits that no one else wanted (recycling the recycled stuff — yeah!). However, I passed on the generous two yard, 60″wide swath of red wool blend reminiscent of Jackie O because it didn’t weigh next to nothing. I wasn’t thrilled with the zippers, so we only took four, but I think we ended up with 70 buttons (for a total cost of 3.50€ who wouldn’t?)!

Fabrics from Betty Barclay sale

One of the ladies counting buttons thought that the kids were cute, so she gave them each two iron-on patches for free. At the weigh-in, we had 3.5 kilos, (at 9€ per kilo) plus the zippers and buttons and tax. The whole shebang cost 45€, and considering fabric over here cost 15€ per meter and up, I’m VERY pleased with our purchase. After the weigh-in the guy manning the scale and printing out our invoice stepped away for a minute. He came back with the Jackie O fabric and handed it to Katja (at no cost). I think I need to take the kids shopping with me more often! Now I need to find an appropriate pattern to make a red outfit for the Divine Miss K. Maybe something from here. (the Muriel jumper? or maybe the green jacket from Sabine’s blog?)
I’m pretty sure these fabrics are destined to become crêche figures:

Yummy wool-ish fabrics

Not a bad day.

09 Feb

American Idiots

The HooHaa Monologues?” (info via Boing Boing (who admittedly have some pretty funny options) and Cynical-C.) What are they thinking? This just goes to prove my theory that most Americans are idiots. The woman is an idiot for being offended by the word vagina. Would she be offended by the word arm, or uvula (you know, the hangy-down thingy in the back of your mouth)? Doesn’t she know that it would benefit her daughter to know the correct anatomical terms for her own body? Research seems to point out that kids who can use the correct anatomical terms for their bodies are in better standing to prevent or report sexual abuse, (although it appears to me, in a quick Google search, that idiotic adults force the powers-that-be to use the more generic term “private parts” rather than the more specific, and helpful, penis, breasts, vagina and anus). The theater is idiotic for caving in. “The HooHaa Monologues” is no more the original, award winning, play than “Star Walk” is a sci-fi show (sorry for the lame analogies — I’m writing quick, and my helper, Analogy Man is not home yet). The student actors and director are idiots for not insisting the sign be changed back. I’d refuse to put on the show until the actual show were advertised at the theater.
Idiots. All idiots. I fear for our future. No, I fear our present (or should it be presence?).

05 Feb

Certainly I’m Wrong

I got a Crate & Barrel catalog in the mail today. I was flipping through it before I tossed it in the recycling and what popped out on page 76 but my all-time favorite Kaffe Fassett fabric as napkins! (Love these, but unfortunately they’d clash with my dishes.) But Crate & Barrel calls them “Kaleidescope” napkins, and there’s no mention of ol’ Kaffe anywhere. You would think that a big-time designer like he would want/insist on getting the credit — and wouldn’t it behoove C&B to tout big names as well to show how hip and happening they are? I checked the Kaffe Fassett website and saw that yes, he’s got a line of housewares at Neiman Marcus, and a bajillion other projects going on, but no mention of C&B. I checked C&B’s website to see if it had more info (credit) than the catalog. Nope, but I noticed that the “Spring Blossom” napkins were Kaffe as well. I Googled the two names together and got nothing relevant. Certainly I can’t be the first to recognize where the original pattern came from. Certainly the copyright-mad world would be all over this already. Certainly after all the bruhaha over Amy Butler’s fabrics and their origins and usages, a company as well known as Crate & Barrel wouldn’t dare use a design from a source as well known as Kaffe Fassett without first gaining permission. Certainly.

UPDATE:

I received this email today which makes me feel MUCH better about the world:
Hi Kristin – thank you for your email regarding the napkins.  Actually, this is a legitimate license with us for use of Kaffe’s fabrics, and we appreciate you advising us regarding the fabrics possible mis-use.  As you are probably aware, there are many companies out there that are illegally using the fabrics.  Thanks again.

Best regards,

Joyce Robertson
Commercial Director, Fabrics Division
Westminster Fibers

04 Feb

Solo Show at Bourgeois Pig

My solo show at the gallery Bourgeois Pig will come to an end mid-February. The response to the show has been wonderful. Many of my friends and acquaintances have made the effort to see the artwork in person. For those who cannot make it to Heidelberg to see the show though, I’ve decided to post the quilts here. When my website is refreshed and updated (in a month or two, I hope) I will have these in the new online gallery. In the meantime, this will have to do. If you are interested in any of the pieces, feel free to contact Kate at Bourgeois Pig directly for pricing and availability.
Staufen Vineyard

Staufen Vineyard © 2005 (approximately 9″ x 12″)

Foggy Morning in Czesky Krumlov

Foggy Morning in Czesky Krumlov ©2005 (approximately 11″ x 14″)
Heidelberg Schloß at Night

Heidelberg Schloß at Night ©2006 35″ x 35″

Tor am Alte Brücke

Tor am Alte Brücke © 2006 20 3/4″ x 37 1/2″

Hansel und Gretel

Hansel und Gretel ©2006 29 1/4″ x 35″

Fliegenpilz I

Fliegenpilz I © 2006 33 1/2″ x 51 1/2″

Fliegenpilz II

Fliegenpilz II © 2006 39″ x 44″

Juni im Rhein-Neckar Kreis

Juni im Rhein-Neckar Kreis © 2005 30″ x 42″

Am Rand des Omas Weizenfeld

Am Rand des Oma’s Weizenfeld © 2006 (approximately 46″ x 48″)

