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Monthly Archives: April 2011

Bounty

 

What a beautiful word: bounty. It comprises so much. You can express so many things with just this one word.

On the other hand, it is possible to apply it to things that aren’t nearly bountiful. As one might say of the chocolate bar. It is chocolate, and it is coconut. That’s all. If you don’t like either you wouldn’t put it near your mouth.

The famous ship. It received its name with second birth. Originally named Bethia, the British admiralty bought this coal transport ship and rebuilt it into a swimming greenhouse. Its first assignment was to bring breadfruit plants from Tahiti to the Antilles. The slaves there starved and needed badly a staple food with reliable crop. The name of the ship was chosen deliberately. Its journey was an act of bounty from King George III. to his slaves in the West Indies. Considering the incidents that followed (mutiny, flight, burning), one might think the name was given with more wishful thinking than thought.

Bounty is also the name of the next block. While sewing, I understood why, and you will easily see, too.

© 2011 by hs

Strictly speaking, we are talking of four blocks within this block. And it was great fun sewing these very different—in colour and technique—blocks into one bounty block.

In the center: log cabin.

You start with the center square (red) and add strips of fabric in clockwise order. By varying the colour of these strips you can create multiple effects.

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On the left: pinwheel.

There are several different techniques to create a pinwheel block—depending on the amount you want to sew in one colour combination. In my case, I needed so few that I cut and sewed the triangles.

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On top: half square.

Very easy and again, I cut and sewed the triangles.

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On the right: square in a square.

I sewed the white triangles to the green squares.

For all three small blocks is true that there are many (smarter) ways of cutting and sewing them. But only if you need larger amounts of one colour combination.

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Start it off

Today I tell you what I like about sewing.

I love to create.

I am not speaking of thinking, or brooding, and then spitting out what my intellect has thought up. I am talking of making something. Of bringing it into life.

I love the process of cutting, and stitching, and pressing, and cutting again. Of piecing tiny bits of fabric together into something larger. And as I am going, this something grows, in dimension and colour.

© 2011 by Heike Scharmann

Of course, you need to think while going. And I like it that you need really much imagination at first. Because at first sight, these scraps of fabric seem to not fit to each other. But I have constantly in mind what is to become of them. I try and I err. Experience sometimes helps. Sometimes it’s in the way.

In the end, there is some kind of satisfaction—and pride. But not in a peacockish way. I am happy that I actually have done this, that it is beautiful, and that I can do so much more.

I am often asked “How do you find the patience for such a work? How long did it take you? How do you find the time?” I don’t get these questions at all. I don’t need patience for this. I am not doing a queensize quilt in one day. I am not calculating in advance how long it will take me to finish it. And I never have to look out for time.

I feel like sewing, and I sew. Maybe for ten minutes, maybe for five hours at a time. It is only in retrospective that you can say: Wow, that must have taken a long time! Or in anticipation that you ask: How long will it take me? Am I ever going to finish it?

These are not my questions. I am always sewing in the present. I am creating in the present. And as you might already have guessed, this is true for every creative process. Be it sewing, or painting, or photography, or carpentering a nesting box. It takes but a little step to start it off.

Church(ill)

Spring at last! Yippee!

© 2011 by Heike Scharmann

I like spring. A new beginning sounds comforting. As I am getting older, I feel this to be true in more than one way. But then I guess it is very natural. What could an infant have to regret?

I fear I am getting a bit too serious. Let me quote a seriously great man here:

“A man does what he must—in spite of personal consequences, in spite of obstacles and dangers and pressures—and that is the basis of all human morality.” (said Winston Churchill)

Almost as much as I awaited the arrival of spring, I looked out for the new issue of McCalls’s Quilting Magazine. When it finally arrived, I eagerly leafed through it. I would have instantly crammed myself behind my Bernina—but that was not to be. I had a cold. Headaches, coughs and the use of many Kleenex were inevitable.

Yesterday probably was the worst day relating to the coughing. But still I cobbled together the first of the three new blocks: the church.

© 2011 by Heike Scharmann

Last Sunday, our church (almost) burned. Some rubbish containers outside the building ignited at ten in the evening. The roof above the containers burned really hard. And probably would have emblazed the neighbouring house. Twenty (!) firemen fought the flames. They cooled the house with loads of water. And used a heat image camera to make sure there was no fire source left over. (That impressed me much.)

This was quite a shock. But in the end, the damage is not too serious. The heat made the big windows in the church hall crack. That is all I know so far.