Thursday, October 30, 2008

Tokyo Quilt Festival

I just ran across this album of pictures from the Tokyo Quilt Festival on Jan's b*muse blog (link in the title--for some reason, i can't seem to set up links within texts at the moment).

It was exciting to look at these quilts from Japan. I lived in Tokyo for 8 years before i came to Germany and I love the Japanese sense of color, the asymmetry and "wabi sabi". Recently, looking for material for a short stories course i'm teaching, I found the Oxford Book of Japanese Short Stories.

It seemed to be just the right time for me to run across this collection. Some of the stories are deeply disturbing and some confirm my bleak assessment of Japanese society, but it's still fascinating to hear Japanese voices talking at eloquent length about their world. While I was living in Japan, I was often mystified by various elements of the culture. Like many Westerners, I also, frankly, felt alienated by the culture and found it difficult to cope with many of the differences. That's why it's good to have a bit of light shed on the mysteries and also, fun to re-encounter Japanese aesthetics from a safe distance (I left in 2000).

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Grandmother's Fan

After several months of woe and intrigue with my Mac, i'm finally wired at home again, and hoping to be better about blogging now. Being offline did have a silver lining, though. It gave me time to finally get started on the Grandmother's Fan quilt for my nephew Marcos. He chose this pattern from a book of historical quilts while he was visiting me a couple of years ago. I decided to use mainly Japanese fabrics.

Mail from Hedgehog!

This fabulous little quilt arrived in the mail from Hedgehog (aka Jen) in Finland recently. What a wonderful surprise! It's even more beautiful in person than in photos. I love the colors and the composition and the contrasting stitching. It was an entire strawberry package, including: strawberry tea, white chocolate with cookies and strawberries, and even a set of Merrimekko napkins with the same strawberry print as in the quilt. Jen's quilt has inspired me to start my own series of mini-quilts, using Japanese fabrics.

Monday, October 13, 2008

More Raffle Quilts from Lisa!

A baby-sized Mickey Mouse quilt (38" X 38")
detail of Mickey quilt

A lap-sized batik quilt (48" X 52")

In case anyone would like to enter a raffle to win one of these lovely quilts made by my sister Lisa, the drawing will be held October 31st. Proceeds are to benefit a friend with cancer. Tickets are $1 or 6 for $5. Make checks payable to Lisa M. Hendricks at 12031 Scribe Drive, Austin, TX 78759. If you're in Europe, please email me about tickets:

Both are 100% cotton and machine washable.

Wednesday, October 08, 2008

Inspiration Everywhere

These tiles are in the entry hall of a friend's house. Every time i see them, i think what cool--if not exactly easy--quilt blocks they would make.
I'm still without my computer at home, and feeling too burdened by "real" work to do much sewing, but next week we're on holiday from one of my jobs, so i hope to have a bit of guilt-free time for creative stuff, finally. I'd also like to take a few pictures around town, while the Fall colours are still going. Autumn tends to segué pretty quickly into Winter here, but at the moment, it's glorious.

Thursday, October 02, 2008

Another tumbling blocks project. This one was designed by my boyfriend Alfred, who is an architect. I'd always wanted to try something a bit more planned, and collaborating with someone who is more interested in planning a design inspired me. Alfred was fascinated by the 3D blocks. They'll be arranged from the lightest at the top to the darkest at the bottom. It's going to be a wallhanging.

I've also decided to divide the white background blocks further: into those with warm colors included and those that are more just cool colors. It seems to me that northern Europeans tend to prefer warmer colors--maybe to offset the cool grey skies?
I'm planning to finish this one for a Hamburg friend (one of those cool blondes who like warm colors). Many of the blocks in the photo above are Luisa's, which I think she's shown on her blog, but I'll take a picture of her latest ones together. As always, they were lovely, and with inspiringly perfect workmanship.

Wednesday, October 01, 2008

I decided to split the stars into those with an indigo background and those with a white background. I can't help asking: which do you like better? Opinions so far seem sharply divided.

Sorry to be so remiss about posting.

My ailing Mac has kept me offline except for work-related stuff for a few months now. Also, the amount of correcting for the summer writing courses was worse than usual this year. Definitely must find other jobs, so I can get back to more quilting. I've also made a few more stars for the swap and finally, finally started on my nephew Marcos's Grandmother's Fan.
Nachwuchs! I love that German expresssion. My sister Lisa (the one who also quilts) has just become a grandma! My nephew David's fiancée Singer gave birth to Gwyneth Agustina Luján on September 6th. She was an even 9 lbs and 22 in. long. And here she is lying on the quilt that i made her.

I just tie quilted it, but the back is pretty cute, with red knots on a sky blue background and a yelllow Dick and Jane border. More pics coming soon (I forgot to take any, but grandma promised to send some).