Designing vulnerability


a white ‘seam’ couched as an inner wall

As I look at this composition, I begin to think about vulnerability… what is transparency, after all, if not the quality of letting oneself be known? (IRS, take note!)  I have been looking at other works-in-progress back lit in this manner for many months, so it’s not clear why THIS one speaks of transparency and the others did not. Perhaps it is due to vigorous conversations (with Grace and others) about boundaries, about where to draw the line (a red line, perhaps?) to maintain the necessary sanctuary to create, care giving and its demands, and the desire to be seen.

rectangle with 2 folds = house

rectangle with 2 folds = house

scraps from former quilt - many patches are fabric that I bleached in order to whiten

scraps from former quilt – many patches are fabric that I bleached in order to whiten

It began with ‘Ghost House’ leftover scraps, and was a conscious attempt to marry two recently made houses – both of which left me dissatisfied (The Red House quilt and The White House quilt) [links to follow – I don’t have much time this morning]. I laid the scraps on white, continuing the exploration of WHITE for my online class with Jude Hill (Spirit Cloth, side bar).


part of the roof is white, with stitch and couching, only, to define

There is white on the base, too, which I might build up all around – picking up on Jude’s idea of moving from white as a ‘background’ to white as a field of interest, with texture, and something to say besides, ‘look at what is on me’. I actually seamed some white fabrics together, to use as building struts in the frame… only one made it into the house – that long vertical to the right of the blue window (and yes, I know the tower has the appearance of a goofy face, a fact I’m going to correct with another window or two).


hanky scrap from Sandy Meegan pinned, center

The red thread is ‘Meditation Thread’ hand-dyed in India. I like the idea of red, with its vigor and visibility standing in as a symbol of a well-maintained boundary (Imagine that! A sanctuary bounded with quiet intent and silent, purposeful endeavor!! Not angry protestations and complaint). I wonder what each compartment holds.


what if the Nine Patch will only be implied and transient?

I see the nine patch and wonder if I have the energy and wherewithall to enlarge this quilt in order to make the nine patch more than an ephemeral creation of morning sun and muntin shadow. I don’t need to decide to continue.

Many more works on the table, pinned to the wall, up against the western glass doors, and laid out on the dining room table for design-viewing.


same thread around White House, unsuccessful, but a spur to new Tower

Have a great couple of days!

8 thoughts on “Designing vulnerability

  1. deedeemallon

    “As Is’ is such a great phrase… reminds me of ‘Just Going’, but a little more stationary.

  2. ali

    Ah, to be vulnerable, to be seen, and yet to be available to others while also boundaried (not a “real” word I suppose). That is a sweet white house–quite successful in my eyes.

  3. shirleymcgann (Shishi)

    Dee-I love where your stitching has been taking you. I check in to see what I’ve missed at Diaries-and I’m eagerly waiting for “sign up day” to join you all once again. Your houses are so interesting, so much to look at…transparent and not. Nice white, too.

  4. saskia

    how absolutely lovely, such a tall slightly swaying house (vulnerable and yet moving with the winds rather than against could also be named strength-I suppose after 50 years I’ve come to realise acknowledging one’s vulnerabilities IS at the same time be(com)ing brave and strong) and the red thread gives just that extra bit of strength, it will remain upright after all.
    I personally like the addition of the red in the white house, maybe you need the distance to see it like I do (have only just noticed there are more colours in that thread: bright happy yellow too)

  5. debgorr

    Thinking this morning too of the line that we sometimes have to draw to create home…how events pull at our time for home making even.

  6. deedeemallon

    thanks, all… (wish I could comment to each reply in turn), but I will just say thanks for the thoughtful comments.

    vulnerability IS strength and sometimes being less permeable is required… it is a constant give and take, I find. And, lately, it is difficult to know why the ‘events that pull’ start to feel like too much, when at other times they are merely the status quo.

  7. Jans Art Quilts

    This gives me some wonderful inspiration. I just love houses. I have even made them out of blocks of wood and then painted them. Also I used rocks, painted them and put them in the garden. But I never thought of using them on my art quilts; I am so excited to get out my fabrics and make some houses. Thanks for the wonderful ideas.


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