Parts of the whole — vintage lace, cuff of New York City scenes polyester shirt, pale taupe and white shirt pieces (shells and floral clusters), phototransfer of Mexican flashcard (the ladder), iron on transfer of self portrait, inkjet-printed words on linen.
“I WANT TO GROW” was not the sentiment I began with, but as I pawed through my scraps of words and what I call “precious tidbits”, these two phrases seemed to work. I, in fact, DO want to grow. It seems odd to say this, but for a long time (the time almost exactly coinciding with the intensive years of parenting two boys, two years apart), my growth was not at all on the radar screen. Survival, more like. Their growth.
Here, a shell, ripe cherry tomatoes and peas, as well as a fragment of New York seem to echo the longing for ripening and fullness.
The ladder makes the rather obvious connection to UPWARD growth — not spiritual growth, necessarily — but certainly in a direction counter to downward. The fact that both of my parents grew up in Brooklyn makes the quilt resonate that much more. Both of my parents were from poor families. None of my grandparents went to college. They were seamstresses, bricklayers, and shipbuilders. My parents’ growth was up and out, in a way. They left the city, went on to have a family and careers. And mine? We shall see, I suppose. There is the question of time. I find it interesting that although I have a graduate degree in law, I am working with my hands — sewing and digging gardens.