MIA. That's me. Or rather, MIIA ~ Missing in inaction.
Although I am loath to even mention it, this problem with my hand has thrown a monkey wrench into an already horrid spring. (May 2nd and I had to turn on the heat when I got up this morning. Really?) My best laid plans ~ handwork finishes, several project starts, a return to more regular blogging, developing some new garden spaces in our yard ~ all have been impacted by this injury. It is improving, but I have come to realize that the less I push it, the better it feels (I know, obvious, right?) and since I'm aiming for full recovery, I've stepped back for a while from a lot of my favorite activities. Boohoo.
But enough of that. Remember this? It's a beautiful handstitched mat which I acquired on my last trip to Japan and wrote about a while ago. It's one of my favorites of the many beautiful things I've brought back from my trips there over the years. I so clearly remember walking into the Tokyo shop, Blue & White, and being immediately taken by an assortment sitting in a basket inside the entryway. I wondered about the person who made these humble but stunning assemblages of old fabrics. Well, no more!
I've written effusively in the past about the French magazine, Quiltmania, which I feel is really the best quilt publication currently on the market. Imagine my surprise when I finally got my hands on their newest issue (their 100th!) and found a beautiful article on Japanese quilter, Akiko Ike. From the many photos and then confirmed in the text, I realized that my mat is from her hand. Even more special to me now!
You may recognize Ike's 'chiku-chiku' work from blog posts such as this one covering the recent quilt exhibit in Nantes, France, where she was a featured exhibitor. This article most likely was timed to introduce her, pre-show, and is chock full of gorgeous photos of Ike's work ~ more than 20 shots, spread over 10 pages. Additionally, her personal story is quite interesting and inspiring, clearly proving that when it comes to artistic expression, it's never too late to start.
I would love to have seen her exhibit in person but after several days, I'm still finding interesting details in the Quiltmania photos. Aside from the Akiko Ike article, there are so many reasons to recommend this issue! Take my word for it ~ they have outdone themselves with #100!!