Wednesday, May 15, 2024

Piecing old indigo

I've been going gangbusters piecing some indigo throws, two so far, using old pieces I collected in Japan, plus some newer indigo, and even some Liberty tana lawn. 

Meanwhile, a few simple pleasures, like the beautiful basil we are getting in our little pots outside our front doot.  Simple salad with fruit, basil, burrata cheese, olive oil, s&p. 

Facetiming with twin toddlers is sort of hilarious: 

My in-laws are visiting for a few days.  David made tempura, his Mom's favorite Japanese dish - here the vege is all ready to go - 

And I made my father-in-law's favorite - cherry pie - for dessert.  

For my indigo throws, my goal is to make three more - one for us, and for each daughter.  I made one for Tommy in 2021:

I've already basted and hemmed Noelle's indigo throw (see Susan Briscoe's excellent instructions in The Book of Boro.).  

Now I'm stitching it all over with simple sashiko stitches, some visible and some not.  I used a drinking glass to mark these circles: 

Yes - I really like leaving knots exposed. 

I love this asanoha pattern on this indigo, and I'm just tracing some of lines with off-white sashiko thread: 

David enjoys tending our tiny garden space in the front.  He's doing some niwaki or "cloud pruning" with the existing holly bush:  

Springtime here in North Carolina is just so beautiful.  The clematis really enjoys this sunny spot: 

With the heaviness of world events right now, it feels sort of trivial and indulgent to blog about these little domestic things... but I do.  The sunshine and shadow, all together, in our lives and in the world.  



Thursday, April 25, 2024

Quilts at the North Carolina Museum of Art

The other day David and I went to the North Carolina Museum of Art in Raleigh for the first time.  It is not too far from our townhouse.   There is a special exhibition going called Layered Legacies: Quilts from the Museum of Early Southern Decorative Arts at Old Salem - on until July 21.  

"Quilts materialize the bonds of home, family, and community as they are passed down from generation to generation. Yet they are also records of our shared history, interwoven with broader social, cultural, and economic legacies that make up the complex fabric of the United States."

Complex, for sure.  The quilts were made during Slavery and Reconstruction years, and the exhibition acknowledges and highlights how the quilts would likely have been produced by "unacknowledged hands" - and absolutely so, when we consider the cotton batting and fabric.  

We do not assume that Eleanor made this quilt herself. Note the "household of"  - 

An 1845 crib quilt from the household of Mary Videau Marion Yeadon, in Charleston, South Carolina: 

There was a white work quilt made by two sisters in antebellum (pre Civil War) Tennessee.  One sister married a slave holder, while the other sister married an abolitionist minister.  

From the museum website: 

Layered Legacies invites audiences to consider the multilayered stories stitched into quilts made in the American South between the late eighteenth and mid-nineteenth centuries. Featured are more than 30 bed coverings and related objects from the collection of the Museum of Early Southern Decorative Arts and Old Salem collections. Foregrounding the masterful artistry of women, these bed coverings are expressions of love, objects of exquisite craftsmanship, and material documents containing hidden stories of long-forgotten women, both white and Black, wealthy and enslaved, whose hands created and cared for these important textiles.

It is well worth seeing if you are in the area!  It has given me a lot to think about. 


Thursday, April 18, 2024

Scrappy Ohio Stars with Carol's pieces

I really got into the flow of making these scrappy Ohio Stars, something sparked by Taryn (Repro Quilt Lover) on Instagram.  I've incorporated a couple of my grandma's shirts, as well as fabric from David's Aunt Masako. 

And then on such a poignant note, my dear friend Tona's Mom (and Masako's dear friend), Carol Younce, passed away after a battle with breast cancer.  Carol was a prolific quilter and such a generous, smart, cheerful person.  Tona sent me a pieced star and a bunch of star pieces, with a note saying the pieces were found at Carol's sewing/ironing station.  

I immediately recognized that Carol must have been following along with Taryn's Instagram too! 

I don't know how to quite put this, but it seems I've reached an age where my peers' parents are starting to pass away.  My own Mom died in 1999, at age 55, when I was 35.  It was so rough (also cancer) and I still miss her, so so much.  I so wish I'd had more years with her.  But I had my Grandma for many years after that, and I have my step mother as well as many motherly figures over the years.  For my kids' sake, I hope I live into old age (what age is old??).  

Last month David and I went to San Francisco for a week.  We had a wonderful time.  

The bus system is easy, clean, convenient: 

Out and about with the girls: 

Snuggles and cuddles -  

Botanical Garden with Tommy and Camille - 

Camille is wearing her Grandma's jean skirt (from the 90's I'd guess?) - how cute is that?!  

Back on the homefront... just for fun, I made this easy sixteen-patch made with my bin of 3 1/2 inch squares, and blues from my stash.  It will be for donation.   

Very fun yellow "cat" backing - I got it long ago in Japan, for a song.  I can't remember why I bought it, but it enlivens this little quilt nicely.   I'm in a stash-busting mood. 

Speaking of stash, with David in Japan again for business this week, I've gotten out my stash of indigo (vintage and new) to contemplate another sashiko throw.  Contemplation quickly turns to piecing.  I just love this kind of improv piecing, and working with indigo.  I'm thinking of adding in some Liberty Tana Lawn as well.  Why not?  There are no rules.