Category Archives: House quilts

One blend, one box, 3 cloths

Sometimes I get intimidated about the fact that people actually read these posts. Forgive the blindness imbedded in such folly, but I know I’m not alone in this weird double-take.

For instance, I want to post more about anti-racism again and about my book, now titled The Weight of Cloth, but part of me wonders — who am I? Well not about the book, which I am amply qualified to speak about, but about more general issues of structural racism.

I’ll get over myself. Have no fear!

So here is a simpler kind of post. Show and tell. And really, a chance to note recent gifts.

ONE BLEND. A blend of exotic spices prepared by a friend was one of my favorite gifts this year. A pinch flavors a big pot of stock on the stovetop at this very moment. It turns out that I committed to trying new-to-me flavors this year before even recognizing the thought. A resolution? Yes, and a discovery — that the better resolutions might be those that you adopt before even making note of them. No forcing.

Another Ottolenghi recipe. Ripped from the book PLENTY’s cover. This is my creation tho — both the food and the photo. And yea, it was tasty!

ONE BOX. Those of you that follow my cousin Ginny Mallon will recognize her artistry on this repurposed cigar box. I LOVE IT. When she started posting them on Instagram this fall, I knew I needed to give one to my husband for Christmas. Him being a Cancer was the excuse, my adoring them, the real impetus.

And since Ginny wouldn’t let me pay her, I received a gift too!

THREE CLOTHS. The first is a close up and finished. The second is almost ready to be bound. And the third is a close up of one that feels like I will never finish it. A progression of sorts.

All I want to say about them today is how liberating I found Jude’s recent comment about how she doesn’t see ugly (or something like that). I was referring to a quilt not shown here. I’ve always worked with ugly and messy, maybe even taken a tiresome pride in the fact, but this feels different. It gives me staying power.

Adventure at H Mart

At this phase of life and the pandemic, going to H Mart in Burlington counts as an adventure. Lots of other people had the same idea today — packed parking lot, busy fish counter, many, many vegetable and noodle buyers.

I wanted to get the ingredients for this delicious looking Ottolenghi salad (above) — to try something new. I managed to buy red and Napa cabbages, but forgot cilantro and limes. Oh well! Next time. Maybe if we go at 8 am on a regular weekday, it’ll be less crowded.

The good news is that Asians as a rule wear masks.

How fun it was! The exotic dragon fruit, the wall of tofu, mushrooms of every variety. I picked up some pumpkin-colored miso, a pack of soba noodles, a huge bag of rice, some potstickers, and star anise. Also: soy sauce, Korean BBQ rub, and rice vinegar.

The star anise imparted a spicy fragrance to the car on the way home. Lovely!

I bought a couple persimmons three weeks back (shown in the bin above) but they rotted before we could eat them. Oops! I know from my research that the enslaved made a delicious molasses from them. And a woman in Wegman’s who stopped me to ask where I’d gotten them, told me she eats them raw and unadorned. “But let them get good and soft first.”

It’s been friend catch-up time. I can motor along in my life (my fairly isolated life) and forget how good it feels to connect. Even before the pandemic this was true.

Today I was treated to pix of two new grand babies. A few nights ago, there was a really nice 70th birthday party (everyone tested beforehand). Tomorrow: lunch with two friends, one of whom I haven’t seen in person in years! Monday, I’ll see another friend who has been busy driving to upstate New York and Vermont to see her grandchildren.

I’ll close with a photo and paragraph about Pele.

“The ambition should always be to play an elegant game.” I like that.

Adding space

I used to work bigger more often. This smallish tower quilt was getting a rest pinned to the back of another quilt and I decided, after looking at it for a day, that I liked it with a surround of brown.

I went looking downstairs, fully expecting to have to make a substituon, but I found the very cloth!

Bigger surround wd allow yellow roof. Yeah or nay?

It is going to be hot today. Dog walk was sweaty. K has his five-year colonoscopy midday and of course he needs a ride. Because of the Covid numbers, I will wait outside. Hope there’s a patch of shade.

And below find yesterday’s collage results (some of them). Feel free to skip if you’re on Instagram!

This is Paris Collage Collective visual prompt for the week
This one is not a part of the series
Look for the fedora. It represents the rise of theocratic surveillance. The birth collage speaks for itself I hope.
Original birth collage made in 90’s, when I was, you know, giving birth.
One of the weird residual attitudes of having been raised Catholic is a lasting affection for all things Mary. In my universe, she is allied with the Divine Feminine and not Christianity.
Mary’s hand is a helping hand.
Yes, that’s Jeremy Irons. One layer here is another paper collage featuring the actor and paper doll losing her head.

Back at it

The amount of psychic energy required to finish my manuscript and begin the querying process was substantial but also invisible. It really tanked my cloth and collage work. I kept thinking something was wrong, but nothing’s wrong.

Spring brings with it a rising energy. This year I plan to ride that wave with attention to finishing. Finish. Finish. Finish.

Oh, and I plan on starting things too. I’m seesawing between two possible topics for a new novel. Many pages already written. I’m pretty sure it’s gonna be contemporary. Enough with parlors and drays, small pox and reticules. You won’t hear a specific thing about it til it’s done this time (she said).

I’ve become a ridiculous puzzle hound. Jigsaw puzzles. Wordle AND quordle. Daily NYTimes crossword puzzle and Spelling Bee. Every day!

Enough. I’ll be spending a lot more time outdoors.

I’ll be binding quilts.

I’ll be reading.

Kimono House #1
Kimono House #2
Adding houses to old butterfly quilt; small simple collage printed on fabric to the left

History happening.

The voice on this guy!

This show of solidarity.

And then there’s Chef Andres, feeding people along the border.

And meanwhile, Andrea Chalupa and Michael McFaul just appeared on MSNBC and uttered cautions about getting caught up in the energetic bravery of Ukraine’s people and the show of solidarity throughout the world. Putin means business, they say. Chalupa worries about genocide.

More locally I can report that it’s 19 degrees here but sunny, so K, Finn, and I enjoyed our walk.

And now it’s time to walk away from the screens.