18 Sep

Villa Meixner

Herzliche Einladung in die Villa Meixner zu Dekorativen Malereien mit Herbstmarkt.

You are warmly invited to a decorative painting and fine craft show and sale, with fall market, at the Villa Meixner.

I have been invited, along with a wonderful variety of other artists to show and sell work at this annual event. If you are in the region, please come join us as there will be something for most any interest. The villa is situated between the Neckartal (Neckar Valley) and the Deutsche Weinstrasse, not far from the cities of Mannheim, Schwetzingen and Heidelberg. Your entry fee of 3€ will be donated to charity.
Saturday, 13 October 14:00 to 19:00

Sunday, 14 October 11:00 to 17:00

Villa Meixner

Schwetzinger Strasse 24

68782 Brühl

18 Sep

Carrefour Européen du Patchwork 2007, part deux

So here’s the gîte where I was generously invited to stay for the night. Picturesque, no.


The calm exterior belies however, the hilarity going on inside. There was much laughing, talking, teasing, laughing, eating, laughing and drinking going on here. I should probably leave it to Sandy or Dijanne to tell all the gory details (however, you’ll have to wait for them to return home and blog). Interesting trivia though: we had five native English speakers in the house, yet none of us were from the same english speaking country. Four of the five also did not live in the country of our births.

After a somewhat slow morning, I headed out to see the exhibits I hadn’t visited the day before. I didn’t take many pictures. Maybe it was because of the hangover. More likely, it was because I have been here twice before and wasn’t feeling the need to record the sights for future reference. I did take lots of reference pictures of the venues as “research” for possible SAQA Europe participation in the future, but that’s not terribly interesting blog fodder. The majority of my other photos are for personal reference only. I soaked a lot in, but even with a blog in mind, I wasn’t in the mood to photograph much.

Villa Burrus is a gorgeous setting and had interesting textile art this year, but it wasn’t really my “thing,” so no pictures. I almost posted a picture of the villa itself, but then I noticed I have a better one in last year’s post. Same goes for the Bernina sponsored Quilts de l’Europe de l’Est exhibit at the Church of St, Nicholas. My favorite work was by Vera Sherbakova, and I’ve already got pictures of some of her work here and here.

I did like two pieces by another Russian artist, Tatjana Schmidt. The people in her work were engaging, and reminded me of a conversation I had not to long ago about the figure in art, and in the art quilt in particular. I have a tendency to get on my art school pedestal when I see work that may have a great, or at least timely, message, but the execution is lacking. I find this especially noticeable when working with the figure. It really shows whether you know how to draw or not. I think if one wants to use the figure in their quilt art, it should be purposefully naïve; perhaps like Tatjana’s (which seems stylisticly appropriate for the subject matter as well):

detail, Tatjana Schmidt

Or perhaps like this “Nomad” by Catherine Bihl, which was in another exhibit:

Nomad, Christine Bihl

I liked this one for other reasons as well. Look, she’s carrying her houses with her. I can relate.

Nomad, detail

If one is to use the figure realistically, then I want to see it done well. Or better than well. Like this detail from a work by Genevieve Attinger:

detail, Genevieve Attinger

The Espace des Tisserands in Ste Marie aux Mines always has good exhibits. This year included the work of Inge Mardal and Steen Hougs. They work realistically, and it’s obvious that they are skilled artists. It surprised me that I was drawn more to the appliquéd works than the heavily quilted paintings that they are so well known for. (My favorite from the exhibit is “From the Herbarium,” although Twelve by 12 friends might want to wait for “Cycle” to flick by in the slide show on their web site.)

Also at the Espace des Tisserands was the Green Carpet for Afghanistan, accompanied by the Threads Connecting Women project and traditional Turkmen patchwork. The patchwork was very interesting. Although the patches themselves were the same or similar to traditional American patches, through the use, the arrangement, and the fabrics, the finished product was completely different. Just how much these pieces are influenced by American patchwork, or not, I can’t say, but they certainly had a voice of their own.

There was also more contemporary work by Kjufour and Textile Impact, which I decided not to photograph since these groups, like Glashaus, seemed to be bound by their internet connection and therefore would have online galleries. I need to note the name Genevieve Rampal though because I liked her work.

The Theatre has the big, traditional PATCHWORK. Last year it was the amazing Japanese ladies. This year the place of honor was a Home Sweet Home theme sponsored by the French quilt magazine Quiltmania.

Theatre, St Marie aux Mines

Half way through the day I went to the vendor hall. The patchwork fabrics did not call to me. I was tired and my feet hurt a bit, not to mention the huge bruise on my elbow I received the night before but didn’t notice until morning. Maybe that had something to do with it. I liked a lot of hand dyed and painted fabric, but realized that if I was to use it in my work, it would show the artist’s hand — and that artist would not be me. If I want unique, artist-made fabric in my work, I need to be the artist to make it. I did linger by the threads and beads and picked up a few pieces of silk, so I didn’t leave empty handed. I bought pâte for the kids (spreadable wurst as they call it) from the food vendor outside too.

