Friday, August 31, 2012

iPhone-o-Gram! Dulles Bound!

It's been a frustrating morning here at LAX.

My flight to Washington/Dulles was delayed 1.5 hours and there was no other way to route me ((holiday weekend!)) so I'm missing my next connection to Greensboro and will have to spend the night near DC.

That's okay. Just give me a bed and a quiet place to sleep off my jetlag and I'll be fine!

The eternal hexies are ready to go. I've made quite a bit of progress on this last section, but still not close to done!

My seat on this flight is not first class, but I am happy with the extra legroom!

Off we go!

Batik Factory Part 3!

Screen Printing!

I’m so glad you enjoyed the past couple of factory posts. You know, I didn’t want to “homogenize” the experience. And that’s why it took me so long to figure out how I wanted to present my visit here.

I’ve been a bit disturbed by the judgemental comments from those who had never even been here.

One thing I know –to these people, this is NOT a “primitive” process – nor do they feel they are living in “primitive” conditions. Fabric batiking is being done the way it has always been done, and who are we to think that they should have “better” conditions, change the way they do things or think it is a shame they do things this way or that we are better because we have this, that, the other.

We can Not force our "WESTERN" way of doing things on another culture. Who are we to suggest that?

These people are happy! They are grateful that we love their fabrics, it is putting food in bellies and roofs over heads and education for children and braces on teeth, etc.

Those of us living a so-called “better” lifestyle ought to really step back and watch the people themselves. I know so many people in the USA, in Canada, in Europe with everything at our fingertips, and we are so BUSY BUSY BUSY and ungrateful for what we have—we could learn so much if we would quit judging other’s lives, living conditions, religious beliefs and ways of doing things.

I am amazed that these beautiful people stop 3 times a day to make offerings of gratitude. How many of us have trouble doing that once a week?

My hope is that we can continue to grow in understanding and respect one toward another without anyone saying “I can’t believe they do that, how terrible to live like that ---“ Do not judge, please! You are no better. Definitely no worse, but no one is better.

((Insert end-of-rant here!))

Along with the wax stamping --- many fabrics are screen printed. I’m sure you’ve all read on the selvage when it says ‘screen print” The screen printing here is also done by hand!

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We wound our way through the factory to the area where screen printing was being done.

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I’m sorry about the blurry photos, but I couldn’t ask them to stop and pose for me! Here, the second screen is being placed on top of the first to do the next coloring of the design.

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Things need to be lined up just right!

This is a VERY short clip of how the dye is “squeegeed” from one side to the other, it’s a two person process!

For those who commented on the roosters crowing in a previous post, here is a shot for you:

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This is where all the noise is coming from! I have fallen in love with this basket weave pattern…of course, do you see the design in the weave? Hexagons and equilateral triangles. Is this a quilt in my head? Maybe! Just maybe!

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Here I am with Ketut, the factory owner. And yes, we all wanted HIS shirt!

Do me a favor and tell me to get rid of my shirt! It’s just not the best look for me :c/ It’s voluminous and I feel pregnant in it – I suppose I look pregnant too.

By the time this posts, I should be just leaving Los Angeles for Washington, Dulles!

There are many more stores to share……

12 Days of Show & Share! Day 11!

If Today is August 31st, I’m somewhere on a plane between Hong Kong and Los Angeles!

What kind of experiences will the 16 of us who took this tour have had?

I’m sure friendships will have been formed, and email addresses exchanged, and facebook pages LIKED and FRIENDED!

I’m sure I’ll have cameras full of photos, and a suitcase full of goodies.

I’m sure I’m going to need 2 weeks to recover!

I’m sure I won’t know which time zone I’m in for quite a while!

Today and Tomorrow are the last days of 12 Days of Show & Share. Some time on the 2nd of September I will awake after having spent the night in my own bed. It might be noon! But I plan on posting LIVE sometime on September 2nd!

I’ve got some great scrap quilts to share with you today.

First up is Jean B!

She writes:

I came across you web site via one of those tiny ads on facebook. I have been quilting for 20 years and had never seen any scrap quilt designs I really liked until I saw yours.
I make graduation quilts and I needed 2 for this spring.


Jean’s Basket Weave Strings!

