I promised I would introduce you to the Canadian who farms silk outside of Tokyo in the mountains. Bryan arrived at my booth in Tokyo and introdued himself to me, he was bursting with excitement about a Japanese Textile Study Tour he is hosting in April, most of the people booked for the tour are also quilters.
Talking to Byran took me back many years in my memories to when I used to do spinning, weaving and natural dying. Here I am threading up my big old loom (its a long time since I looked like that!).
Anyhow I am sidetracking....Bryan told me about his lovely old farmhouse, his silkworms, weaving, tea fields (see picture below) and most exciting that he is orgnaising a trip where people from around the world are going to stay on his farm, try thier hands at indigo dying, silk thread making, weaving etc.
Bryans blog is worth a visit for the lovely stories and pictures of where he lives, please stop by and tell him that I sent you to visit. I have to say I am tempted to go on the workshop (April 15th to 25th 2012), maybe next year and who knows perhpas some quilting will be on the agenda too. I know that most of the places are already booked but if you want more info for either this year or to go on a waiting list for furture events visit here.
Now to continue my trip down memory lane.....these photos are rather aged (1982'ish), we gathered in a friends barn to have a weekend of dying using dyes from plants.
The colours have faded in this picture but it was a pretty sight seeing all the skeins of handspun/handdyed wool hanging to dry in the winter sunshine. can you see the baby in the pushchair...hard to belive but thats my eldest son (I have to say that I had a very funky pushchair)!
Not wanting to waste anything after we had used the plants as a source of dye we then planned to make it into paper. Here my Auntie June (front right) is preparing some of bracken ready to make paper.
So what happened to all that dyed wool, well my very clever mum knitted a very nice jumper for me which I still own (but cant fit into, yes its me in the photo!). This sheet even has samples of all the wool with labels so we can still see which dyes gave us those colours!
Well I could go on forever with my stories but my stitching is calling me....