Sunday, September 22, 2013

Celebrating "Higan"

The "higanbana" or spider lily is the harbinger of autumn.

I think it is a good choice, because regardless of the weather we are having, when the equinox arrives, the flowers will be putting on a show.

This one greeted the full moon a few days ago and many can be seen in forested areas around the country. The leaves will not be seen until long after the flowers are finished, so the flowers stand alone in their glory.

At my last home there were pink and white flowers as well but having very little garden space, I only could dig out a few bulbs to bring and those have popped up in three locations but are all red.

Even when you are expecting them, they seem to pop up overnight, an amazing fete since they stand over a foot tall.

This season brings me to another fall "tradition" ... at least, for me. I use that word with tongue-in-cheek because, to me, a "tradition" is most likely an accident that has been allowed to happen more than once.

At the end of summer vacation, our church switches from our summer schedule, back to two services. When that happens, either the last Sunday in August or the first one in September, we hold a "rally day" when all the various activities and ministries set up tables and the congregation can become familiar with... perhaps even becoming involved in ... those team efforts.

The "rally day" team comes up with a logo and a theme, which then gets passed to the Stewardship team to use in the fall stewardship campaign, an effort to encourage pledges of time, talents and money to the work of the church.

Having served as both "elder"and member of that committee for many years, I have experienced all kinds of leaders, those who build a team, and those who take over and do everything by themselves with very little use of the committee other than preparing booklets and posting mail. After one year of seeing a ragged paper poster hanging in the foyer for a year, and having had my husband take over the job of elder, I volunteered to make a quilted hanging or banner to put in the foyer. That happened again the following year, and then last year as well.  But, what that means, is being stuck with a computer generated graphic that is feel-good pretty and has little to do with commitment other than showing up and being a part of the church as a whole.

So, here we go again. Within two weeks, I am expected to turn the graphics into a suitable banner.
So. the time has come to get going and Saturday I cut out some paper to draft a pattern I can work with. I also went to the local "button-ya" (fabric, yarns, sewing supplies in a tiny shop) to buy fabric dye. I'm not sure how this will all go together, but yesterday I tried my hand at dying the fabric to match the graphics.

You can see the results of those efforts along with the graphics (minus the lettering, which says. " Many hands, One body"

(I miss my neighbor's gate and had to substitute the barrier rope surrounding the construction site)

I suppose I will do a reverse applique to add the cross in the center circle ... there is a limit to what tie-dying can do and I think this is it!

When I began drawing those hands onto the paper for making a pattern, the first thing I noticed was that all those hands were right hands. Not a lefty in the bunch!

Maybe I should have gone back to the committee and told them if they wanted all right-handers, they needed to find someone else to make the banner.
Of course, since they were all men, it isn't likely that would work, so I tweaked the drawing to my own liking, and switched out some of those right hands for left.

 So, here is my plan, and I'd better hop to it.

I will put the lettering at the top and bottom and maybe add some kind of a border using whatever fabrics I select for the hands.

With the constant rotation of members, I wonder how many banners I will have to make before we can begin rotating themes.....

Once we rotate ... it just might become a "tradition"!


  1. the lillies are beautiful .. I dont think I have seen them before x I wonder how many will notice that the hands are a mixture of right and left? good luck x

  2. I will watch with interest as the banner progresses. I love your lily I wonder if thy will grow in England ,I already grow Japanese Azaleas and Acers .

  3. I rode along a road in Ohta ward the other day and it was flanked by Spider Lilies. Most delightful!
    Good thinking to add left hands to the circle; after all God gave us one each. The tie dye will work well with the design. Clever you!

  4. Occasionally I have a spider lily come up at my when that happens! And I love the way you think; adding left hands is perfect! Blessings, Marlene

  5. I love spider lilies. I have some at my house too.

  6. I posted this blog to FB because a friend last week showed some pics of this lily and wondered what the name was.

  7. Your spider lily is BEAUTIFUL! And I love that you made some of those hands - LEFT-hands - PERFECT!! - ;))

    As far as "tradition" goes - I like your idea of rotating the banners. If I read you right - this one will be #4. Surely four banners would be sufficient to rotate if the membership is constantly rotating. A new member wouldn't know that this year's banner was the same one used a few years ago because he/she wasn't a member back then - and the older members may not remember anyway. If someone complains that it isn't "new" - you could offer to teach them how to make the next one - ;))

  8. I love that flower, really unique, at least to me.
    Love the banner too, looks like another beautiful banner being created.


  9. The lilies are fabulous. In California we had a big pink lily that sprouted up out of the ground - seemingly overnight - it was called Naked Ladies - because it had leaves in the spring which died back and then the flower appeared out of bare ground. I've only seen a few "naked ladies" in Washington and the bulbs are horrendously expensive - I should have brought some with me to Washington.

    What a grand gesture you make, by doing the banners - what an amazing amount of work - I love the design - and we lefties thank you.

  10. That is a really cool flower. I've never seen those before.

    I am impressed with your ability to take a project and run with it in such a short amount of time!! Good luck!

  11. I think it's a tradition to have you jump thru hoops and get it done quickly. You always do a good job.

  12. Oh, I love that spider lily. What an amazing flower. Thanks for taking the time to photograph it. And what a lovely sign of fall!