I was picking blueberries last week at a peach and blueberry farm in rural Pike County, and I suddenly thought about SEFAA. This may seem odd, but there’s a “thread” here.
First of all, I’m not an outdoor person. I’d rather spend my time indoors sewing, quilting, dyeing fabric, or pursuing any number of other fiber activities. So doing anything in the blazing sun is not really my idea of fun. But it was a beautiful day, and my kind husband, who puts up with lots of "fiber field trips," invited me to go.
The last time I had picked blueberries was in my college days on a family farm in Maine. The blueberries were that luscious, intense indigo color and they all seemed to be equally ripe. The biggest challenge was finding enough buckets to rake them into. Fast forward a number of years to the Georgia scene.
Rows of blueberry bushes covered a grassy field, but the berries were (eek!) all different colors. Some were magenta, some gold, some cream, some spring green, and some were indigo. Apparently, a number of other people had been picking before us, so the berries were in all different stages of ripeness, and each ripe berry had to be discovered and picked ONE AT A TIME!
After my initial irritation subsided, I really looked at the berries and noticed how beautiful the bushes were with the symphony of colors they displayed. Really, they were much more beautiful in their diversity than if they had all been the same lovely navy.
Here’s where SEFAA comes in … I think it’s wonderful that we have an organization that encompasses all the different fiber arts. I am primarily a quiltmaker, but I greatly admire spinning, weaving, knitting and other fiber disciplines I don’t pursue. When we work together to support each other and learn from each other's strengths, an uplifting sort of cross-pollination can occur.
We can also learn from, as well as teach, those fiber artists who are at different stages of “ripeness” from our own. This can be another benefit of SEFAA, and it’s the reason I am so excited that we’re talking about having a conference, maybe next winter, to bring us all together, face to face. What color blueberry will you be?