Always an Adventure (part 2)

The quote from Helen Keller “life is either an adventure or it’s nothing at all” is one of my favorites. And the adventures just keep on coming.

When I watched the Textile Talk on You Tube featuring Akiko Ike I knew I would like to make a road trip up to the Wisconsin Museum of Quilts and Fiber Arts in Cedarburg, Wisconsin. But I also knew that I wouldn’t get around to it unless I got my friends involved and we put it on the calendar… So that’s what we did.

Four members of the Sew and Tell bee were available to join me for the drive. It’s about two and a half hours north to Cedarburg, allowing for construction at this end and then more hold ups around Milwaukee. We enjoyed late breakfast/early lunch and then had a wander around town.There are lots of older houses and cute shops to take a look at.And then on to the museum.

It’s not a huge museum but it has a beautiful space for hanging its special exhibits. Here’s what it says on the website about the exhibit:

“Akiko Ike: Boro Chiku-Chiku is Akiko Ike’s first-ever solo museum exhibition in the United States. Ike is a renowned textile artist, teacher, and gallery owner from Niigata, Japan.

At the age of sixty, she began creating unusual, stitched pieces, using humble remnants of indigo-dyed cloth and old work clothes. Giving these and other used textiles from her environment new life, she transforms found cloth by stitching with a strong thread in a manner she calls “chiku-chiku.” “Chiku-chiku” is the onomatopoeic word Ike has coined to describe the sound her broad needle makes as it runs into and out of the cloth. Now, nearly twenty years later, she has amassed a significant collection of vintage textiles laced with her own thread in her characteristic running stitch.

The exhibition features over 100 of Ike’s chiku-chiku works. Ike often draws inspiration for her imagery from her surroundings, in particular her admiration for the sea and children. Niigata, situated alongside the picturesque coastline of the Sea of Japan, is known for its fishing. One of Ike’s characteristic tableaus are vibrantly stitched carp. The installation of the carp and other works immerse visitors, inviting them to move around and under.”

Of course I took pictures.Doesn’t it make you want to thread your needle and stitch?

While we were in the area we needed to visit a quilt shop. It was just a short drive to My Material Matters in Thiensville.

Lots of lovely bright displays, including a wool section,Fall will be here before we know it,And all the latest Kaffe Fassett designs.I was tempted but I resisted. Judy bought some fun fabrics. ( I have been told she has already stitched with some of them)And then we got back on the road. We drove home via Lake Geneva where we stopped for dinner, avoiding the construction zones and allowing us even more time to catch up on all the latest news!!

That was Wednesday. On Friday I was back  in the car heading north again. This time Steve was with me. We enjoyed a lovely weekend with James and Sarah in Chippewa Falls. Not sure what happened with the plan to take pictures but here are Steve and James with the children.

That’s a good picture to end on? I taught a class at Thimbles in Lockport since then AND I have made a few things. I’ll save that for next time. Now I need to finish packing my bags. I’m off to Dallas in the morning. Original Sewing and Quilt Expo here I come!


  1. Patricia said:

    Attending one of your”workshops” would be a real treat for me! But since it’s not likely to ever happen for me, I content myself vicariously

    August 15, 2023
  2. Sandra Hess said:

    We had a good time on out Bee road trip. Looking forward to more

    August 15, 2023

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