Sunday, 9 November 2014
St Germain quilt and 25 years of freedom
Last weekend I finished preparing 144 (+ few more, just in case) orange peel pieces for the inner border and started laying them out.
I am using various fabrics, mainly from my stash, to compliment the centre block, but also in keeping with the colorful Saint Germain part of Paris, after which this quilt is named.
During the week I managed to stitch two shorter sides, using needleturn applique.
I have pinned the 3 sections (not yet pressed) onto a board, so you can get an idea how the centre of the quilt will look like.
I can not let this weekend pass without sharing a memory with you.
As you know, we are celebrating 25th anniversary of the fall of Berlin Wall, and the domino effect it had on the rest of Eastern Europe.
About 5 months after that I flew to Czechoslovakia (as it was still called) to visit my mum.
During the previous 20 years, whenever I crossed any East European border, I would feel apprehension, I always had a knot in my stomach, when stern looking and unfriendly border guards were inspecting my passport, noting my place of birth.
I always had a feeling of dread, that something terrible would happen and I would not be able to return to the West. Although British by then, I kept my dual nationality ( more for sentimental reasons than anything else), so I knew that they could be silly about it, if they wanted to.
Thankfully, they were too fed up and bored themselves to bother, and there were no computers in those days, so nothing could be found at the touch of the button, as it can be now.
So, arriving at Prague airport in 1990, I felt easy and confident, the knot in my stomach no longer there. I was just another tourist, looking forward to seeing the changes of last few months.
I presented my passport to a very smart looking Czech passport control officer, in his brand new uniform.
After seeing the same details in my passport, he looked up, smiled at me and said
That is what the fall of Berlin Wall means to me.