Sunday, October 28, 2007

Tiny Tote

Okay, so it isn't really a whole quilt, but it could have been! Last December, I stupidly signed up to demonstrate at "Bag Lady Day" at Quilt Festival in Houston. The only problem is that I don't do purses. It was beginning to look like my demo would be a disaster, that is, until the Katazome class came along and inspired me. This little bag was a blast to make, combining the Katazome dyed panel with the flying geese across the top. Way too much fun. Now, I can go to Houston with confidence, knowing that I will at least have something to show.

The Young, the Old, and the Middle-aged

It was at the Capital Quilters meeting in Raleigh, NC that I met this duo, not related. The six-year-old showed of her first quilt during show and tell. The 91-year-old was visiting from Nova Scotia. Me, well I am the middle-aged one.


Hmmm! Squash is such a simple plant, but beautiful beyond many others.

Thursday, October 11, 2007

Imaginary World

The Special Shapes Glowdeo is yet another other worldly experience, rather like being on drugs legally. It's a great excuse to dust of the burden of adulthood, and act like a kid again. Tonight, and tomorrow are dedicated to those fantastically shaped balloons: trees, bees, octopi, pumpkins, the cow-that-jumped-over-the-moon, and even Darth Vader. Only in Albuquerque!

Being Among Balloons

Only in Albuquerque, and only for one manic week each October, do we locals experience what surely must be the ultimate photographic experience of a lifetime. For those fortunate enough to get a ride, the thrill is almost certainly one of the highlights of their life. But, for we hardened citizens who have been through 25 or more Fiestas, our minds turn to the traffic and general state of chaos that accompanies the fiasco - er - fiesta, each year. The touristas arrive by the bucket load via car, plane, train, automobile, and monstrously sized recreational vehicles larger than my house. Yes, we hardened citizens love to complain about all of the disruptions to our every day lives, and blame it on all of you visitors. We carefully plot our driving route, hoping to avoid the worst of the traffic. Just this morning, as I was negotiating away from the field, the car traveling beside me in the slow lane suddenly decided to make a U-turn right in front of me, across four lanes of traffic. Good thing I was paying attention! Darn tourists. Oops! That license plate was a local one.

We love to complain, but deep down, in our heart of hearts, we love the balloons too. Where else can one see hundreds of hot air balloons hanging in the air, lofting above the city. The photo above was taken on my drive in to work today. Like the tourist's cars illegally parked alongside the freeway, I pulled over too, to take a quick shot of the glorious globes above the General Mills Cereal Plant. Albuquerque is a glorious place to live - but watch out for those crazy drivers! Even the locals forget to pay attention!

Sunday, October 7, 2007

Katazome - Part One

What a treat I had this week! My good friend, and partner in quilting, Donna B., discovered that an amazing textile artist, Karen Miller, was to be teaching in Santa Fe! Donna, being of the creative type, and ingenious as well, contacted Karen to see if she would teach a class for our small group. Enter another talented lady, Paula Scott, who offered the use of her studio and back yard, and the class was a done deal. The result was two intense, but inspirational days spent learning the technique of Japanese Katazome Stencil Dyeing. I can't wait to see how this turns up in my future work!

A Matched Set

Above, not shown in order, are our marvelous teacher, Karen Miller, showing me how to remove a stencil without destroying the wet rice paste below. Donna paints resist over a stencil, and just above, the rice paste donuts, ready to steam.

The Fabric

Unlike most modern dyes, fabrics dipped into an indigo vat do not get darker relative to the length of time immersed in the dye. Instead, with each successive dip of one minute, the fabric becomes yet one shade darker. The resist must completely dry between dips, a time-consuming process. Several dips over an extended period are necessary to achieve the full, rich dark blues of true indigo. Photos by Paula Scott.

The Katazome Group

This is us, the newby Katazome Dyers of New Mexico. Many thanks to Paula Scott for the use of her lovely studio, and for all the photos that she took during the two day workshop.