I’m long over due in sharing about my time at Quilt Festival in Houston, but I’ve been having a hard time writing about something that was so fun and happy when I feel like I’ve been hit with a ton of bricks. I’ve run through dozens of first paragraphs in my head over the last week trying to figure out how to even start.
I know there are people that visit here on both sides of this election, so I won’t go into what I think about the outcome, but I’m sure you can guess.
This was not a normal election. I’ve been disappointed with elections in the past, but I’ve never actually felt the effects of PTSD or depression from them before. I’m not alone in these feelings, I have many friends saying they are having a difficult time too.
In the past when I’ve been devastated emotionally, I’ve turned to art to work through my pain. I find it the most emotionally therapeutic and healing exercise one can do.
So, I pulled out fabric and acrylic ink, stamps and thermofax screens, and words and quotes printed on abaca paper to make prayer flags. It feels so good to get lost in the work and step back from reality for a bit.
The vitriol, and negativity feels overwhelming at times and it’s hard to imagine we as a nation have not been permanently scarred by it. Immersing myself in the beauty of color, texture, symbols, imagery and words of affirmation and positive intentions have really helped calm me and I feel some what grounded again.
The strings of flags I’m making now will be sent over seas to England to an American friend who is dying of cancer. I’m hoping they’ll arrive in time for her to enjoy them on Thanksgiving.
After spending several days making prayer flags, I think I’m in a better place to be able to write about my week in Houston. I have quite a bit to share so I’m going to break it up into several posts.
I taught 4 classes at International Quilt Festival, but I taught Tsukineko inks twice, on both Tuesday and Thursday, so I’m going to share examples from both classes in this post and then Tea and Ephemera next, followed by my Prayer Flag workshop.
But first Tsukineko inks, these are photos from Tuesdays class
.and these photos are from Thursdays class.
It was fun having my old friend Sherri McCauley from Austin in my class. We both belonged to of one of the first art quilt groups there in the mid 90’s.
Tsukineko inks definitely have a learning curve, it takes a while to master them because they don’t feel viscous and smooth like textile paints, but Tsukineko inks have a lovely bright clear transparent quality, looking like watercolors, where as textile paints look more like acrylics.
And that’s what makes this work even more impressive is they worked through several exercises with different techniques in the morning and progressed up to more complex imagery in the afternoon achieving this level of success in 6 hours.
I was so happy I got to have dinner with Melly Testa and her friend Thedra on my first night in Houston. Melly was just finishing up her time at Quilt Market when my daughter Indigo and I arrived.
It was great to catch up with Kate Ozko too. Kate is the editor of Australian magazine Down Under Textiles. I first met Kate when I was teaching in Brisbane a couple years ago.
Stay tuned for my next post on International Quilt Festival in the next couple days.