kagome moon


Dark Moon, we hear You call us

Bright Moon, we call Your Name

Crescent Moon, we sing with You

Crescent Moon, we sing with you

Ivo Dominguez, Jr.

In the sky tonight, the moon is waxing, but the cloth insisted that it be a waning moon. You can’t argue with the cloth. It knows about the time for letting go and spilling out. The old bamboo basket is falling to bits; it won’t hold anything more. It reminds us of the beauty of impermanence and the folly of attachment. Nothing endures, not even this moment.

If you understand that this truth is beautiful, and not the least bit sad, then you have spent time on a mountaintop, watching the clouds shift and twist, casting strong shadows over the valley. You have known that happiness is found within.

Don’t ask me.  I am just learning. The hands stitch, and the heart follows. But the cloth knows.


There’s a myth that silk is delicate and that it must always be dry cleaned. Um. No.

Silk is the stuff of vintage parachutes. Would you drift from the sky under something delicate?

Some commercially dyed silk does bleed a lot of color when washed. Isn’t that part of the charm? Isn’t the resulting fabric surprisingly different? Don’t you want streaking and mottling on your fabric?  I sure do!

I’m sorting through my small pile of scrap fabrics, looking for murky shades of violet, aubergine, teal and forest green. I shall wash every one of them to bring out their true (im)perfection.

Isn’t the silk gazaar wondrous?  One layer is murky and translucent, a perfect veil. Two or three layers become opaque, secretive. This fabric demands to be pulled and tucked into layers and washes of color.


Isn’t Spring the perfect season for preparations?

I am an indifferent housekeeper most of the year, but there’s something about spring cleaning that resonates with me. While cloth ideas are tumbling around in my thoughts, I find the rhythm of cleaning and polishing sends me into that light trance state where my best cloth ideas are born.

Is there enough scrap?  I’m fearful that I may not have enough silk to make something interesting in the next workshop with Jude Hill. It’s going to be a small garment, perhaps using one meter of cloth. I don’t quite know its story yet. What is here that I would honor in a piece of cloth?

  • egret
  • waters of the Sound
  • the scraps of gentleness that I cherish in the midst of harshness

What is in my heart that I would honor in a piece of cloth?

  • the moment. this one. the one they call Now
  • peace
  • stillness

Questions and questions.  Only one picture today.  I don’t know what half of these things really look like.


gypsy cloth

Well, it’s done. My fingers ache from stitching, and I am pleased enough for a first effort.  I had gotten a bit muddled between what was supposed to be tacked and what was supposed to be quilted as the final step, so I made extra work for myself, blind tacking the back in places where I had already quilted the front.  Live and learn.

The moodiness of the colors appeals to me on a cold February night.  Winter might be here, at last, and these colors speak of dark nights and snug caravans.

I thought of adding beads, but that didn’t seem to suit.  What do you think about coins and bells?

zen gardens

What if I did weave new cloth from all sorts of strips in soft grey, amethyst, lichen and moss colours? Then, what if I applique some irregular shapes and rake it with parallel lines of stitching throughout? Might it make an interesting garment?

I have just signed up for Jude Hill’s contemporary boro workshop. This may be my chance to explore out how this vision might come together.

My bookshelves are organized by color. It makes sense.  I would have to look up the author’s name most of the time, but I always seem to recall the colour of the binding. The gray books share a shelf with the purple ones.  Neither are popular colours for bindings..  I have more yellow books than any other colour.

Thinking out loud

While I’ve been working on my gypsy cloth, I have been thinking about the next project.  I wonder if I have enough of these amethyst silk strips to weave a haori? Maybe if I make tight western sleeves rather than traditional japanese ones.

What if I embroidered some of it like this?

Just thinking out loud, just doing some digital embroidery.

More on the Gypsy Cloth

I am enjoying the embellishment.

My straight-llne quilting is still very wobbly, but give me an interesting shape to follow and I have a better chance of creating ripples in the pond. Or lines raked in the gravel. Over the top of this chaotic gypsy cloth, I am making a zen garden, with lines and simple shapes.

Interesting how all the layers of my life come together in this cloth.

Going off in odd directions

I’m still spinning thick and thin yarn out of muddy colors, and I have no idea what I will do with it.  My original idea was that it would become part of Dreaming Myself Awake, restful colors between brighter dreams.  I don’t think so. These are not meant to be lucid dreams, set against the background of a greyish-green winter. These are dreams so vivid and self-contained that they linger into wakefulness, that they become real.

That’s the way I see it today.  Tomorrow may be different, because I am changeable like that. Until I sit down at the loom and commit the threads into cloth, everything is subject to change. The muddy thick and thin may speak to me, may have a reason to return.

I just bought two pounds of black walnut dye, and I don’t even like the color brown. I am hoping to figure out how to dye fabric in a splotchy, streaky way, maybe sponging the dye on, or cramming too much fabric into a pot and pouring on the dye. I don’t know where this is headed, but I feel the need to follow it and explore it.

Some mornings, I dump my spent tea leaves on a piece of cloth and let them dry together.

Since I steep my leaves twice, there’s not much dye left in them.

Over time, the cloth takes on a soft and subtle color.


This morning, I sprinkled some of the ground black walnut hulls next to the tea. Hmmm…

If I were home now, I would have bags full of all sorts of weeds and leaves thatI I could use to make color on fabric.

I am also thinking about rust again…



Stuck in the fog

My gypsy cloth seems a bit stuck right now. This is the problem with taking a solo class; there’s no one to bounce ideas off. I could email the instructor, but I’m not stuck on technique. It’s the lack of vision. I don’t know where the piece is going or what it means.

I know that it refuses to be a small purse, my original plan for it. It wants to be part of a banner, but I am having trouble seeing that or having the right fabric for it. Would I continue the same garish palette, flattened to the same muddy tones? Would some contrasts help, like black, white, gray and soft lavender? Maybe that.

See, it does help to talk about it.