Friday, April 5, 2013

Something Borrowed, Something Blue

The first thing that leapt to my mind when reading about Misik's challenge to bring new life to old tradition was Celtic imagery.  Mom's a McGill, jokingly called a lace curtain Irish by my dad for many years.  Well, it looks like Kate was ahead of me, and will do her usual superb interpretation of that idea.
My grandmother, on the other hand, was the daughter of a Norwegian sea captain.
The simple geometry of nordic design is extremely appealing, however, I've borrowed from in for many years already, particularly in my knitting-
So, instead, I'm *again* returning to tradition from the country of my birth, Japan.
Both my parents were entranced by the history and culture of Japan- here's my mom, pregnant with me, and one of her attempts at ikebana-
This is literally the first view of the outside world that I had in my life, the world through our living room window-
A quilt from this idea already exists, it's called Momoko, after my birth name.  Such a fat, pink fuzzy baby had never before been seen, and mom put me in the window for all the curious neighbors to see, who began calling me little peach - momoko in Japanese.
The piece is of Kanaka-san, my mother's helper, sitting contemplatively by their window.
I used raw silk that mom had acquired there as the "wallpaper", stenciled with peaches, and an actual overdyed cotton hakata for her robe.
I think I'll borrow another Japanese tradition for this challenge- it's spring, with all the tumultuous weather typical of the high desert- it brings to mind haiku.
The tiny green buds of  the trees are especially inspiring against the stormy gray sky- perhaps I can start there.  What do you think?

1 comment:

  1. How truly lucky your are, Betty, to have such colorful and exotic traditions to choose from! As an Italian on both sides of my family growing up in "Little Italy" in the Bronx, I envy your experiences as a child. I can't wait to see your finished challenge.