Friday, March 15, 2024


While waiting for Bill to get a shave at a barber shop, I wandered into the Cotton Patch, a fabric store nearby. The store, in an old bungalow, is filled with quilting fabric, sewing machines designed for quilters, and all the other accessories for that craft. When I did quilting, I frequently roamed through their huge collection of cotton fabrics ready to inspire.

A row of batik fabrics caught my eye. I couldn't resist the blues and purchased three 1/2 yards of beautiful fabric. The batiks took me back to Japan again where blue and white is a favorite color scheme. We arrived in Tokyo during the year of the rabbit, and rabbits proliferated in the blue and white designs of home furnishings.

At first, the abundance of rabbits and the blue and white pottery was overwhelming and I vowed to avoid their purchase. But eventually, I learned to appreciate the patterns. I frequented a shop in the Azabu Juban in Tokyo that sold items in that familiar color scheme. I also visited an indigo dye producer, bought an indigo jacket covered in embroidery, acquired pieces of blue and white china, and collected small samplings of blue and white fabric intending to make them into a quilt. At my Sayonara party at an onsen, we all wore blue and white yukata to commemorate our friendship.

Sayonara party at an onsen in Japan.  
We all wore blue and white yukata

Instead of a quilt, I am playing with small pieces of the batik fabric and paper that I've held onto while waiting for the right idea to come along. The pieces include several photos of textures that I've captured on my walks, ribbon from a gift, seeds from a tree at the Cal Poly Pomona campus, paper bags, a sheet from an old Japanese book, and a strip of orange, hand-made paper. Blue is the dominant color of most of the pieces, but I plan to insert orange, its complement on the color wheel, as a highlight. Collages, like quilts, give me a way to use personal items in a piece of art to bring back memories of places and people.

What works and what doesn't?

All the Worlds in One Place by Martha Slavin

Feathers & Brick by Martha Slavin

Though I haven't glued down anything yet on these two pieces,
 I think these two designs will be keepers.


 So often when I write a post, I find other writers using the same topic during the same week or after I publish mine. This week Kevin Fisher Paulson wrote about language and grammar and the New Yorker published a wonderful cartoon about color theory:

Take a look at the offerings at the Blue and White store in Tokyo:

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