Saturday, April 27, 2013

I'm Not Even as Smart as a Third Grader

My good friend Norma has been doing a special program for the third graders at Black Mountain Primary in Black Mountain, NC. Norma is an accomplished fiber artist but also very knowledgeable in Japanese culture and the art of flower arranging known as Ikebana. The 2 week program involved learning about Japan, their culture, quilts, costume and will end with an official tea ceremony. I was invited to come and spend a morning, meeting the kids and showing them some quilts.  What a great morning with such cute little people. They had such enthusiasm, energy and lots of smart genes. They were working on so many things and seemed to love every aspect of this wonderful unit.
A group quilt made up of individual blocks was sewn together - still more blocks to sew on but almost there.
They were very proud of their accomplishment.
They also worked on individual blocks which they will get to take home.
They used lots of wonderful color and many of the images found on Japanese quilts such as kites and flowers.
There were 3 group quilts in progress - children were asked to create images for these as well.
One of their favorite things was making yo-yos and used on this piece. Norma will finish the quilts with batting, backing and a binding.  Their imaginations and spontaneity were such fun to watch and be a part of.
There were also examples of Japanese kimonas, shoes and hats.
One little girl modeled for us - she looked adorable in this authentic kimona - a gift given to Norma.
I brought a number of quilts to show. One little boy asked me why it was so small and couldn't be used as a blanket which gave us the opportunity to talk about art quilts. The quilt is called "Japanese Beetles" and tells the story of when my cousin and I were young and given the job of removing all the beetles from the rose bushes.  We kept them in a jar and fed them rose petals and leaves. Unbeknownst to my mom and grandma (who shared the rose garden), we let them go each evening as we didn't want anything to happen to them...and would start the process all over the next day.
I also brought my "Shibori Tea Party" which was appropriate as it used the Japanese technique of Shibori to create the fabric used along the edge and made into teabags. I thought to bring a piece of PVC pipe, muslin and string to quickly show them how to wrap and create Shibori.
The kids thought it was cool that there was real tea inside the organza bags.  The quilts made by the Black Mountain Primary school will be on display at the NC Arboretum and Black Mountain Center for the Arts. It was a fun day and so much fun to hang out with such great kids.

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