The good we secure for ourselves is precarious and uncertain until it is secured for all of us and incorporated into our common life.
Last month Sujata Shah presented a lecture and workshop to our guild. She has a new class on kawandi which are quilts made by the Siddi people - Indians of African descent. Because some arrived as early as the 7th century while others came as slaves during the African Diaspora, regions have differing customs.
Kawandis are uniquely designed from the outside in. Siddis begin with a sari as the backing, baste waste fabric on top for batting, and appliqué scraps on the front... starting with the outside edges. They always know how big their quilt will be. What a refreshing change.
Not so refreshing is that they don't use pins. What? This was difficult for me but I'm trying.
|First two rounds on my kawandi|
Only when they need to be sewn in place is another piece added. This was another hard lesson for me but I found the results worth tackling my pre-planning/let's-just-test-it-out habit. This way is "in the moment" and actually made turning the corners easier.
Anyway, I marked my calendar to sign up for her class as soon as it became available. And... this turned out to be the perfect project. My scrap bag is overflowing. Improvisational applique seemed the way to spin it down while listening to shows with DH. After several quiet evenings my first placemat was done. Yes, Sujata's size suggestion made perfect sense - a small, useful item.
|Kawandi placemat without fula|
My mistake was forgetting to add fula with the first round. Those are fabric scraps that represent flowers added to the corners of all kawandi. Sujata's correct. It's harder to add them later.
|Kawandi placemat with fula|
A few more of these are basted and ready to start. Hopefully they will be finished before the end of the year. Christmas rushes in so soon after Thanksgiving. Canadians are smarter to have their Thanksgiving a bit earlier. But still, we are thankful for every day and for the family and friends we joined with online to celebrate the holiday.
This summer I was reading books that have been waiting on my shelves until new publications sidetracked me. Over the holiday I read an old copy of O, Pioneers that was hidden away - so old, I'm not sure where it came from.
Willa Cather expounds on the relationships between individuals with society and with the prairie. While the land breaks many early settlers, over time they collectively transform the plains. At the same time, society forces weaker people to conform while those with a strong spirit survive. Her brothers complained about Alexandra's innovative planting and reminded me how people are always the same. But other scenes are dated. For example, Alexandra blames the couple who had an affair for their murder by the husband. Still, there were reminders of my grandfather who grew up on such a farm about this same time... and ran away as soon as he was an adult.
Enjoy the day, Ann