I made a Basket-weave Strings and a Spider web. Old phone books were great for the paper foundations. I have always made continuous bias binding but I never knew how to connect it up so you couldn't see the beginning/ending, until I followed your directions.


Jean’s Label!

Also, I had never been clear about what info to put on a label and you addressed that on another of you pages. I labeled both of these quilts giving credit to you (designer), my quilter, the recipient, and me.


Jean’s String Spider Web!


Spider Web Close up!

Thank-you for teaching this old dog so many new tricks! My next project will be out of recycled shirts... just in the collecting phase now, I haven't decided which pattern to use yet.

Next up we have Pauline K!

((Waving to Pauline who had no idea I’d be featuring her quilt today!!))

She sent me a couple photos of her “Little Monkey” months ago and I’ve been saving it for just this sort of Show & Share post!


Pauline’s Little Monkey Quilt!

Pauline writes:

I love this quilt! It was really fun to make, all with scraps! My borders are a bit different, as is the size. Took the picture at our front gate, Roaring Springs Ranch, as you can see from a bit of the sign. Notice how the wind is blowing, but that's Texas!


Close up of Pauline’s “Little Monkey”!

Can't wait to quilt this one, but it will have to wait its turn!

Please, Mom, may I have more YELLOW! :cD This turned out SO SO SO cute! Just love this! Thanks, Pauline for sharing your photos with us…and I LOVE the RANCH sign from your front gate!

Finally for today I want to introduce you to Judy C from my own homestate of North Carolina!


Judy’s Criss-Cross, Applesauce as found in Scraps & Shirttails II!

Judy writes:

Just wanted to share my version of Criss Cross Applesauce - not sure why this quilt called me out to be made - but it certainly did. I love the look of this quilt and since I did not have plaids, I just pulled from my 6-inch scrap supply and used a constant for the 1-1/2 squares. I love, love this quilt - and want to thank you for such a wonderful pattern. As soon as money allows, off to the quilter for the final magic - hummm, I wonder it she does Baptist Fans?

Judy C in NC

Awesome use of color, GF! I love the hot pink ones thrown into the mix….this is just SUCH a fun quilt!

Come back tomorrow! It’s our LAST DAY of 12 Days of Show & Share!

((Aren’t you glad?! LOL!!!))

Thursday, August 30, 2012

Batik Factory, Part 2!

Wood Block Stamping!

Most of the commercial batik fabrics that we love go through a dye process first…..are then stamped with wood blocks dipped in wax, and then over-dyed.

Where the wax is…..is where the design resists the next dye.

If you look closely you will see that the fabric already has color on it --- the wax holds THAT color in place while the background is then dyed a second time. OR ---the fabric can then be bleached to REMOVE the excess background dye for a fabric that has a white background with a colorful print design.

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Overhead and on the walls hang the myriad of designs used to stamp the fabric. some of these designs are centuries old, carved in wood. Others are more modern and made of metal, but the process is the same.

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The movement is rhythmic and fairly even. Dip the wood block in the wax. Press, pound, press, pound, press, pound….

Check this video to see the process in motion:

These are short clips because my camera battery life was in jeapardy!

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More wood blocks!

Another clip:

This fabric is dyed first, then stamped….the wax will hold the color in the shape of leaves, and the background will be bleached white again.

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And this is how it’s done, folks! From here it goes through several other processes before it finally ends up in a store near you. Honestly. I will NEVER be able to look at a piece of batik fabric and not think back to these gentle welcoming people who took us in and showed us how they work.

We also saw how they protected their motorbikes:

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Batik bike covers! LOL!

By the time this posts, we will be somewhere over the ocean on our way to Los Angeles.

Thanks for keeping us in your thoughts to get us home safe!

12 Days of Show & Share, Day 10!


It’s the first thing that hits me with a quilt…

Is it the same for you? Or is it the block design itself? I just LOVE wild use of color ---it’s right up there with variety, contrast and repeat in my book, the 4 “important ingredients” that are needed for an awesome scrap quilt!

Today I want to share with you some lovely quilts!

The first one up is by Deb C who lives not too far from me in Greenville, SC!

She writes:

Hi, Bonnie,

I am just so excited to share my "Summer of Love" quilt made with the florabunda blocks.

