Glitches, patience, and white as an attitude


Please notice that I am not ranting.  I am not. Even though the tree and fence above could be a visual for me and our technology problems of late. Think: “Upgrade”.

The Black Screen of Death, which was not the Black Screen of Death really, but more like a Coma Interlude, occurred multiple times yesterday. Eventually the system restored itself each time, but not without freaking me out. “Walk away from the screen, Ma’am!  Walk AWAY from the screen!”  What choice did I have? Days of not posting here or for my online class have me feeling a tad crazed.  And now the taxes are REALLY, really due.

The good news? Scary glitches and slow processing are making learning a few simple tricks on the new Photoshop Elements seem like a piece of cake. And more good news: I managed to finish Schedule C this morning in spite of it all.

Back to quilting.  Less screen time invariably means more sewing, which is also good news, I might add.  Continuing with white, white, white for the Jude Hill class I’m taking over at Spirit Cloth has been productive. Interesting. Lots of white to share. But not now.  I took a small intermission from white to construct the little row of houses below.



The formulaic nature of this design means they are relaxing to make. And yet, each set is different enough from every other to stay interesting.


The tiniest chips of fabric can be employed for this project (“Oh-oh!” you say with dismay. “You mean I can’t throw them out?!!”)


This drawing came after the cloth construction. It gave me this fun idea of a multitude of paths running to and from the doors.

The original impulse for ground and sky fabrics lies just above the drawing, and here is where I want to suggest that this project — though full of pink, blue, rose, lavender, rust, and indigo — bears a relationship to white. If you can stand to — keep reading!

The ground is that wool challis I’ve talked about before. The sky is a piece of a vintage silk from a deconstructed handmade bodice.  The colors worked and they were the very first I chose. They were the INITIAL IMPULSE. The circuitous route back to the original choice got me thinking about white as a process or a state of mind.  Specifically, about white as pure expression.


I fiddled.  A Lonni Rossi broccoli fabric had potential but was rejected for being too literal and for adding visual clutter.

indigo-skyThis shibori sky, suggestive of aurora borealis, was also too much.  Stars, also too literal.

floor-and-basketThis started the return back to the original choice.

penultimkateHere, I shrunk the scale and added a moon. The moon stayed, but the scale was revised back to original premise.

strips-silk-torso-moonHere I am back to the original sky, only now with the moon, and a much too busy foreground.  Departing miles from the original feel, it looked like I was trying way too hard and furthermore, the woven-strip foreground would have prevented stitching all those paths, and they intrigue me.

garment-and-moon-3  Now, almost there.

round-right-at-end And back.

So, what if “WHITE” is purity? What if ‘white’ is an original impulse? The original set of colors? The original thought? I’m not suggesting that refining ideas and radically departing from an initial idea are not essential and exciting ways to create.  I AM suggesting that there may be times when sticking with that First Thought (in this case a pairing of challis and silk) might be just right.  A way to honor an intuitive and spontaneous creation.

You can find more of these row house quilts here.

17 thoughts on “Glitches, patience, and white as an attitude

  1. Margo

    Fun to see where you went to get where you are! I did a little tour of you row house village over at Flickr what a fun village it is too. A bit of color in an otherwise rather bland day.

  2. manhandledinmt

    this little row house group is too wonderful and i am so pleased to be able to see your process! so many wonderful choices. . .and you still manage to find the most wonderful one!

    1. deedeemallon

      thanks Joe… I don’t always… but this time, I caught myself veering away from what I already knew worked.

  3. saskia

    love the HUGE moon, it’s almost like a hole, with the background fabric being white as well. What a lot of fun seeing the variations and your thinking and decision making behind it all, whew, I always find that pretty tough and say to myself: but you can do the alternatives as well, but that’s not how it works, at least not for me

  4. deedeemallon

    Michelle – I love the shibori’s drama, too… that is my absolute favorite dyed fabric from last summer, and I don’t know what it’s going to take for me to actually use it someday… that’s probably the bigger thing with THAT rejection.

  5. deedeemallon

    the moon fabric has a little hole in it, as well, Saskia – I’ll have to go back to your blog and see some of your explorations with holes before I decide whether and how to accentuate.

  6. followingjesus33

    LOVE the tree, and I see injury in it. Trees are alive, and must suffer to a point~ Sorry if that sounds odd. Anyways, LOVE your houses and your work~ Hope your taxes are completed and then can relax and sew, sew, sew! 🙂

  7. deb

    I bit my tongue when I saw that bit of red/orange plaid with the black dye sneaking up on it!! love it all…………..

  8. deedeemallon

    thanks for the comment, Cathy… the tree really had a time with that fence, for sure… It was still alive.

  9. nadia

    Enjoyed seeing your tests on this piece. It’s as if you had made a number of compositions or a sort of sketchbook once they’re all captured by the camera.


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