Kitambaa - Musings on my textile journey, and on life
Monday, September 25, 2017
Back at Home in the Studio
Summer and holidays and family gatherings are indeed wonderful, but I must confess that I was glad to be able to return to the studio this past week. My found objects and African fabrics were already out on the tables, so it was relatively easy to get back into gear and work on my latest African Collage piece. This one is called Murrum Roads, and references the red soil that is so prevalent in so many African countries. This rapidly becomes red dust, with which one is heavily coated at the end of any long journey. Driving around potholes, swinging from one side of the road to the other, passing people of all sorts as well as school children in their uniforms and goats and cattle and boda-bodas (motorcycles), hanging onto those grab bars for all you're worth - it makes for many memorable journeys, and it was these I was thinking of as I worked.
Another undertaking was completing the journal quilt I will be taking to this year's Fibre Art Network retreat, to be held near Kamloops. We will each arrive with one of these, and present them by way of introduction on the first evening. The theme this year is Into the Wilderness, and my piece. worked around a cyanotype print of a New Zealand fern in boro-like patchwork and stitching, is called Hiking in Abel Tasman. This is a magnificent park on the south island of New Zealand, and the place we holidayed with our daughter, son-in-law and grandson in February of this year. Oh so beautiful, and while perhaps not wilderness in the Canadian sense of the word, it was still wild and almost uninhabited, with tracks climbing up and down along the coastline.
This last weekend saw us over at our cabin on Hornby Island, where the loft becomes my studio, and where I dug out my scrap bag. (I had forgotten my current hand-stitching project at home.) I began by cutting strips of these fabrics no particular width, and sewing some of them together into strip units. So satisfying.
I then cut these into uniform widths and sewed them around 4 1/2" squares. A little too predictable, I thought. Could be quite boring, my Sweetie added. Back to the loft and I made another attempt.
This time I varied the width of the strips from one end to the other, and added strip unit sections as part of one or more borders. Much better, my Sweetie said. Much more interesting. And so I made a few more, and a few more, and a new quilt is underway. I DO love to sew bright colours together, and it may not be quite what I had intended to work on this week, but it made me happy, and that has got to be a good thing.