Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Textile from Peru

A few years ago I went to a lecture and a class with Priscilla Binanchi who is from Guatemala. The lecture was wonderful, she showed a lot of slides of the native people and their dress in Guatemala. It was very inspiring. I then purchased some of the hand-woven Guatemalan fabrics and added it with some of my fabrics and started to piece a wall hanging. I didn't finish it and put it away not sure what I wanted to do. Last weekend I got it out and the wall hanging told tell me what to do. Most of the fabrics in it are Guatemalan, the bright yellow is a woven piece I purchased when I was in Peru, it looked too yellow so I appliqued the purple and orange woven pieces (from my son-in-laws traditional outfit), (hand woven in Nigeria). He gave the outfit to me, I hung the top on a wall in my living room and cut up the pants to use in their wedding quilt, I kept the scraps for myself. The pieced "Sunshine" I pieced years ago and it was pinned to the wall in my studio. There are a few batik fabrics in the top, and the outside boarder is nubby silk I dyed and stamped when I was in Alaska. When I finished the piece I named it "Grandma Sunshine" when I realized the 4 Nigerian pieces represent my 4 grandchildren who call me Sunshine!
In 2001 I went to Peru with my girlfriend, we spent a week in Lima touring the ruins and shopping at the outdoor markets, then we flew to Iquitos to meet up with a medical missionary team. We spent a week on a house boat traveling the tributaries to the Amazon, stopping at different native villages. It was a beautiful experience. I thought I'd show you a few of the textiles I purchased on my trip, I bought so many I could hardly close my suitcase. Before I left home I appliqued the map of South America on fabric and all the while on the trip I embroidered in the details, I made my girlfriend and myself one. When we were at the Inca market we each bought a small hand woven blanket which we slept with on the boat and then I cut them up when we got home and used it as the boarders. The photos were some I took in the villages and transferred to fabric. I'm not sure how well you can see the pictures, one shows me canoeing in a hand carved log canoe. It really needs more quilting but by the time I finished my girlfriends and got to mine I was ready to work on something different.

This is one of the pieces I bought at the Inca market, it's called a Arpillera and was made in the shanty towns surrounding Lime. All hand appliqued. They were originally made by the local women to protest what was happening to their people and have some very sad stories. This one is a jungle scene and the more I look at it the more detail I see. One funny detail is the lion, which are not in Peru.

Close up of a women, she has a machete in her hand, with the snake coiled and coming down the tree.

I purchased this piece at an outdoor market in Iquitos (the main port town to get on the Amazon). The Peruvian Dr. with me said it was made by native people on the Amazon with natural dyes and inks. This is a small section, it's table cloth size.

Another folded piece natural dyed.

This is around 12"x10", I bought it from a native women who had a little child with her. She hand embroidered the piece, if you notice along bottom and top are designs of catholic missions.
I believe the sides have an alter embroidered with the challis on it.
This is a knit hat from the Andes Mts., I had it matted and framed. Natural lama yarn.

These were cute little hand knit finger puppets, they had baskets full of them for sale.
I also bought a full size alpaca blanket for my bed, a baby alpaca shawl, alpaca scarves, fabric doll, etc. When I went there I didn't realize Peru would be textile heaven.

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Midwinter activities

Last night was my Herb Society meeting, every month different members serve snacks at the end of the meeting. We always have a wonderful table centerpiece and snacks. The meeting tonight was on learning how to have your own compost. It was very interesting, and I hope to get one started as soon as the snow leaves. This center piece incorporates a compost sifter (the wood and screen piece) with lots of other gardening tools, seeds, and herb plants. There are also candles in little flower pots. It was so nice to see "summer", I'm getting so tired of snow, which is heading this way again tonight.

This was one of the snacks, a dirt cake. The rows of "vegetables" were tiny pieces of herbs, some she dug under the snow to gather.

Our local college has had a lot of exhibits and lectures for Black history month going on. This was one of them, two men from the Congo in Africa demonstrating different traditional drums. They played for 90 minutes, I don't know how their hands did it as they played the drums hard and fast. While they played we purchased food from the cafeteria that was featuring different Africa dishes.

This little drum is a replica of a much larger one called a "talking drum". Different villages in the Congo have large talking drums and when they play it on the top off a hill they can "talk" to the people in other villages.

This is the final results of my fabrics dyed with lichen, it was a fun plant to use. The left one was the first fabric dyed and then the others followed with a about a week in between with the dye plant soaking. I simmered the dye and fabric about 1 hour each time. Now, I have a sample of each fabric setting in a south window going on the second week testing how light sensitive the dye is, so far its doing good.

