Tuesday, June 29, 2010

This is the second base I made. I found it difficult to create a story out of it. I finally realized that I just didn't have the experience that most people in the class have. So I decided to practice some of the stitching that was part of the class. I loved holding the cloth and stitching through it and remembering buying it. So I know that the story is in my heart.

Sunday, June 27, 2010


I am visiting my daughter in Philly and enjoying summer. I forget how hot and humid summer can really be. After living in the northwest for over 30 years I think summer starts in July and hits the 80's in temp. WRONG...

I am enjoying this Sunday morning sitting on the back porch out of the AC and listening to the birds. It is early and all are sleeping inside. Both grandkids are here (one from Chicago and 18 years difference in age) and it a very interesting time. I love the busyness of seeing them all and love this solitude of morning. I miss seeing cardinals at home ( we don't have them).

I have just read another blog of a woman in Portland. She talked about femininity and I feel like I want to write about it too. I am a woman born after the war like so many. I grew up in the 50's and 60's and have struggled with the patterns my mother laid down in my mind. How to keep house, how to be a good wife and how to be a mother. I rebelled for years and finally found that I am just like my mother in so many ways. I am a good wife. I was a wife for 30 years and raised two children. I also have worked all that time in one job or another. Six years ago I became partners with a woman. I thought it would be so different than living with a man and I welcomed the differences. I found that it is so similar. But is similar because I am still who I am. I don't know how to not be a good wife.

I have friends that think it terrible that I do the laundry and keep the house clean, but that is who I am. I find that I like doing that. I am not a jock or a tomboy and have never been. My main thoughts are of textiles and and books and weaving and creating something out of yarn or cloth. I have loved this in one form or another all my life. I don't want to change it.

Since I am in the latter part of my life. I hope I have another third to go but who knows? I am blessed with health and have good genes but that is a crap shoot. So I hope I can wind down the working and enjoy the creating. I long to spend days just thinking about creating something that is in my head. I now keep Fridays for a weaving day. It might not be spent at the loom but it is not spent on the road or in the basement doing laundry. I might spend the day looking at weaving books or working on my new love, Spirit Cloth, but it is my day being in my head and working with my hands.

I still wear some makeup and am struggling with the changes in my body. It is hard to have these changes since we were so caught up in how we looked for so long. I would love to get past it and just let it all happen, but that is part of who I am too. I find that I am embracing that woman after all these years and loving her. I have not always felt that way. I am learning that we all have our experiences and they pile up on each other and create who we are. I like being this age and knowing that I can be slower in my life. I can sit for longer times and read more. I can create slow cloth that is made by hand on my loom or on my lap. I can be who I am.

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

First Base for Spirit Class

The Spirit Cloth workshop has started and I am stretching my imagination. It is a craft that I have not tried before. I have always avoided quilting since I was a kid. My grandmother quilted and I watched her all the time. She did it all by hand, piecing all summer and then quilting it in the winter. I would try to quilt and she would take it all out. It wasn't a good way to teach a child. I was always sorry to not really know how. I love quilts and have bought many. I have quilts from her and others in the family.

Somehow seeing Jude Hill quilt is a different experience. It is all by hand and it not a bed quilt but an art piece. I want something to stimulate my creativity and spread over to my weaving. I think this is the way to do it. I am so excited about looking at things in a new way. I think about it a lot. Even when working, I am thinking of how to change the little pieces into something more interesting.

So these are my two bases that I will work on. Others are doing more bases, but I think I will stick with these two. I will also do some really small one to maybe add to these.

The first one I did because of the small piece of dyed fabric in the corner. It is a lining of a kimono that I took apart. I loved that little bit of orange and so that color came to mind when starting the piece. We have had little summer in the northwest so summer colors were what I was after. Susan gave me all the great pieces from her bags of cloth that she has dyed in her class. I did the weaving method that Jude showed online because I am a weaver first.

When Jude saw it she said that it should be about the weaver. It's funny that the weaver is named summers. So the first one I call Summertimes.

The second one I used the turban cloth that Jude suggested as my base. I then found some fabric that I bought in India in 1996. I love ikats and found a store filled with saris and cloth. I could have lived there. So I made the pillows with the cloth and then saved every piece that was left. It was perfect for this class. I call this piece The Road to India.