Jun 28, 2016

BIG NEWS: new manuscript shipped to the publisher!

My 2nd book is on its way to the publisher! Its a story Made in Japan. A fascinating history of two epic plants - cotton and indigo - and how they changed Japan's textile traditions... and the story of the brand new quilting cotton being made in Japan today and the artists who are designing that fabric, the esteemed printers who are manufacturing it, and the quilters who are creating with it.
Fabric Sampler - with 2015 fabrics made in Japan.
Patience is not one of my virtues. That said, I seem to summon enormous patience when it comes to writing and publishing books and the years that it takes to do this work.

This is my second book. I have a third book already in the works. 

It takes years to publish a book! Years!!! The process is so intense... there are millions of tiny details. Add to that the challenges of writing about the history and contemporary scene in another country and culture, language and logistical difficulties... and pretty soon a couple years have flown by. 

My books are non-fiction, art history narrative. They are photo driven, "coffee table" books. So, in addition to writing these books, I'm also the photographer for 80% of the photos. Photography is one of my loves... and a couple dozen years ago, I worked as a professional photographer. So its fun to come back to this love. 
Author Photographer Teresa Duryea Wong photographing a natural indigo dyer in Ohara, Japan.
So, finally, you get the manuscript prepared in its final format. You organize the 300+ photos and put them in the required formats. You prepare a myriad of other details. Then, you've got the beginnings of a book. You send it off to the publisher - thrilled and exhausted at the same time. And you wait. And wait. And wait. 
At the post office. Shipping book #2 to Schiffer Publishing. Looking exhausted and elated.
Another year will pass as the publisher does its thing! The waiting is excruciating. But it is what it is.

Sometime, in late 2017, my second book will be published. 

I love writing. I love telling stories. I love Japan. And I can't wait to share this amazing history of Japan's cotton and indigo - and the beautiful quilts being made with very old and very new Japanese textiles.  

Jun 17, 2016

I'm in Quiltmania! I'm in Quiltmania!

My new book is in Quiltmania
Quiltmania reviewed my book for the Reader's Corner. Issue No. 113! Page 96. 
Chosen "Our Favorite!"

Thank you Quiltmania. I'm very grateful for the recognition.
I'm a long-time subscriber and you're my favorite too!


Jun 9, 2016

caring for my antique quilts

Caring for antique quilts takes some effort. I've been putting off doing it properly, but now I'm totally organized and feel good about how and where my quilts are stored. This one is the star of my collection (so far)! It was made in 1890 by a distant relative! It has some deterioration, but overall its held up very well.
 Here's what I've done. First, I made a simple cotton label using archival ink. Nothing fancy. I loosely attached a label to each quilt and included all the information I know about it. Some of these quilts came to me with index cards that carefully recorded what was known about the quilt, but over time those cards could be lost. I felt it was important to have an actual label sewn to the quilt.
Next I purchased 36 inch boxes so the quilt could lay as flat as possible. These are not archival - I could not afford the $20 - 40 per box price. I lined the box and wrapped the quilts in acid-free archival tissue. I also tied the box on the top (and added grommets for support) so I could easily open it again. And lastly, I labeled the outside of each box.

Most of my antique quilts were given to me by my Aunt Polly. She lives here - in this historic home in Nebraska. The home is a work of art itself! She's been collecting these quilts since the 1950s. This home seems a perfect setting for antique quilts... but a few of them have made the drive home to Texas with the husband and me in the back of that car.
Here's one of my favorites. A brilliant red and white Nine Patch. It needs to be washed - there are many spots that have turned yellow and brown. Do you have experience washing antique quilts? If so, please send me advice!

And this one is a Lone Star made in the 1940s. All hand quilted, of course. And stunning condition.

Lucky me to be surrounded by so many gorgeous quilts. I feel like some of my own quilts are old enough that pretty soon they'll be going in these boxes too! HaHa.

And if I'm really lucky... some day my quilt collection will be stored just like this one!
International Quilt Study Center & Museum, Lincoln, Nebraska.

Jun 3, 2016

hand stitching my way through Japan!

Teresa Duryea Wong. White Rain. Antique Japanese cotton. White cotton sashiko thread. Hand stitched. 2016.
Finished! My hand-stitched collection of antique Japanese textiles. These worn and beautiful remnants of antique cotton represent so many different parts of Japan... and many different eras of handcrafted textiles. I've been collecting them for a couple of years.

Aomori... Tokyo... Chiba... Niigata... Osaka... Kyoto... Hiroshima... Kurashiki... Yonezawa... treasures from these beautiful areas are forever preserved.

I stitched this using 100% cotton sashiko thread that I purchased in Yonezawa - at the home of a sashiko master. There's almost 300 meters of thread in here! The Mt. Fuji patch is part of a vintage advertising banner - incredibly thick cotton canvas, quite worn and weathered.

The center fabric above is the strikingly beautiful katazome - one of Japan's beloved and most recognizable styles of antique cottons. Katazome is typically made using a combination of stencils and paste resist and indigo dye. The chrysanthemum is one of the most popular images. Love it!

The fabulous Akiko Ike - owner of a gallery, shop and school - Niigata Ginka Gallery - in the northern part of Japan - Niigata. I feel so fortunate to have met her and spent an afternoon with her. She is at the forefront of a type of stitching she calls chiku chiku - kind of a crazy, random running stitch. A variation of formal sashiko. Her stitching style was my inspiration.

Here's a photo of her beautiful shop.

This red, paper thin cotton (below) is very old and its from the Aomori region - in the far north. Red was once a rare and special commodity. I loved stitching these old pieces into the faded indigos and woven cottons.

I titled this piece "White Rain" ... I love the way these running stitches resemble a gentle rain over the surface of these beautiful textiles.

Linking up with Off the Wall Fridays and Finish it Up Friday