Category Archives: finishing

Sumac stealth

“Ugh, it’s hot. My app says it’s 97.”

“My app says it’s 94. Rain at 2:00.”

“Mine’s showing it holding off ‘til 4:00”

This conversation, nearly verbatim, happens to an embarrassing degree in our house. I’m not sure whether it speaks more to being married for more than thirty years or to being over-reliant on our devices.

It was really too hot to be poking around scrub land behind retail space in search of sumac, but there we were. Finn’s tags fell off somewhere along the way this week necessitating a trip to Pet Co. We left the dog home and brought along gloves, spade, and two empty containers.

My mother was famous for plant-grabbing. She’d drive up into the woods behind our house in Pittsfield as far as the road would go, and fill the trunk with small trees which eventually, of course, became big trees. My brother claims she got permission from the landowner. I’m not so sure.

I’d seen her pull over on Route 43 or Dalton Road and dig up what to any other eye might appear to be a weed, perhaps with a spoon that she happened to have in the glove box. A little savage. Let’s just say she was a resourceful opportunist with a very good eye. This being her birth week, I figured why not honor her with my own sly acquisitions?

Last weekend, we more legitimately came by a clethra and a yew. These are all for the fence line along the back edge of the property. I also had to buy and plant two flats of pachysandra which the workers stomped to extinction on my neighbor’s property. Part of the price of our new fence.

And speaking of that neighbor. The son has come home with his girlfriend to live and turns out, the girlfriend is interested in learning how to quilt. Would I want a student? I almost said no, but I’m already thinking what I’d bring to a casual show and tell for a first lesson. And if the main reason I don’t want to proceed is because I can’t think what to charge a recent college grad with no job, then is that really a reason?

I sent my neighbor away with a few books and gave her Jude’s blog’s name. Ruth McDowell’s too. The young woman is an engineer so it occurred to me that McDowell’s precise piecing method may appeal to her. That’s a place to start, answering the question: What are you drawn to?

Meanwhile, I finished this with a little help from my friends (speaking of Jude, also Maggie and Jenn) (mostly re: a disappearing head. I think I fixed it!)

Avoidance in disguise

I could spend the rest of my life, even a long life, organizing my studio and finishing incomplete work.

Started sorting this morning and made give away piles, maybe-sell piles, village-quilt-teeny-geometric piles, and found many, many quilts half done. Also a few all the way done.

(I was in the basement because of tree work over at the school. The noise level is fairly tolerable now but just wait until they start grinding branches).

The problem with a space that affords potentially endless and productive activity is that it can serve as a sneaky tool of avoidance. You’d think my laptop was covered in cactus spines or snot the way I’m avoiding it.

So, in the school of Find the Thing You Can Say Yes To (Even If it’s Ridiculously Small) I found something I can say yes to: go through and make sure chapter headings match my table of contents. Bye!

Ill at ease

A morning where the shoe doesn’t slide on, the electric cord doesn’t behave, ideas about the future won’t hold.

I walked to the dentist. The clouds enchanted me. The wind blew cold but we don’t really have winter around here anymore. It’s disorienting.

During various stages of lockdown, I got spoiled by calendar-months free of appointments. Now I have to catch up: mammogram, annual, endocrine check, another dentist visit, cardiologist.

Groceries came close to midnight last night. My bad. I expected them at noon. But that’s not all — onions that I bought by the piece last time were softball-sized, while this time they’re smaller than baseballs. The last time I ordered a sleeve of garlic, five heads arrived, neat as buttons in a mesh bag. This time: three. It’s hard not to wonder how much of the size-fuckery is intentional on corporate America’s part (and not, ah-hem, a function of ADD).

The silhouettes quilt is finished except for a sleeve on the back.

I turned one of the @threadcrumbshop moons into a sun.

I considered and rejected accentuating the circles in the B&W base fabric.

The quilt for Baby Girl M is pieced and about half-quilted. Unfortunately, one of the shows I’m watching now (Call My Agent) is in French, so I have to quilt or watch, can’t do both.

A month and a half ago, I anticipated that we would all be feeling intense relief on Inauguration Day.

Nope. Who here isn’t feeling dread? Who here hasn’t learned in no uncertain terms that trump’s army is gonna be reckless and violent for seasons to come?

Peace above us. Peace below. Peace behind us. Peace before. Peace all around. Peace. Peace. Peace. This is where Michelle’s voice would bring such wisdom and hope to us all and I miss her.

Shit show

I’ve written about the week, written about it some more, including one long rant, but haven’t had the energy to bring anything here. Maybe this weekend? Maybe not. There have been so many comments made and registered out there.

A new fox.

I might be locating a little ambition to sew garments. Step one: adjust dress dummy to my measurements. I think draping might be the way to go for me since following directions is not my strong suit.

Tried to turn purple-shirt star into a robe and failed miserably.

There are still possibilities.

It’s creepy how well Instagram understands my taste. These showed up this week and I love them both.

Finished the Noah’s Ark quilt (talked about on Instagram last week). Just need to deliver it to my neighbor now, who has a grandson named Noah. Another friend is about to become a grandmother. Her daughter was one of the most talented creators I worked with back when I taught fiber arts to elementary school kids, so I want the crib quilt for her baby to be nice. Blues have been requested.

Also finished the above. Are you sensing a trend? FINISHING! I’m whittling down a pile of nearly finished pieces. The one above is in my Etsy shop (clothcompany).

Lastly, for my own reference, I’m inserting a few screen shots.

Stay rested everyone. Stay hydrated. Connect with loved ones.

Thanks for all the encouraging comments about a gas fireplace! It might be operable as soon as tomorrow.

Rage donating*

A click. A clack. I throw my few bucks into the blue bin.

It’s sweatshirt cold this morning. Last night I dreamt about a murder in the woods, knowing that we are planning to go to a wooded park on the North Shore today. It wasn’t really a nightmare, somehow.

Three-eighths of binding done on C’s quilt. Agatha Christie Miss Marple the choice of the afternoon.

A 4.5 earthquake in Southern California hours ago. I wish people would stop asking, Can 2020 get any worse?

Because of course it can.

As much as the anxiety of these final weeks is a metallic tang in my mouth, I am also genuinely curious to see how the judicial nomination plays out. Careers will be made and lost over this.

*not my term. Twitter, of course.