Traumwald

Traumwald © 2006 46 1/2″ x 68″

Traumwald: back

Traumwald back

Quiltstadt

Quiltstadt © 2006 78″ x 99″

03 Feb

Compassionate Art

First, THANKS for all the comments about my decision (or lack thereof) about where to take my art and education, and about my geographic status (or lack thereof)! I’ve asked a couple of shows whether or not I am eligible to enter. One American show looking for worldwide entries says yes, I can enter from Germany; one American show looking for US entries says no. I’m not worrying about the latter as there are so many possibilities out there, and my goal is only one show this year. I can wait for the right match.

I did a Google search for myself — to look see if I was being targeted by “Sploggers” (see Lisa Call’s post about this) since a bit more spam has been making it’s way past my Askimet blocker. I was more than pleased to see no splogs on the first page, AND to see that I (OK, my quilt) had been mentioned in Forbes.com. Who knew? My hubby is calling me a rock star now.

So, speaking of compassion: if asked, I would characterize myself as pretty cynical and selfish. And although I can easily put myself in other people’s shoes and see both (or more) sides to a story, I would not say I am terribly sympathetic or compassionate. However, when something strikes me as the right thing to do, I’ll jump right in. Case in point: the Kim Family Auction. As I’ve said before, I was touched by the story, and I wanted to help friends of friends. Similarly, when Gerrie posted yesterday about the Heart-2-Heart Project I had to respond (being married to a service member and all).

Yikes, but yesterday was the 2nd, and the postcards need to be in Houston by the 7th, and it can take up to 10 days for mail delivery here through the military postal system. I’m no math whiz, but those numbers don’t compute. Oh well. I figured if I got the cards done by Saturday morning and mailed them highest priority, they might make it, and if not, there was a good chance they could still be included in Heart-2-Heart’s contingency plan of delivering extras to Bethesda and Brook Hospitals.

Here’s what I’ve been doing since mid-morning yesterday:

Lately, my first step in creating seems to be to go down to the basement and paint some fabric.
Fabric postcard process 1

Pretty, no? Here I have somewhat channeled my AQT teacher, Gerry Chase. When I began I had no real idea of what I was going to make. I wrote down a few words to guide me: hearts and trees for growth and healing, houses for a welcome home. Whether anyone “gets” it or not, it helped my process.
Fabric postcard process 2

Then, I took all my fabrics upstairs to my sewing room (my daughter has to share a room with her brother so I can have my own space; but theirs is a big room), fused WonderUnder to their backs and started laying out the little compositions on Timtex (it’s stiff AND adds a quilty puffiness, which I like). Can you see, I have some very Melody Johnson-esque fabrics from Jeannie in there?
Fabric Postcard process 3

Once it was all in place, I moved to the sewing machine to hold the bits together and add some background texture.
Fabric Postcard process 4

TS&WGH came home in time to heat up some leftovers for dinner, and I sat down in front of the TV with my “kit” to add some hand embellishments: embroidery, beads and sequins. Madison says, “Wha? I’m not in your way; YOU’re in mine.” And you thought all my helpers were of the two-legged variety.
Fabric Postcard process 5

Too many video’d episodes of Law & Order later, I went back upstairs to fuse on the backs and trim the cards. Here’s where I finally admitted defeat last night and went to bed. Five cards done, six to go. Why do so many and why with time-consuming hand work? Because I WANTED to do it. No shortcuts for our service members (they get enough of that from the military), and besides, I was really liking how the cards were turning out. I think the discharged tree (was roots last week) with painted hearts and stamped houses is my favorite.
Fabric Postcard process 6

This morning I finished zig-zagging the rest of the borders and stamped a simple THANKS on the back of each.
Fabric Postcard process 7

Here they are, safe in the clear plastic sleeves I bought for my show.

Fabric Postcard process 8

And here they are ready to go to the post office and get stuffed in the most priority, express, expedited envelope TS&WGH can find. Also on their way are a thank you gift and a care package meant to bring a little joy to some friends still in the desert.

Fabric Postcard process 9

As I was making the postcards I recognized some of my recent inspirations emerging. As she is the queen of postcards and all things hip and small format, I made a conscious effort to bring a little Deborah to my work:

Postcard Series: Heart 2 Heart

I love the way this one turned out (Gerry meets Deborah):

Postcard Series: Heart 2 Heart

I seem to have channeled a little Charlotte Yde here (oh, and Sonji snuck in in the form of a bundle-ish roll):

Postcard Series: Heart 2 Heart

Oh, and this is what happens when Judy Coates-Perez’s Trees of Life, Susan Shie’s embroidery, and Sonji’s bundles all feed each other in my subconscious. How can anyone claim to be original when there’s all this great inspiration floating around out there seeping into one’s work without even asking?
Postcard Series: Heart 2 Heart

So there you have it. A 24 hour frenzy, but absolutely worth it, and actually a lot of fun.