I still haven’t gotten the hang of gardening in southern California. I should have figured it out by now, but I seem unable to remember how much drier it is here than I’m used to, and how much more often the pots on my balcony therefore need to be watered. At this point, I’ve mostly given up, unwilling to slaughter any more defenseless plants.
Despite my horticultural failures, though, I very much admire gardening done well by others – so it was an absolute joy to take part in the Fiber Arts Day in the Huntington Botanical Gardens on May 4. The weather was mostly perfect (although the breeze picked up a bit in the late afternoon, and caused a number of our information fliers to live up to their name), and the roses (we were set up under a tree in the rose garden) were in full bloom and smelled wonderful. During a break, I took a stroll through the herb garden, where the plants used for dying were highlighted (I couldn’t get close to the yarn dying demo, though, because the crowds were thick there!), so now I know what woad and indigo actually look like. About a dozen guild members came and demonstrated various hand work techniques, from appliqué to EPP to hand piecing to sashiko to quilting. (Thank you all!) We chatted with visitors from as far away as Ireland and England, as well as some who lived close enough that we hope we’ll see them at a future guild meeting. The head gardener has already said she hopes we’ll come back next year – and I, for one, would be delighted to!
Events like the Fiber Arts day are important for the guild because, besides giving us an excuse to sit outside on a gorgeous day and stitch, they help to fulfil the education requirement that comes with our shiny new 501(c)3 status. There are now a lot more people out there who know that quilting is not a dying art and that we’re about lots more than just making cute pot holders (although we can certainly do that, too, if we want!). The next time there’s a chance to volunteer for something like this, I’d urge you all to sign up. Sharing our passion with the public is really a lot of fun – and a day spent quilting under a tree while occasionally stopping to smell the roses wasn’t half bad, either.
See you at the meeting,