February brings more light

a birthday cupcake for friend in Maine

pin cushion

February also brings lots of birthdays — mine, B’s, Elizabeth’s, Lisa’s.  I made this sweet pin cushion for my bow-tie-making friend Lisa Eaton.  She will appreciate how well it takes a pin.  (This project comes from a great book by Betz White).  The light coming from the skylight above makes the cupcake look like it’s glowing!!

This morning found me making lunch for B, whose birthday is today.  We had peppers stuffed with curried, mashed potatoes (from an old Bon Appetit)… oh, were they delicious!  I have decided that the best cure for living with picky eaters (boys, not Ken), is to cook for friends who will “ooh” and “aah” and inquire about ingredients!

If only fixing the finances had as easy a repair!  Today my head spins with ideas of selling the house, renting out the house, moving to North Dakota (not really, more like Natick or Waltham)…

This is one reason I go to the inspiring blog, High Desert Home .  To read Susan L’s reflections on how to stay centered, sane, and grateful while leading a simple life is a  much-needed tonic to my misery-grubbing.  Having said that, it is also worth considering how removing myself from a pocket of affluence (Newton, Massachusetts) might make feeling gratitude for my simple life a little easier.  I probably would feel like an alien just about anywhere (this, I know).  Nevertheless, would I feel less like a Have Not if I lived amongst others who mow their own lawns, do their own taxes, clean their own homes, rake their own yards…. among families who drive a single car for batches of years, who don’t go on vacations for batches of months (and in our case, years) and who worry about how they are going to pay for college?   Such a shared perspective might not ease the financial worries, but it would certainly render me more visible, which I suspect would feel better.

Here is this week’s Journal Quilt, up close.  It was one of the three sketch quilts from an earlier post.


I suppose this small piece can’t qualify as a  ‘spring’ quilt on account of the full grown gourds, but it was made with the season of spring in mind.  The checkered polyester that I used for the bottom has always reminded me of tilled fields.


The background is an opened light bulb box — a reference to the lengthening days.  When I assembled the Chinese flashcard with the ink-jet printed transparencies, I though the black shapes were seeds (again: ‘spring’).  Turns out, though, they are rats or mice!  I like the way artistic choices can surprise you.  Who am I to deem rats or mice ‘undesirable’ or ‘unspringlike’?  I ended up feeling that the presence of rats with fall gourds in a quilt about spring summed things up better than my intentional mind could have managed (maybe I’ll know how, tomorrow).  I cut up a piece of fabric that I had printed a collage on and placed a few pieces on the quilt.  The one shown below includes a sliver of an old astrological map of the sky.


Lastly, I was thrilled to discover that stitching a bent piece of pipe cleaner to the back of a quilt made with a stiff upholstery fabric makes it wall-ready!


Here’s the whole quilt (roughly 8′ x 12″):

Journal Quilt Feb 22, 2009

Journal Quilt Feb 22, 2009

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