Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Kongming Lantern

Kongming Lantern (孔明燈) - it was said to be invented by the Chinese sage and military strategist Zhuge Liang. During the period of Three Kingdoms (220~280), Zhuge Liang was trapped in Pingyang (a city in ancient China) and he could not go out for help. However, Zhuge Liang, who was good at measuring wind direction, made a floating paper lantern to send out a message for help. Before long, he was saved by the army who received his lantern. Later, people call it kongming lantern as Kongming was the reverent term of address (i.e. Chinese style name) of Zhuge Liang.

I have only seen them in movies. Last month Mid-Autumn Festival celebrations at Kristine's school, we actually saw 2 been released. It would be a good guess that it was a first experience for most of us! See all the cameras and camera-phones snapping away!

Kongming lantern is constructed with a bamboo frame, covered with oiled rice paper and with a small candle inside the lantern. When the candle is lit, the air inside the lantern heat up rapidly. The density of the air inside reduces and the lantern rises into the air.

In ancient China, kongming lantern was usually used in wars. Nowadays, it is used for expressing good wishes (by writing well wishes on the surface of the lanterns), especially on Mid-Autumn and Lantern Festival. Kongming lantern is regarded as a symbol of “harvest success” or “well-being year after year”.
They really floated up and far, and soon out of sight even in the dark sky!

I love tatting bumble bees, especially this critter by Martha Ess, they are cute and fast to tat up. Here are all my bee inchies for the September Mingle!

Finally, I got my Y fabric ATCs done and mailed together with the Z ATCs to Sharon Scothern (UK) and Lyn Strauch (USA). They are a few months late, but they are better late than never. I was pondering on what to sew for the border, it suddenly struck me I could easily sew a "y" border. Just perfect for the alphabet!

And similarly, a long-awaited "Z is for Zinnea" from Merle (Australia).
My patchwork quilt is done up to the border - the result of 4 weeks of continuous hand-sewing. Next will be hand-quilting, more late nights!

See Valerie's quilt in her blog too. No prize for guessing - we're in the same class! It helps to have someone with you doing the same thing, movitating each other, having someone to listen and understand your frustrations and complaints.


Carla said...

Love your work and reading your blog.
Thanks for sharing

Robert said...

Great looking quilt. I machine piece then and have someone else machine quilt my quilts - very relaxing working on them.

Singtatter said...

I must learn to use my machine real soon and to machine piece them!

Christa said...

Enjoy reading your blog. Have you looked at the Block Lotto sight from my blog? I love Sophie's pattern. I admire you for handsewing!!!

Singtatter said...

Yes, Christa, I have gone in to see the site and what a lot of patterns there. Some look familiar! I have bookmark it, but guess I'll have to finish what I'm sewing first before starting something else! I have no choice in hand-sewing the quilt as I'm can't sew on the machine yet, but will learn before my next quilt! The new machine is now sitting on my table.

Val said...

hehe, ellen, i'm losing steam on the hand quilting already. :( my poor finger is protesting from being poked by the needle... hope you are still going strong.

Christa said...

Machine sewing is really easy. Two things are important: that your seem is really 1/4 inch which can be achieved by foot selection and/or needle position. And: sew slow!!! Good luck!

Singtatter said...

Yes, Christa, it really looks easy watching my teacher sewed on the machine in the classes. Would try soon, but I need to get more tatting done first :(