Wednesday, November 27, 2013

An ode to Kakima

Up cycling a spaghetti jar with an embroidered wrap

My disclaimer - No this is not a poem and I am absolutely hopeless at composing anything with a formal stanzaic structure. It is my sincere attempt to show my admiration and reverence for Kakima.

A family consisting of a father, mother and daughter had moved to our small town. A common friend introduced us to them. The daughter was enrolled in the same school and grade as my sister. After their initial visit to our home we were invited to their house one evening. The house had a tidy little courtyard with a strip of garden around the border that was adorned with some colorful croton shrubs. The living room was modestly furnished, but what was striking about the room was the daintily embroidered linens all over the room.
Hand Embroidered Table cloth

The blue curtains were embroidered with a border of tiny white lazy daisy flowers. The coffee table had a white appliqued morning glory vine frame. I guess it was at this point that when 'All things pretty' had started taking its root in my unconscious mind. I was quite accustomed to seeing some very exquisite heirloom embroidery at my own home, yet this house had a special touch of flair and elegance that influenced me profoundly. The expression of style was very unique and showed an exuberance of passion.

Now here is the real reason why I am writing this blog today.
I came home restless. I wanted to OWN those beautiful designs. I fantasized about stitching them out. After a few visits when our acquaintance grew a little warmer, I gathered up all my courage.  (In my mind I had replayed this instance many times and everytime the outcome was negative. I was intimated by Kakima's serious countenance!) I timidly asked her 'Kakima may I borrow your designs for a few days?' She promptly stood up, left the room, walked to the other room and brought back her complete file of collected designs. As she handed them over to me she said, 'Sure this is all for the next generation, if you do guys do not make use of this then who will?' I was left speechless and I dont think I even thanked her.

These were days before xerox machines or scanners were in vogue. So, for the next fortnight I spent all my spare time carbon copying every single design in the folder. I should have traced them instead of carbon copying them. My guilt bothers me to this day. I hope my candid admission will help me not to linger on this piece of shame for too long.

Kitchen Linens

 Times have changed and my embroidery methods have evolved. These days I pursue my artistic endeavor with sophisticated software and machines. But the influence you made on a 12 year old has lasted for a lifetime. I have carried the image of your house over a thousand miles across the ocean. THANK YOU Kakima for this lasting impression.

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Rooster quilt placemats

Speaking of New Orleans, here is a shy hen hiding in the thicket at the city park of NOLA. The New Orleans public parks are some of the prettiest and well maintained parks that I have ever seen. Most surprisingly they host an abundance of hens, roosters, ducks, swans, and rabbits. Unfortunately, due to the frequent rain we could not get a clear picture of these animals.

However, it did inspire this blog post. The designs are from Hatched in Africa.

And napkins to go along. 

I fondly reminisce growing up with a small chicken coop in our dainty garden. So many memories of those carefree days have already faded, but I still remember waking up on a spring morning feeling the joy and ecstasy of holding the  just hatched tiny fuzzy balls that were chicklets in my palm.

So here is another kitchen towel with my favorite flock of birds.

This quilt project is also my first contribution to the Desi Quilters facebook group.