When you first posted your discovery on your blog, I was sure it was meant to be for me. I grew up in Orlando and as I looked at the photos you showed, I was struck dumb!

Some of the fabrics in that quilt looked like fabrics I used to make my clothes back then. One fabric reminded me so much of a vest I made to go with a yellow dress!

So I have spent my summer working on this and remembering that time....I call it Summer of Love because I graduated in 1967, and I stitched a lot of memories from that time into this quilt.

I have been blogging all summer about this, so I wanted to share a few photos with you. Thanks for finding and sharing this.


Deb’s “Summer of Love” Florabunda Quilt!


Deb’s memories captured on the label!

I’m so happy you shared this quilt and your thoughts on making it with me! If I go back through all the quilts I’ve shared this week, I’m sure there are a LOT with yellow --- and yellow just makes me happy! I was only 5 years old during your “Summer of Love” but my life was formed during those years too ----when I was 5, my mom was 26, and I remember how she dressed, what she wore, what music was on the radio, what she drove and what we did as a family during those summers. It really WAS the “Wonder Years” era!

Next up we have a quilter from the Netherlands who emailed to share her quilt with me!

I get really excited when I get emails from far far across the sea ---it’s just wonderful to have this “common thread” that binds us!


Meineke’s Smokey Mountain Stars!

She writes:

Hi Bonnie,
My name is Mieneke and I'm from the Netherlands. I made a quilt using your Smokey Mountain Stars pattern and wanted to share the result with you.
Thank you for all the patterns you're providing and inspiring me to use up what I have.
Lots of love,
Mieneke P.

Don’t you love these sunset colors? Just YUMMY!!

Next up we have Stephanie L !

She writes:

Thank you for posting the very detailed instructions for making a sister's choice quilt. I had only made about six quilts when I was already feeling like I needed to make use of my scraps. I really had no idea that I needed to cut them into strips and the whole nine yards. I'm attaching a photo of my sister's choice quilt. Thank you!!!



Stephanie’s Sisters Choice Quilt!

I love how the turquoise blues just glow in this quilt! I so need to make another one of these – I’ve got 2.5” strips galore, and this is the perfect way to use them. And my class sample has been so used and loved and washed and worn that it is looking very home faded! I know that is the life of a well loved well used scrap quilt, but I’m almost embarrassed to use it as a class sample anymore! This is just beautiful Stephanie, thanks for sharing it!

If all of the photos over the past several days have not inspired you to pull something out and get sewing, I must be doing something wrong!

Two more days to go! Tomorrow I start my long trek home – Flying from Bali back to Hong Kong, and Hong Kong to LAX! I stay the night in LA near the airport, and my last leg home begins on the afternoon of September 1st!

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Farewell to Bali ----

Sunrise #8--

It was as if the sun knew, just KNEW that I needed a big finale today.

I tell you, this morning was a struggle for me.

It was our morning to sleep in. Our luggage is to be collected by noon, and we are to meet Mawa for the last time with the tour bus at the entrance to the lobby at 12:30pm to begin our journey home.

Did I want to sleep in? Or did I really need one more sunrise? Isn’t 7 sunrises enough to satisfy? I mean, if you’ve seen one, you’ve seen them all, right?


I’ve started noticing things. Colors change. Clouds change. The breeze can differ and make the leaves and lanterns dance altering their choreography.

Each morning is unique. Don’t miss this one. Get up! Make the most of it!

I was about 10 minutes later getting out than I had been for the past week ---and I was going to really have to hurry to make it where I needed to be to get the best view ---

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Here she comes! Big and round – no hiding behind the clouds today! Good morning, Sun!

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I slow down – no need to hurry now. I cross the sand, climb up on to the brick walkway and make my way toward the pagoda. Another couple is here, I didn’t want to disturb their personal shared sunrise.

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I could tell they were trying to set up the camera to take both of their pictures. I love what I call “random acts of photography” and will often step in and ask if I can take their picture for them. I was happy to do it! And I have fallen in love with the silhouette effect of things in the foreground being nearly obscured by the brightness behind. I don’t think I’ll ever get tired of seeing my pagoda photos from every angle as well!