I was feeling guilty about the kids and the neighbors who had had them most of the day before and all of Sunday. I took a pass on a few smaller venues that didn’t sound enticing to me, but I’m glad I stopped on the way out of town at the exhibit of contemporary shibori by Lia Flemmings and Inger Kristensen. Since I’ve been reading Shibori Girl’s blog, and since Gerrie took her indigo workshop, I’ve been seeing the stuff everywhere.

Shibori as wall art. Inger Kristenson

Hanging shibori, Lia Flemmings

Shibori culumns, Lia Flemming

I headed home tired, but inspired. Amazingly enough the neighbors weren’t quite ready to hand the kids back (they were at our local town fest — another blog post) so I had a little time to catch up on emails and to unpack.

17 Sep

Carrefour Européen du Patchwork 2007

Yup, I’m back.

Business first: the kids have randomly chosen Debbie and Ursula as the Blogiversary Fliegenpilz pincushion winners. Photographic proof and prezzie pics to come later (I still need to make one pincushion). Congratulations ladies, and many thanks for commenting!
Now on to the really fun stuff. After Katja’s Einschulung on Saturday morning (that’s another post to come soon as well), I dropped the kids off with the fabulous Swiss neighbors and hightailed it to the Val d’Argent in the Alsace region of France for the 13th Carrefour Européen du Patchwork. This is the third year I’ve gone, despite innevitable birthdays and Einschulungen the same weekend.
Patchwork this way

The sign for the show is not only bigger than the one for the town it’s in (Sainte Marie aux Mines), but it’s permanent as well.

St. Marie aux Mines and her sister cites participating in the Carrefour are picturesquely tucked away in a valley known for it’s silver mining, and as the well of the Amish movement. There are flowers everywhere and little brooks trickling through the cities. This one with little white blooms growing in the water reminded me of John E. Millais’ painting Ophelia. (See, mom and dad, the art education didn’t go to waste).

Ophelia will float by any minute

Local vendors have set up to take full advantage of the visitors. Treats such as sweets, honey, pâté (of course), baguettes, and fresh pressed apple juice were handy to many of the venues.

yummy apple juice

My first stop was not actually in St. Marie aux Mines, but in the first town on the route, Liépvre (the town henceforth known merely as “the one I can’t pronounce”).

Eglise de l

The Church of the Assumption had work from three different artists. Karen Østergaard’s work was my favorite, which surprised me. I had seen one of her pieces at the European Quilt Trienneal last year and was underwhelmed (It’s the one on her home page). However, I really liked the newer work here. She revisited the cows to much better effect (I think), and she had a whale piece I really enjoyed which I wished I had photographed. I did take note of the dandelion on the first piece though. How about you Françoise?

Karen Oestergaard

Next stop was a large gymnasium with work presented by the French Patchwork Association. There was a wonderful variety of work from traditional to contemporary, all shown with lots of light and space. I found another piece here that got me thinking about my blog friends. Look Gerrie, it’s indigo. I liked the nod to shashiko in the stitching on this piece by Anne Woringer, called “Maelstrom:”

Maelstrom, detail. Anne Woringer

“500 Triangles,” by Colette Camoisson jumped out at me. It has the energy I’d like to achieve with a scrappy, strippy Lone Star I want to make for our next Guild Challenge (yeah, yeah “real” artists don’t do guild challenges, but I have this deep urge to make practical bed quilts now and this is just the excuse I need). Anyways, I like this:

500 Triangles, Colette Camoisson

At the same venue were the quilts of the Carrefour’s annual competition. This year’s theme was “A garden, passionately.”

I noticed right away that Dijanne Cevaal’s “View From My Studio” won the Husquvarna prize. Congratulations! Among my other favorites was one by Sophie Strohmeier called Gypsy Garden:

Gypsy Garden, Sophie Strohmeier

Next to the one above, and the work of Russian artist Vera Sherbakowa who’s work I’ve been admiring since I saw it in Lyon (and was featured at another Carrefour venue), I think it’s obvious that I will not be denying my love of patchwork any time soon.

I also liked the utter simplicity of “Restanques en restauration,” by Dominique Arlot:

Restanques en Restauration, Dominique Arlot

And, of course, I love Mirjam Pet-Jacob‘s work. (And I’m very excited to be taking a workshop with her at the end of the month!)

Mirjam Pet Jacobs

I still had some time after I had seen the three exhibits in “the town I can’t pronounce,” so I decided to carry on to “the town I’ve never had time to include before,” AKA Rombach le Franc.

I quite enjoyed the work of the German group Glashaus; particularly Heike Hothum’s piece called Communication:

Communication, Heike Hothum

and Jutta Briehm’s work :

Jutta Briehm

I finished off the day by meeting up with Dijanne Cevaal, Sandy Marcoux, and two of their friends to spend the night at a gîte, or french farmhouse.

12 Sep

Happy Birthday

Happy 9th birthday to my son!

Today is also my two year Blogiversary. Why I ended up writing my first blog post on my son’s birthday is beyond me, but it does help me remember. This is also the first week of school for my son (and starting next year, for my daughter too), and always just before the weekend of the Carrefour European du Patchwork in the Val d’Argent, which happens to be the same weekend as the Einschulung for the first graders (my son two years ago, my daughter this year).

