Broken landscapes

March 5, 2013

For the past two years, I have been sewing this quilt by hand, on and off. I started assembling  fabrics after the shock and distress I  felt when  a major earthquake hit the  Eastern coast of Japan in March 2011. The earthquake triggered  powerful tsunami waves devastating everything on its way and caused nuclear accidents. Friends of mine were living in the same area. They barely escaped this disaster but so many, many people lost their life, were injured and are missing. Towns, villages were destroyed, homes broken, roads and railways heavily damaged,  whole landscapes disappeared.

quilt Japan, 3

 

The quilt is better looked at from the bottom to the top. This is how I started assembling my thoughts and fabrics. Scraps of materials like the broken pieces of a familiar world that suddenly was “deconstructed” by powerful  and unstoppable natural elements. Layers of fragments and leftovers remaining after the devastation. Phases of life after the tragedy.

dét 4Huge black and fatal waves reaching the shore, blowing away and destroying everything   on its way, leaving only  unrecognizable bits and pieces.

dét 3

Destructive waves moving further inside the country, over scattered parts of houses and objects that were discarded and that used to be part of people’s life.

dét 2

Little by little as waves receded, life went on when men and women overcame their indescribable fear, loss and distress.  With immense joint efforts, resilience and great courage, people started reconstructing homes, birds found their way in a nature that slowly came back to life.

dét 1

The top part of the quilt is sewn with  some Japanese fabrics. Symbols and tribute to  the People of Japan, survivors of  many tragedies, moving on with life courageously, great willpower and hope.

The quilt below, “Friendship Squares”, is one I sewed several years ago; it was sent with many other quilts made by quilters all over the world to various Japanese rescue associations that distributed them to people in need after the devastating events in 2011. My quilt was not very large, but I like to imagine it  warmed the body and heart of a child.quilt, carrés d'amitié

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quilting pieces

October 20, 2011

This past Summer was quite busy, in a nice and interesting way. Yet every time I could, I managed to save some time for myself in sewing and quilting. My way of getting away from the busy surroundings and concentrating on new projects… although there  still are some UFO’s (UnFinished Objects) !

One of them was this small square of dyed cotton where I embroidered a feather for a great project initiated by Jude Hill. The fabric is dyed with a wild yellow flower called  “genista tinctoria” or “Dyer’s broom”. The  jay feather litterally fell in front of me one evening as I walked on a mountain track at sunset. Here are more information about this wonderful project; anyone wishing to embroider another magic feather is  welcome to join. There is a description and a free instruction here too.

http://www.flickr.com/photos/joodles/sets/72157627306006169/with/6260997500/

My garden of roses is continuing to bloom, no matter the Season. Here is a lovely rose blossoming on an Indian silk.

Months ago when the terrible  disasters occured in Japan, tsunami, earthquake, flood and more tragedies, I kept thinking of  dear friends  living there. I had been given some Japanese fabrics and I decided to sew a quilt using those and others that I thought would fit in my project.  Sewing for a better future, for a reconstruction of the disaster area by the resilient people of Japan. This is only a small portion of the quilt. It has to be looked at  from the bottom to the top, starting by the huge devastating waves. The more one looks upwards, the more hopeful, colourful the quilt will appear. From distress to hope.

Also progressing, a soft lap robe for a friend who has not been well for many months. She chose the colours: brown, yellow and green. I found in my precious collection of scraps the materials and patterns that would be meaningful to her. She loves reading in the garden of the home she is in at the moment and I feel she will enjoy wrapping herself in a warm friendship quilt.

And last but not least… every member of our quilting group had to sew those small “pochettes” or pouches ? Next May there will be a large reunion of quilters in our area.  We will organise this event. Each participant (about 300) will receive such a little pouch as a gift from our group.“What is it for ?”, you may ask. Ah, that is the question ! The first one who guesses its use will receive a similar “pochette”. How about that ? 😉 In fact, there could be several utilizations for this tiny pouch but we have a particular one in mind.

Bonne chance, good luck !

Two books, two women

September 21, 2009

Laura Diaz and Mari are two characters that could not be more further apart.

Carlos Fuentes (Mexico) and Haruki Murakami (Japan) are also two favourite writers of mine. Both readings were fascinating and yet, how different their main characters.

Diaz-After Dark

Laura Diaz is the passionate woman who fascinated me in Carlos Fuentes’ book : “The Years with Laura Diaz”.

Mari is a shy and rather reserved young person around whom Haruki Murakami  wrote an eerie novel, “After Dark”, a book  you cannot put down easily. In fact I read it in a few hours, almost in the story real time.

Laura Diaz lives mostly in Mexico  whereas Mari’s story is set in Tokyo.

“After Dark” is a story of encounters in the hours between midnight and 7 am on a particular night. “The Years with Laura Diaz” lead you all along the 20th century  and the main events that marked that period.

Tetsuya Takahashi is Mari’s encounter during that night. The men in Laura Diaz’ life bring her to various places in Mexico, North America and Europe.

The writing style of these two books is very different too. In Carlos Fuentes’ novel it is flamboyant and very descriptive,  South American writers excel in it.  In “After Dark”,  Haruki Murakami writes about reality or dreams with a more concise style and shorter sentences, always making you want to read further and see beyond the story itself.

Laura and Mari are women you get attached to until the last page.  I almost regretted closing these two books, wishing that the story would go on and on. Imagining another end. Laura, Mari will stay with you for a good while should you decide to read those novels.