Friday, October 12, 2012

my philosophy

I like to work according to the SEP approach - simple, easy, practical.

Simplicity seems to be the catch word of our decade especially when it comes to making quilts. You will find countless number of books on this subject. Slow down, enjoy life, make it simple, there's no rush. I like simple designs and like to make use of a little bit of color. I have never been one who collected a lot of things and this is carried over to my designs.

I like to balance even if it is an asymmetrical design. A good quilt is like my daily outfit - a good pair of modern dark jeans, a neutral long sleeve t-shirt, a knitted sweater jacket and a bright print scarf and of course, my shoes always have to match my purse and belt. Make-up is optional, of course.
If it is too complicated, I just don't want to do it! I am sewing a sampler with my other patchwork friends in a "real time class" for 2012. Almost every week I go to class and try to work on a block. If you have ever worked on a sampler, you know that it just gets frustrating after a while. It is time consuming to cut out the templates and sew it all together and that twelve blocks times over. I think we all need a "quickie" every now and then just to put a spark back in our lives. I find myself avoiding the sampler and finding everything else to do instead. 

Okay, I am just practical by nature. My mother drilled-in to me to just do something right and do it once. No hassles. Since I am basically a lazy person by nature, I trained myself to find the most practical way to do that with the littlest amount of effort and carried this principle over to patchwork. Shortcuts are great when they produce the same results. I mainly make blankets because they are practical and are always used. Table runners might be only used once in a year. Purses might only be used for three months and then discarded.

Here, in Germany, patchwork is "back to the roots." Quilting fabrics are not that easy to come by. When you are lucky enough to find a gem of a fabric store, be prepared to spend a pretty €uro cent. Why? The large manufacturers produce their fabrics in Asia, have then sent to the United States for sale, and are bought from EU importers and imported to Germany. Everyone has to have their cut and import tax is high. Basically, a meter (a little more than one yard), costs about 16,50€; that includes a German sales tax of 19%. A basic quilt has about 8 meters of fabric equallying 130€! I am so impressed when I see my German patchwork friends coming up with stunning quilts, table runners, pillow cases, etc. just from old bedding or even worn out jeans! Now that is patchwork! Here in Germany, those scraps are VALUABLE! So, when I see a wonky cut block or a technique that scraps a lot of my fabrics, I shy away. I am half German from my mentality and am a GO GREENer! I separate my trash and buy organic when it is economical, i.e. not imported from Australia but rather produced in Austria or France.

Keep patching and thanks for stopping by. Next time, grab yourself a cup of warm coffee before you start.

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