Inspiration: Okano, Manzanar, Etc.

Eiko Okano_Time for Supper

Eiko Okano’s exhibition of quilts is up at the International Quilt Study Center & Museum. (Someday I want to go there.)  I first saw Okano’s quilts long ago and at that time wanted to buzz into her studio and be a fly on the wall as she created.  Unlike our quick-study Instagram world, where quilts are being produced at the rate of 300 a second — or so it seems — I imagine her process would take a bit longer.

Eiko Okano_Delicious and Round

I love the wild, dancing rick-rack scribbles in the border of this quilt, and those buttons!

Eiko Okano_Delicious Quilt

I want to hang this one in my kitchen.  These photographs are all taken from the IGSC website, where more of her quilts are shown.

Ballard Street MOJO
Ballard Street cartoon

In charging up my creative batteries, which often we speak of as “mojo,” I found this series of ten videos from 99U, which are about the creative process.

Everyting Is a Remix.jpg

I intrigued by the concept that this one gives us, that — believe it or not — springboarding off of things that others have done, is a time-honored path to creativity. Notice I said “springboarding.”  No one likes to have their work cloned, unless maybe you are making a pattern or something that is designed to be cloned.

Flower Garden closeup.jpg

I watched this in process with the release of Sherri McConnell’s quilt, “Flower Garden,” in a magazine this week.  It’s the old hexie flower you have come to know and love, but Sherri gives it a modern twist, a new spin, and now I want to gather up hexies and start making my own.  She started this several years ago, once again giving me hope for my own long time lines for some quilts.

And, as usual, after a spurt of creativity, I take time to clear off my workspace, find the floor again (stacks of fabrics often migrate there when I am looking for a “certain piece”) and plan out time in my calendar.

Dilbert List.png

Manzanar Trip_1Manzanar Trip_2jpg

A change is as good as a rest, my mother says, so this past week we took a break from calendars and sewing machines and usual activities when we drove up to Manzanar (about a four-hour’s distance), to visit this National Historic Place.  The memorial is evocative, terribly sad, and enraging, all at once.

Manzanar Trip_2aManzanar Trip_3

The Mt. Whitney mountain range is stunningly beautiful, and we took some time that night to enjoy the sunset and rising moon.

.Manzanar Trip_Bottle Ranch

On the way home, we stopped at Elmer’s Bottle Tree Ranch, a Mojave Desert attraction, all built by Elmer, a man who gets up in the morning, fires up his welding torch and gets to work.  Unless, of course, he doesn’t want to.

Thank You.jpeg

I have a re-cap post on the Mad for Solids 2018 coming, but I wanted to thank you all for the efforts you made to put my quilt design and curated stack of solids in the Winner’s Circle.  I enjoyed getting to know new quilters and their creative worlds, not only those who also had stacks, but you quilters, with your IG and FB and blogging sites.  Keep up the good work of interacting and supporting and cheering each other on.  I love this quilty world!

6 thoughts on “Inspiration: Okano, Manzanar, Etc.

  1. Fantastic Quilts. You post makes me think of my childhood trips to Ridgecrest CA. My grandmother was a resident of the Mojave Desert. She knew so many unusual places to visit and took us on road trips when we stayed with her during school breaks. There were bottle houses and rocks to collect, abandoned gold mine towns to explore, dry lake beds to make figure 8’s on in her 1950’s Pontiac. We would go from the heat of the desert to the base of Mt Whitney in a day just to have a picnic. She took us to old lava flows and taught us to search for arrowheads. California has some wonders. Thanks for sharing Elmer’s Bottle Tree Ranch photo. Stirred up some great memories.

  2. I was drawn to Sherri’s modern hexi quilt too! And I am in the process of reorganizing my sewing space and fabric stash. Except I keep getting distracted by new projects, haha!

  3. The trip up 395 is the best! The scenery is amazing and each little town is so interesting. The eclectic little roadside sights are well worth the stop. I think I told you that my DIL’s father has been a summer docent at Manzanar for years. It is a thought provoking visit.

    Sherri’s quilt does have a great modern feel to the hexie theme. Looking forward to seeing yours.

  4. So many interesting items all wrapped up in one post. And all such good food for thought too. Congrats on the big win. It was well deserved. We’ll be taking our own road trip the end of the month and I’m looking forward to some time away from the norm. I think it’s always energizing.

  5. I love the idea of springboarding too! I’m interested to watch more of that series. It sounds fascinating. Sherri’s flower garden reminds me very much of my own hexie quilt I made a few years back. I wish I’d put a scalloped border on mine.

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