Patchwork Anatomy

Just for fun, here’s a little show and tell.

Damp stretching addresses some bumps. Left it damp and pinned overnight

I often note the number of clothing scraps in a quilt. This time, it’s eight. Circled in red above.

Gifts show up too. The left-hand image below features one of Deb’s hand-dyed vintage scraps. The right-side central yellow also came from Deb, while the periwinkle windows were mailed from California, a gift from Nancy.

The white and blue cotton scraps, above, were given to me by Kristin Anne Freeman, way back when we were collaborating on the Hearts for Charleston Quilt. One reason I love the fabric is that it reminds me of her. Another reason is that the print delightfully reveals, to this eye anyway, house after house.

Now to bind, attach hanging sleeve, and sign.

It’s forty degrees warmer than yesterday, so we walked around Crystal Lake. Very pretty light. Almost a balmy wind (not really, but it wasn’t Arctic). Depicted above is the window that spontaneously shattered in the intense cold the night before last.

Hello! It’s cold

Temps plummeting here so I made Finn a coat. It’s already been modified since its debut.

There’s a polar fleece underlayer and a top layer of gorgeous Irish wool. I know, I know. High quality imported wool for the dog?

Well, yes and why not? It’s been sitting in a bin for twenty-plus years. I think my mother gave it to me. Or it was hers and ended up with me. Since this picture was taken, I revamped the neck edge and moved the straps forward. Not ideal but it will work for the next walk in 7 degrees. Going to -10 overnight. Whew!

We went to Colorado last week. Saw the boys. We enjoyed it, our first gathering in EIGHTEEN MONTHS. One evening at the XGames in Aspen was a bit of a scene and memorable, other nights in front of a fire more relaxed (with YouTube offering much better viewing of the boarding events). C had a GoPro camera strapped to his chest on their days on the slopes, so even though I wasn’t skiing, I was treated to video of their descents.

I’m proud to say that we shopped the first day for what seemed like a huge amount of food, but we very nearly consumed it all. Except for the acorn squash. For some reason, on no night did I feel like stuffed acorn squash. I brought them home in my suitcase!

Our flights out of Aspen were cancelled because of a localized storm, so we ended up driving to Denver. Everyone made it home safe and sound. And no, the passes through Loveland and Breckenridge were not the white-knuckling, guard-rail-free nightmares I was anticipating.

I will never not be amazed by flying. That’s one of the Great Lakes above. K and I got four upgrades to first class. Sigh. The end of an era, since his Global Services status is due to expire. He may try to squeeze a couple of trips to China in before he retires, but given the ferocity of their Covid outbreak, it’s a problematic idea.

You used to have to quarantine upon arrival in China for seven to fourteen days, depending. Even if you quarantined in one city, say Beijing, you’d have to quarantine all over again if you traveled elsewhere, say Shanghai. They’ve dropped those requirements.

It is so odd how China went from imposing the most draconian disease management protocols to having none at all. In our country, we seem to be suffering from a similar lack of will — or is it delusion? Covid is no longer an emergency? Oh really? Is that why 2,000 to 4,000 Americans are dying EVERY WEEK, not to mention the drastic effects of Long Covid beginning to be documented to a horrifying degree?

Two men behind me on the flight home coughed the entire trip.

Crescents for interest

Even though made of a patterned silk, I decided that the yellow roof was too plain.

I like it better now.

Before. With a different moon as well

Finn says hello and it’s raining. No snowing. No raining.

A few short term goals: delete a few thousand photos from my phone; mend a frayed cuff on one of my favorite zip-up sweatshirts; tend to some correspondence; get a decent hair cut (I might go short again).

What are some of your short term goals?

A look at racism, part 48

Today’s idiosyncratic tour of racism, reactions to racism, and/or the history of racism swings through a twitter thread.

Yesterday a WW (that’s “white woman” from now on) posted her horror at learning that, at some point, George Washington killed all his slaves’ dogs. Her tweet is circled in yellow below.

Here’s one possible source for this fact — a Frontline episode on PBS.

Even though I’ve read about some of the most horrific forms of torture employed by slave owners and have had to really think about the heartless mercantile interests of slave owners trafficking in black bodies, I also recoiled at the dog-killing.

Does this mean I care more about dogs than about the enslaved?

Of course not.

I thought Washington’s dog-killing was an extreme and sadistic act meant to deprive his slaves of the comfort and companionship of their pets. The Frontline article though seems confirming of the tweeter’s assertion — that he was acting out of economic self-interest. The dogs were killing his livestock, perhaps?

PBS Frontline

Anyway, I didn’t spend a lot of time reading the comments because I knew the dumping on the WW would, in this instance, bother me. It’s NOT EITHER / OR.

And BTW, sometimes it’s evident that people DO care more about pets than the people involved. Take the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina.

It seemed then that there was a lot of attention paid to the stranded animals and maybe not enough attention paid to the ravages of New Orleans’ largely Black parishes. Also, that the recovery effort was so botched could have been viewed through a lens of racism and generally wasn’t.

Another EITHER / OR that I’m thinking about and will come back to post about sometime soon is: how the fact that race is a scientific fiction across the board (not just for white people, in other words) can coexist with our profound acknowledgment that race as a social construct is profoundly and persistently problematic.

Collages are 2022 creations made to visual prompts from Paris Collage Collective.

Falling apart / gluing together

I have a bunch of collage books. They’re generally not art books but rather something between pattern studies and wish lists for interior design.*

There’s a freedom in cutting and pasting without worrying too much about the results.

I pulled a notebook out yesterday that’s falling apart. This intersection of picture-edge and coil failure is probably my favorite shot from the book.

I used to use rubber cement. It often fails with time. I like the marks it leaves behind too.

You’ll notice some themes: barns and fabric, angels and antique maps of the heavens, flowers. Death and ghosts. Love and more flowers.

The peony/Browning poem with a picture of D as a young boy is a copy from another Sketchbook Project, the one I cannot find on the site. The theme was : Jackets, Blankets, and Sheets.

Rubber cement mark on lower left.

Sometimes the order of the images matters. I like the way the three above relate to each other.

And sometimes (often?), the collages reveal that I was thinking about my novel, like the ones below.

Eliza?

In the period that I wrote about (1737 to 1744), many of the enslaved had just been kidnapped from Africa. They were called “saltwater slaves” or “comyahs” (as opposed to “binyahs”) (say those two words aloud and they’ll make sense). In other words, in the early colonial period, some slaves were born here and some in Africa. I’ve thought a lot about what it would have meant to have memories of home, to have been ripped away from a coherent society and family, to be force marched and shipped to these shores into lives of brutality, abject humiliation, and privation.

These geographical and soul wounds can be viewed through the lens of indigo. Eliza Pinckney was an early innovator, but the slaves who harvested, aerated, and acidified the batches of dye may have had very specific memories about the crop, not to mention expertise. I learned about the Tuaregs of the Sahara, also known as “the blue men” for their intense deep indigo blue turbans — cloth which when unwrapped would leave blue shadows across their foreheads. I learned that in some areas of Western Africa cloths were woven with indigo threads to swaddle babies at birth. The same cloths would be worn at weddings and then used as shrouds at the end. Also, I learned that men tended to be the weavers.

Sea Island Indigo workshop, SC. 2014

I could say more about all of this but will leave it here for now.

Image of gate leading out of barracoon, west coast of Africa, plus other images.

* Exceptions: The Sketchbook Projects, collected collages done under Acey’s direction, and two books of Paris Collage Club works (one done, one in progress).