Last year I did the usual “what blogging has meant to me” post, but this year I’m just going to reward two readers (picked at random) for putting up with my whining, ranting, rambling, and general meandering. Since regular readers know I love Fliegenpilze (toadstools) and I made my first Fliegenpilz pincushion from a book I picked up at the Carrefour last year, I think it’s appropriate that I make two (for two years, duh) and give them away. So, comment away until the end of Sunday (whatever your time zone) and I’ll have the kids each pick a name from a hat on Monday when I’m back from the quilt show.

This one is mine

Maybe I’ll even have enticing pictures from the show to share.

10 Sep

Back to School

So many things to blog about, so little time. Instead of cramming a bunch of disparate things into one post, I’m rapid-fireing tonight.

Today was my son’s first day back at school. It seems to have gone well, and we’re practicing getting the princess up and out the door early for her first school day next Monday. I think I’ve gotten all their supplies in order. The boy got his list today and I braved the crowds at the dollar store to fill it. Luckily, he’s already got a lot of the basics and I can now finally understand words like karo, liniert, Schnellhefte, Ordner and Umschlag! The girl has required a bit more work. Many of her supplies didn’t fit into the slim pencil book we bought to go with her backpack, and unlike the boy, we didn’t get the fully outfitted set. No problem, I knew the missing items were ones I could craft myself.

Gym bag and pencil case

The gym bag is the one I made along with the birthday present skirts — now being used for it’s intended purpose. On Sunday, I gathered all the loose school “Sachen” (plastecine, glue stick, water container, crayons, fat pencils, paint brushes, etc.) and made a zippered cosmetic-style bag for them.

I’ve been wanting to play around with this handbag form for a while so this was my chance. Although it holds her stuff just fine and Katja is very pleased with it, I’d still like to make more some day. I had intended for the blue print to take up about a third of one end of the bag instead of nearly bisect it lengthwise, but I wasn’t concentrating while I was piecing together my scraps (that’s the thing with working in 3-D — you’ve literally got to wrap your head around stuff and that’s hard to do with little people talking at you the whole time). I think there’s lots of possibility here for patchwork and simple quilting/embroidery. This one is also a little big for the bag’s structure — ideally I think these should be small scale.

10 Sep

Sanity Crafting

This is kind of how I’ve been feeling lately:

No Floss Tin

All jumbled up and messy. This has also busted out of it’s little octagonal box and resisted containment, but that doesn’t really apply to me.

However, our August house guests left us with a RED tin of cookies which I claimed as soon as it was empty:

Floss Tin; no floss

Some felt and fabric covered Timtex later and I may have cleaned up some of the messiness.

Full Floss Tin

Unfortunately, all the beads didn’t fit, but my embroidery flosses are generally color coded and less jumbled. The messiest beads fit in the now empty octagonal box, but I may be looking for another tin of cookies. Maybe the October house guest will oblige me. 😉
Special for my MIL: I splurged a bit here tonight.

09 Sep

More Table Runners

Mod Log Table Runners

I am scheduled to teach how to make these on post on the 23rd (yes, of this month!) and bad advertiser that I am, I had no samples to hang in the shop. I made this realization a few days ago and dropped everything to make this:

Pretty Birdy Mod Log Table Runner

It uses almost all of the hip, trendy fabrics in my stash — which also happen to go together when used with the cool bird fabric that has both pink and red.

Pretty Birdy detail

I really like the quilting too. What I came up with for conceptual reasons on the Japanese influenced table runner worked great for aesthetic reasons here, as I needed something very simple. I like the way the birds are completed by the quilting — that turned out well, I think.

However, it’s all a tad bit busy, no? I realized that my generally conservative audience on post might be a little scared by all the wonky peicing and crazy mixing of patterns and color. So, I kept going and made another table runner; this time in the old standby Americana.

Americana Mod Log Table Runner

I’ve had the Baltimore Album-ish fabric since I was piecing the Service Star quilt. Although these table runners work fine with any fabric in the middle of the log cabins, it’s fun to be able to fussy cut something special. When I added the floral, it somehow reminded me of my paternal grandmother, but now in a modern interpretation. She and my grandfather lived in a colonial style house built in 1942 and although there wasn’t an Americana theme to it, I think I remember some eagles on the wallpaper in the den — that’s the block centers. The floral is their big floral couch I spent hours on with my grandmother crafting and reading and generally hanging out. The wonky log cabin piecing brings it all up-to-date. The border started out in what is now the binding fabric. It looked good, but lost that modern look that I liked while the blocks were on my plain white sewing table. So I replaced it with plain beige which is the only simple, coordinating fabric I had enough of. I needed to quilt it quickly and get the two table runners to the shop where they could work for me, so I used another old standby, stars and loops. I’m afraid it’s not helping the “modern interpretation of my grandmother’s colonial house” theme, but I was short on time and knew that no one else cared about the underlying concept; they just needed to see what the project looks like so they can sign up for the class. I seriously doubt that I’ll take out all that quilting after the class and redo it with something more contemporary, but I’ll have to keep the concept in mind the next time I do something Americana-esque.