Written by Lorna Shapiro
Across from the ryokan we stayed at in Kyoto was a small sushi restaurant run by a husband and wife about my age. She was very surprised when, at lunchtime one day, Chisato and I arrived for lunch with me carrying two large shopping bags xaxxxxxfull of bolts of vintage kimono silk I had just purchased. She asked Chisato why I had all that silk, and Chisato explained about my customers and quilting. The next evening I suggested going back to that nice restaurant, for dinner this time. We arrived and were greeted warmly by the wife, who served us tea and then disappeared. She came back shortly carrying two bolts of kimono silk which she handed to me. She explained to Chisato in Japanese that her mother had been a seamstress and had left her these bolts of silk, but they had been “feeding dinner to her closet long enough.” She wanted me to bring them back to Canada, so Canadian women could make something beautiful with them. And I did. And you did.