and especially for Judy. faith, family, and persistence are her constant companions-plus a needle, thread, and some cloth.
it rained!! and one of my favorite things is to walk around the garden the morning after. here is only some of what i saw…
also gone as well are the natural dyed fabrics i loaded into the shop yesterday- many thanks! the last payment on my little health interruption last Dec. will be paid off! took the whole year but DONE!! where would i be without you?
the shop will stay open for ribbon buyers only through Wednesday.
plus the squirrelleys say hello!
I have been existing in a silk cocoon these past 10 days which has been wonderful considering the noise out there in the “real” world.
In the lifecycle of a silkworm, the cocoon has evolved to protect the silkworm as it pupates and transforms into a silk moth. It offers protection against predator threats as well as not so obvious threats of bacteria and other harsh realities providing its own ideal environment inside, regulating air, water, and temperature conditions inside the cocoon as the transformation occurs.
This is not unlike a trip to Houston and the International Quilt Festival. We are inside the GRB Convention Center halls, in our own little (HUGE!) cocoon. As I observe my own self in this cocoon, I also observe others around me and see many transformations taking place. We are seemingly oblivious to the noise occurring outside this cocoon. We are buzzing inside here, creating an energy that is exciting and palpable. The election, other news, and even connections to family and friends not present, cease to exist for the most part.
We Are Here. We are reminded what it is to get away from our usual activities and places. We are gathered together inside to create, learn, teach, view beauty and connect. Inside this cocoon we meet new people and learn from them, and we learn about ourselves from these interactions. We work as a team, making things go smoothly for all. When something falls out of place, there is a rush forward to help, to solve. In classes (both as teachers and students) we learn how to fail, to accept, to improve and to create solutions. We share joy in all of this and through viewing the immense display of quilts we experience beauty, talent, process and progress.
We know we will return, each of us to our own realities and places, back to our friends and families and home. But we will return transformed. We have seen so much beauty inside that cocoon, so much joy, sharing and caring for each other in this creative playground of cloth and fiber. Perhaps this is where the comparison ends. Unlike the silk moth who will exist only a short time more, we will continue on, perhaps unraveling the cocoon as we return filled with new ideas and intention, having made new friends, strengthened old ones and set out on new paths and directions.
Here now at the airport, I am slowly emerging from this cocoon, having been once again transformed by the experience. I met so many, heard many stories, and shared much. Thanks to all who visited, took classes, participated in so many ways large and small.
Last week was a bit of a blur. A 2 day workshop at the JANM, all the prep and putting away for that consumed days apart from the actual time at the museum. We made fermentation vats for everyone who wanted to take one home. I decanted and took a 5 gallon container from my own ferm vat to the workshop for participants to try out. We “seeded” each of the new vats with a cup or two of my vat, so now the mother vat has children and I may become a grandmother! Or at least an Auntie. I took NO photos that weekend- was just very involved and focused on what we were doing. Thanks to all who came and also to those who plan on returning to the upcoming workshops Dec 10-11 and also on the Feb. 4-5.
The week also brought some pomegranate dyeing into view and it feels as if I am spinning straw into gold. Using lots of old cloth-collected and gifted- re-loving them.
And now finally, I attempt to finish this post started nearly a week ago. With the first boxes sent off to the Ed office for my Houston workshops and the studio reorganized from that fiasco I continue…
plus, we got some rain…
Took a couple of days near the cooling beach with Phil and Trev to get away from the daily doings. Shore leave as it is sometimes called…
Brought this along. Maybe it is a traveling cloth, even if only a mind traveler. Stitching on it again with the surf pounding in front of me, I wonder about our connection to water. A morning shoreline fisherman pulls up a silvery fish. I imagine he is fishing for moons and stars.
The indigo seed is born of water, nourished by water, dissolved in water. The silk thread I am stitching with is connected to that water as well. The mulberry leaf received its water in the form of rain, the cocoon, the sericin softened and reeled with the aid of water.
