Saturday, December 21, 2013


During my recent visit to New York City, I had the opportunity to visit the National September 11 Memorial that rests on the site of the former World Trade Center buildings attacked and destroyed in 2001. It was a fittingly cold winter day when I toured the site. I had not been back to the site for a number of years so I really was not sure what to expect. I was surprised and touched by the crowds of visitors taking the time in this holiday season to wait patiently in the bitter cold to visit the site.

My first glimpse as I cleared security and walked through the maze of nearly 400 swamp oaks was of the former site of the South Tower of the two buildings. My first thought as I gazed was 'it reminds us that this is a gravesite - how appropriate.' Water cascaded down the sides of the memorial and into a seemingly bottomless pit.
The edge of the memorial is etched with the names of those who died on that day. The footprint of the North Tower has a matching memorial. The names include not only those who died in the two towers but also those who died in the Pennsylvania field and in the 1993 attack.

Rising near the South Tower is the new tower that has been constructed. In juxtaposition to the two footprint memorials is the the site where a museum is being built.
I walked away from the Memorial with two memories embedded in my mind.

One was of a sight at the South tower memorial. Someone had placed a plastic white rose bud in an indentation that separated the lists of names. It reminded me that each of these deceased had a family that is still grieving in this holiday season. I had thought perhaps that visiting the Memorial would bring me some more closure to the event on that fateful day. As I walked through the Memorial I appreciated that there really is no such thing as closure. We simply continue in life, looking back on events with changing perspectives.

The second memory is of The Survivor Tree that stands in the plaza. It is a callery pear tree whose remnants were pulled from the wreckage of the buildings and nursed back to health. It has become a living reminder of resilience, survival and rebirth. I tried to share a video on the tree that I found on the Memorial website but I can't seem to get it to upload. Instead, here is a link to the page where I found it. It tells an inspiring story so I hope you will check it out.

The Survivor Tree
Here is hoping that 2014 will be a time of rebirth and healing for everyone.

Saturday, December 14, 2013

Garment District Discovered

Last weekend I was once again in NYC. My participation in Simply Stitch 3 has been a wonderful excuse to expand my stash in new ways. And so, I ventured into the Garment District…..and was in awe.

I was there on a Saturday morning but still found more than enough shops open.

I began with a shop with an online presence that I knew the location of and said it was open early on Saturdays.

The B&J store is located on the second floor of the building.

B&J Fabrics - I can't speak highly enough of the store. It is located on the second floor of a typical old style NYC office building which reminded me of the Temple Building here in downtown Rochester. You walk into a vast open space with thousands of bolts of every kind of material that you could imagine. I had on my 'lace and embroidered cotton' hat so I focused upon those fabrics. There were more laces than you ever could imagine… row of fabrics had beaded lace, another plain lace. I saw prices from about $200 a yard down to about $60. The minimum purchase was 1/2 yard and my budget was limited so I had to make a hard choice. I also found a good selection of embroidered cotton/cotton blends, some imported, in a wide price range.

What impressed me the most was the helpfulness of the fellow who cut my choices. He went out of his way to give me suggestions on other shops with lace in the area. And, he was meticulous in cutting my fabric. I would highly recommend this shop to anyone who wants to explore. They are located at 525 7th Ave on the corner of 7th and 38th St. They have a great online site too, I might add, and are happy to ship anywhere.

From B&J's, I began to wander. The stores I visited were between 7th and 8th Ave. on 38th and 39th St. They are an easy walk from Time Square and if you were down at Macy's on 34th St., you could just as quickly walk up from there. I was focused upon lace, trim, and thread but there were countless fabric shops. One could easily spend the greater part of a day meandering about.

One place I had an address for was Daytona Trimmings at 251 W 39th St. which was also open on Saturdays. This store advertised all sorts of threads. I was looking for a hard-to-find DMC Floche a border in size 16. The shop could not help me with that but had an impressive inventory of more conventional embroidery threads. And, they had a large stock of trims as well. I wouldn't make a special trip to visit them but if you are in the neighborhood, their prices are good………

I then continued wandering as there were many trim stores open on W 38th and 39th. I found one, Pacific Trimmings at 220 West 38th St. that had a wonderful selection of lace trims in a good price range. I would definitely recommend it for a stop. This photo below captures only part of the store front - imagine three times as wide a store.

Friday, December 6, 2013

"Flow" with the Moment

I have been fairly consumed with holiday preparation this week. Stitching continues on a number of projects. I am happy to report that my quilt, Ice Flow, was successfully auctioned off in the Northwest Museum of Arts and Culture event in November and now has a new home in Spokane, WA. It was one of my favorite pieces and I am happy to know it is appreciated.

Given my roots in the art of aikido, which is all about blending and working with energy, the whole concept of flow has always intrigued me.

A few weeks ago, I spent a few luxurious days wandering in the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City. One of the pieces that I was immediately drawn to was, not surprisingly, entitled Flow.

It is by Fujikasa Satoko and is described as a sand-glazed stoneware with matte white slip.