a celebration of textiles

Call me old school, but i feel that an important part of every child’s learning
is knowledge of the fiber arts.
i still remember and appreciate the skills i learned in 8th grade home economics.
Home economics has been replaced with courses on
word processing, spreadsheets and computer programming.
Those are “common” resume skills,
but what about the uncommon life skills?
How many (male and female) young adults graduate college knowing how to
work the latest laptop, tablet and/or smart phone,
but can’t sew on a two-hole button that popped off their favorite Forever21 shirt,
much less not burn a well-planned healthy, balanced, nicely spiced meal?

My girls don’t have to be crafty,
but they should at least understand how to take care of their basic needs
in the forgotten field of family and consumer sciences.

Here’s some inspiration:
The 31st Annual Celebration of Textiles at the Textile Museum.

They began with some crafts:
cotton ball sheep and woven paper bookmarks.

We smelled sheep,
but had arrived after they’d been sheared and driven back to pasture. Darn!
They left their wool and distinctive aroma
as evidence of their high-brow appearance on Embassy Row.

The girls took a spin at carding wool.

Here’s the fluffy colorful results of mercyGirl’s efforts:

And — completely leaving out the spinning and knitting or crocheting —
she modeled its intended itchy use:

They took turns pumping the foot treadle of this spinning wheel.

Finally they tried their hands at gyotaku, or Japanese fish rubbing.
First you cover the object in a film of paint.
Next you cover the object with paper or fabric
— in this case, muslin —
and press down all over with your fingers.

Allow to dry, iron to set and add to your favorite quilt, pillow or fabric of your choice.
Japanese fishermen used to do this with real fish to document their catches.
Thankfully we were able to use less malodorous rubber replicas.

How do you share your appreciation of fiber arts with children?


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