The early fisherman carries his silvery catch away as others arrive, and we move on. Here is a memory from another trip this way. moons, tides, memories
The Houston show is on the horizon ahead of me. I am working towards that. In addition, there is a two day workshop at the JANM. There are other things too. Too much really. People who want last minute orders will wait until I return. What can you do? I stopped posting on social media for a week. Just needed a break from it. FB and all its crazy politics with the election is disruptive. I guess the most I will say about all that is go and vote. Be prepared to take responsibility for what and who you vote for. The show in Houston is the weekend pre-ceeding the election. Always a difficult and uncertain time for people. I plan to make my booth as beautiful and peaceful as possible. Come. Hang out. Get inspired. Working with your hands is good. Booth 1921.
they will practice on paper and go away with the instruction sheet.
Our hot spell has subsided now and both myself and perhaps the apricot tree are feeling a little less crazy. I could not work well outside during those days. Hence all the mandala folding and other workshop kit making after sunset.
Gosh, has it been that long? The first quilt Journey started here. Further photos from the wayback time machine here on Flickr. And it has been a journey that has developed into an Odyssey. Journey was the original mooncloth.
Sometimes it’s funny to go back and read an old post. Notice how some things change and others remain the same. Like how I am still not a quilter. Blogging for over 10 years now and there are so many posts I still enjoy going back and re-reading- as a reminder. Others not so much- but still a good reminder.
In a much more recent post, I showed you how I was binding the edge of the test mooncloth Under One Moon in a little video. A couple of pics of the semi-finished piece:
This was sent off as a gift with a hope of continuing. Some thread and a needle included.
Continuing on with the larger one I’m calling Odyssey, I’m realizing how much I like the feel and drape of this cloth in my hands as I stitch on it. And right now as I head towards Quilt Festival I also realize that about 90%+ of the fabric I see there is not fabric that I would want to hand quilt with. Of course quilting began with the reuse of scraps from clothing and household textiles that lived previous lives and had a softness built into them. Fabrics now are made for machines with tight weaves, bright colors, and slick finishes. This makes them harder to push a needle through by hand. And less desirable to hand quilters. I don’t know how others feel about this but I will be noticing next month at the festival and wondering about it more.
And in workshop news… the upcoming indigo workshop at the Japanese American National Museum is going to be a little different. We will be making some small fermentation vats that folks can take home and continue with. We will also be using the pre-reduced indigo and doing more shibori. Perhaps you want to explore doing some more detailed stitched shibori on larger cloth?
all cloth and thread dyed in the fermentation vat. mostly rescued fabrics. silk and cotton threads.
This is a thought I’ve had on my mind for oh-so-long. Sort of a marriage of the past with the present.
I was playing around with some sample making for my upcoming shibori ribbon brooch class in Houston and started on this. It answered some questions but once I got started I realized it is a little too complicated for the class project which must be completed in large part in the 3 hour time frame with most students being fairly novice to bead embroidery. So I must simplify. I realized it fairly early on so I decided to just let this one take me away. I’ll be making a few more for the class, smaller and simpler but with enough technique that one can carry on and wonder after the first class piece. Sometimes these classes are a real challenge.
So in the meantime, since I still have to pay for the last half of my booth by Monday I am listing a few things in the shop. So far, I have the booth deposit paid, the airfare for 2, and the AirBnb apartment (more economical than a hotel) for 10 days paid for. Phew! Now just the second half of the booth and any electricity, lights, pipes, and freight. These show costs are a killer. And not to mention I have to have all the inventory made and paid for up front. The money from all this doesn’t arrive until mid to late November. It’s a long game.
On the other side of life, the night blooming cereus cactus is putting on its evening show with at least 12-18 flowers open every night (for over a week now and on into one or two more from the looks of it). The bees hang out until almost dark in anticipation, buzzing from 15 feet up and drawing your attention as you pass by. Once the dark has settled in, the flowers glow their fluorescent yellow under the moonlight. In the early morning the bees are back at it, eager for every last bit of pollen they can collect until the sun signals the flowers to close, once and for all, before dropping to the ground below and perhaps leaving behind the prospect of a delicious jewel.
Juicy like a watermelon, crunchy black seeds and just sweet enough with a flowery mouth perfume finish!
There are some things which are truly a gift.