Gifts and a giveaway

Thank you for all your lovely birthday wishes! I’ve been enjoying my Introvert’s Birthday week immensely. I’ve been doing all the things I never make enough time for, like yoga, talking to friends and family that live far away and cooking, while still enjoying the things I’m addicted to and couldn’t stop doing if I tried (ahem, sewing).

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Oh, hello.

Another activity I crave but don’t make enough time for is reading. I’ve been slowly picking my way through Lewis Hyde’s book The Gift (not to be confused with The Secret!) and got to spend a little more time with it this week. Hyde looks at artistic creativity in the historical context of gift-giving in a way that is both highly academic and passionate.

My birthday week seemed like the right time to reflect on what I’ve read so far, that a sense of abundance and connection grows in a community when gifts are given freely. This was something I needed to hear, as I’ve tended to focus on the more negative aspects of gifts that I see – gifts of obligation, consumerism taken to absurd heights, wasteful packaging. When I think about it, though, gifts given from a sense of obligation or with expectations of receiving something in return aren’t real gifts. They’re transactions, or attempts at a transaction. Gifts don’t always need wrapping and sometimes they aren’t even objects. They don’t even need to come from other people; the ability to create is a gift. The products of our creativity can be gifts, too. The online sewing community shares so much knowledge and encouragement, which I find to be a gift in itself.

Having said all that, I’m really excited to have my first giveaway, which will be of the tangible sort! I’m sharing three pieces of silk that I dyed using a couple of shibori methods.

The first is a square piece of habotai that I hand roll-hemmed into a scarf. I folded the fabric many times in a diamond shape, dipping it in brown dye before submerging it into the peach dye.

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31″ square scarf

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The second and third pieces are charmeuse silk. The magenta/red piece was created by bunching areas and tying them tightly with string to resist the dye, while the blue pattern was created by pleating the silk and then binding it with string. I can’t remember when the pink dye came in to play – sometimes I go into a shibori trance and my memory blurs!

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45″ x 32″ piece of shibori charmeuse
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45″ x 28″ piece of shibori charmeuse

If you would like one of these pieces, please let me know which one in a comment below by next Friday 4/11 at 11:59pm PST! I’m happy to ship anywhere. Feel free to share a memorable gift (given or received) from your past.

Edit: the giveaway is now closed. Thank you!

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31 thoughts on “Gifts and a giveaway

  1. Hi Morgan,
    Are all these hand dyed by yourselves?? Neat… Totally love the red/magenta one.. Looks pretty… I have not tried dyeing before.. but hope to do it one day… thanks for the write up and organizing the give away.. cheers.

  2. I love the blue and coral last one– it reminds me of my wedding colors and looks so perfect for springtime!

  3. Happy birthday! What a lovely idea gifting for your birthday, the material is gorgeous. I really like the blue and coral, two of my favourite colours.

  4. All of your hand dyed silk is beautiful but the blue and coral charmeuse is my favorite!
    I recently gifted myself a hand dyed silk scarf from an artisan at our local craft fair. I make it a point to buy a new scarf from her each spring 🙂

  5. hello, I’m new to your blog. And what a time to find you eh! I love the peach 31″ scarf. so perfect for the springy weather.
    I love dying things. alas, having moved countries and now living in a tiny apartment with my beau doesn’t really allow such things.

  6. The habotai scarf is gorgeous and looks great on you, as well. I only have warm, wooly scarves for the Quebec winter; those colours would be gorgeous for springtime. I gave my partner a stretched canvas print of his favorite painting for our first Valentine’s day together. He was so surprised and said it was the most thoughtful gift he’d ever gotten! That made me feel really good; honestly, I enjoy giving gifts even more than getting them.

  7. That book sounds like an interesting read! Think I am going to add that to my reading list! Thanks for the suggestion!

  8. I totally agree with the sentiment. i really like this post. Book sounds like a great read. I plan to pick it up. Yes the blog world sewing community is awesome and I have been contemplating how what when I am giving something away too.

  9. Dear Morgan,
    what a great giveaway! I received an amazing gift from a friend a couple of weeks ago – she’d noticed that I’d collected lots of blue-and-white pottery sherds from the beach near to where I live in Fife. They’re truly lovely things, worn and softened at the edges by the motion of the sea and sand. What arrived through the post was a package of pottery and glass shards that she’d found lying around outside a dyers in Morocco. The colours are much more varied and intense than my sea pottery, a mixture of old and new designs, and the glass is a beautiful soft violet. It was an indescribably perfect gift.
    Mai x
    ps I love the magenta silk, so vivid!

  10. happy birthday – sounds like you had a lovely one. it was my birthday last week, and I too spent it quietly, doing the things l love best. These scarves are stunning – beautiful colours, all. I’d be more than delighted to win any of them! thanks for the giveaway!

  11. all these are beautiful! i especially like the blue/pink one in the last pic–so pretty. glad you’ve had a great birthday week!

  12. Thanks also for the book tip and I’m so happy that you are having a good birthday week. All your scarves are just beautiful..though if I had to choose I love the last one, the blue/pink one.

  13. Those are all beautiful and I would love any of them, but my favorite is the third one. Happy birthday!

  14. Wow, beautiful – you are a talented! I would love either the blue or magenta piece and thanks so much for a great giveaway. I’m glad to hear you are enjoying your birthday week and am now intrigued by the book you are reading as I share similar thoughts on gift giving. Thanks for putting the book on my radar and for a fabulous giveaway.

  15. Happy belated birthday Morgan! I’m a fairly new reader. I have been loving your blog and I love those scarves! You’re so talented. My favorite is the third (coral and blue). All the best 🙂

  16. These are so beautiful! I love them all! I’m so glad you’re having such a nice week. I read a good chunk of “The Gift” a few years ago and loved it. Reading is something that I’d really like to make more time for, too.

  17. The blue and coral one looks amazing! I live far from my parents so I love getting my Christmas gifts in the mail from them. It usually has homemade cookies and nuts and bolts. And this year I got a kazoo (sp?) from my brother in law and a pretty cape-like jacket from my sister in addition to the homemade goodies. It always makes me miss them.

      1. Is that a Canadian thing? It’s a mix of Cheerios (nuts), pretzel sticks (bolts), peanuts and shreddies, with spices.

  18. Are you telling me that we went to the same college, live in the same city, and both have/had birthdays this week?? Happy Birthday!

  19. Happy belated birthday wishes and shouldn’t the birthday girl be getting the gifts hehe:) It’s very generous of you to host this giveaway. Beautiful work very reminiscent of batik work we find in asia:) If possible i’d love to have the blue, white and coral Shibori Charmeuse .

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