In turn, they offered to take a picture of me:

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Good gracious, I think I’m leaving my heart and soul in Bali!

The couple was Japanese, and I replied thank you with an “Arigato gozaimasu” which is about all I remember from my visit to Japan 23 years ago. Of course, this delighted them, and they thought I knew more Japanese than I do. This lead to more laughs and giggles and broken English and lots of pantomiming hand gestures.

Oh, I so love people! I explained that my group is flying home to the USA today, and they shared that they also were flying home to Japan today. What is the chance that our paths would have crossed at this far away place? Amazing.

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As the sun rose higher and the morning became fully light, I made my way to check on my balanced stones. Yep! still standing!

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Good bye, little shrine!

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Good bye, lanterns dangling in the breeze!

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Be well, bigger temple watching over the sea.

This girl is on her way home ----

The Batik Factory, Part 1

We spent our last evening at a delightful outside dinner on the patio ---the dinner buffet included all kinds of Balinese delights from roast pig to chicken satay and jumbo grilled river prawns.

The food has been really good here –and since I am a fan of Indian food as well as Thai, Chinese and Korean ---everything worked for me! I was surprised a couple of times by things that were hotter than I thought! But that’s all good too…

I’ve been reorganizing and repacking my bags..the treasures coming home with me are being carefully placed so all will arrive home safely.

In the mean time, I wanted to finish a post I had started writing, but had got put back because of the amount of photos ---and some little videos that I had to get uploaded to Youtube.

When we think FACTORY ---we think of machines and automation and assembly lines cranking away, don’t we?

Let me tell you…I was SO humbled and awestruck at what we saw going on at the “batik factory” on our first full day in Bali that it has stuck with me this entire trip and I haven’t been able to find the right words to put this all down as to how the experience affected me.

Those who say “oh, I don’t like batik” NEED to come down here and see how it is made. It’s a painstaking artistic process.

The photo above shows 15 meter lengths hanging and drying from ceiling beams in an open air covered area. Batik fabric is done in 400 meter “runs” and then these are divided into 15 yard bolts. The red you see on the ground has been wood block wax stamped, and died in huge vats….

And this is where the youtube videos come in. The clips are short because I had limited battery charging opportunities – but it will give you an idea of how things are done.

The wood block printing is a whole separate process and I’m going to work this a bit backwards….I’ll do the wood block printing in the next post. In fact, there will likely be several chapters to this “POST” because I can’t put it all in one!

This is where they take the dyed fabric and crinkle it up in preparation for putting it down on the ground to dry. Then soda ash and other chemicals are added – and the fabric dries in the sun.

How does the batiking process happen?

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This is waxed and dyed fabric going through the boiling water and wringer process to remove the wax. This is the “inside” of the “factory” and the air is heavy with the smell of dye, the smell of wax and kerosene ---and wood fire.

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This young man has the job of standing over metal drums full of wax…the wax is melted in the drums by the fire blazing below. Did I mention how hot and humid it is in Bali? It is hotter IN the factory than out of it….

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The ever present offering, Please watch over my equipment and keep it running!

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Waxed and dyed fabrics go through a whole rinsing and dipping process.

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Everywhere you look, someone is working at preparing the fabric for the next step.

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Much laughing and joking about this bus load of crazy tourists who come to visit! I know for certain that I’ll never be able to look at another batik fabric without seeing these faces.

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More batik workers, stirring and resting.

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Rinsing vats and piles of damp fabric ready for the next step. I can still hear the sound of this water running…

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See the different colors of lots of fabric in the different vats?

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Now maybe you can see why I’ve had such a hard time putting this into words.

Newfound awe for the working areas.

Newfound respect for the artistry that produces such beautiful fabric with no two pieces alike EVER.

Newfound understanding for a process that is NOT automatic or machine printed, but is painstakingly done by hand…..

Just wait til you see how they do the wood block printing with wax BEFORE the over-dying starts….

If there is a jump in between posts ---just know that it is because we are traveling. It’s a 4.5 hour flight to Hong Kong where we have a 3.5 hour layover before catching our flight to Los Angeles. That’s 15 hours or so there…..it will be over 24 hours before our feet touch down on our home continent.

Farewell, Bali! We are heading home!