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Happy Valentines Day & antique baby quilts

Two years ago my girlfriend and I went to Amsterdam to visit the Van Gogh museum and the Rijks (with Rembrandt's paintings and the Dutch masters). At night there was a walking tour of the Red Light District (prostitution is legal there). We took the tour and they had a little gift shop in the district that the prostitutes ran to make extra money. I bought this card there for my husband for Valentines Day (they put in a free condom). The women made the card with fabric trims, button, wooden shoes and puffy paints. The picture reminds me of the homes where the prostitutes stand in front of glass windows and doors advertising their bodies for sales. It's very sad to look at and rips your heart out. That said, many of the women have good day jobs and families and do this because they make a lot of money.

My girlfriend Beverly stopped over last night to show me two quilts she bought at an estate sale. I believe this one is a very old baby quilt, hand quilted in good shape. They wanted $4.50 for it but she got it for $2.50! I'm not sure of the name of the pattern.

I'm not sure about this one, I believe its an old baby quilt, hand quilted in great shape. Paid the same amount $2.50.
I hope you have a wonderful Valentine's Day and eat lots of chocolate, I'm going to try a new recipe for flour less chocolate cake and watch the movie Chocolate with my hubby.

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Alaska Fiber Fest Journal

In 2004 a group of women in Anchorage, Alaska started putting on a week long Fiber Festival. (They've been putting on one every other year since and are planning one for 2010). They brought in teachers and exhibits (art dolls, quilts, purses and clothing) from all over the world. I flew up to take some workshops and participate in all the activities with my friend Deb (who lives there). We didn't waste anytime sleeping, when the day was done we "played" in her quilt studio till the late hours of the night. One of the first classes we took was from Patti Medaris Culea, a doll artist I believe from California. In the class we made covers for a fabric journal. Her pattern called for 3 women on the cover, I made two, Deb and me. The cover uses commercial fabrics but all the pages inside I used my own hand dyed fabrics. The following are the pages for my journal made to show the samples from my classes. This first page uses some hand dyed fabric I over-dyed with Deb when my husband I were there for a visit in 1999, the picture is us when we camped in Denali. The little piece to the left was from a workshop with Jan Beaney (from England). It's a little piece I did on washaway stablizer and the sewing machine. It's "Denali in Autumn". The fish Deb made and represents our day halibut fishing. The stamped "sunshine" on black silk filled with Angelina fibers. Natural dyed wool geese flying over.

The next page background I sun-printed with snowflake confetti sprinkled on. The picture is Deb's cabin in the foothills outside of Anchorage. The three machine work pieces from Jan Beany's class, all thread work done on wash away stabilizer, the one is the northern lights.

We spent one day watching the start of the Iditarod race, some native women in their traditional outfits, beautifully made by their mother. The bone face I beaded around. I used Angelina fibers and machine stitching for the northern lights.

Deb and I in Jan's class, the little piece I made the grid in class and hand wove funky yarns in later. The background fabric I dyed 2 years later (at Fiber Fest) in a 3 day workshop with Ann Johnston, dye painting. Deb made me the little pin.

Shibori samples made in another 3 day workshop with Joan Morris, (she did the shibori costumes for the Disney's Lion King on Broadway). These are two little samples I made to fit in my book, their done by hand. The background fabric I dyed at home.

Background fabric I dyed then hand stamped with my antique wood block. (2006 Ann Johnstons class). The lizard I cut out of some fabric I batiked at home.

Back up for the 2006 Fiber Fest, we took a 2 day workshop with Larkin Van Horn. She does fabulous bead work. She gave us a bag filled with different fibers, beads, trims etc. and taught different ways to work with them. Deb and I each took ours and made a little picture, mine is "under the sea" which I later added glass fish beads on. Background fabric I dyed at home.

Another day playing around with beads and trim, The black peacock fabric is antique put on some of Deb's hand dyed batting. I sprinkled square confetti on and layered it all with tulle and machine embellished it all, it looks like some kind of mythical animal. The black "snake" was a piece of wire we covered with thread by running it through our sewing machine. Lots of fun.
Also, in 2006 a group of women came from Korea. They brougth a goup of fashions they made for the exhibit and some for the fashion show. We took a class from them making silk pin cushions from silk they brought with them from Korea. They also brought with them some antique piecing samples to show. Even though we spoke different languages we comunicated wonderfully through textiles. The background for this page is my dye clean up cloth.

This page will hurt your eyes, the background I did in Ann's class and added pictures of Deb and I during the class. Deb is dye painting her feet blue to stamp her fabric for a piece called "Cold feet Quilter" (her blog name).
This weekend I will put 2 rivets along one edge of each page and then put "funky" yarn through to hold the book together. Hopefully next year I'll be adding a few more pages.
I hope this wasn't too many pictures for you to view, I didn't know if I should do it in one day or two, I choose one!

  • Deb Hardman
  • Allie Aller
  • Jenny Bowker Cairo