Category Archives: In the Company of Cloth

notes from a quilter, collage artist, fabric collector

Monday after shit show

Good morning! A new week! One in which I shall focus my attention away from the Elise Stefaniks of the world (calling for unity. My gawd) and turn it toward the business of getting on with things closer to home.

Today: a doctor appt scheduled; phone list printed to glue to 2021 calendar (I’m analog that way).

Week 2 image of #pariscollagecollective printed out. Play begun. See below.

It’s the day I clean the downstairs bathroom.

Delivered a late Christmas gift while out with Finn and groceries arriving any minute, so: clean a fridge shelf or two.

Prep for writing session tomorrow. Write. Cut paper and move it around. Make dinner.

Doesn’t sound too bad, does it?

Definitely having a better day than this little guy — who might’ve emerged from that pipe. He’s been there for months and I only know about him because of Finn.

PCC Week Two image above prompting questions. Where are you from? Who was your mother’s mother? Has your genetic legacy propelled you or snagged you and where and how and who IS that guy?

And lastly, because we are all learning, and in some arenas with no small sense of urgency, I leave you with a topical new (to me) word learned on Twitter from Ibram X. Kendi.

He referred to trump’s army’s goals as REVANCHIST.

PS I want to emulate Hazel’s blog a little. She does lovely artwork and intersperses them with a little bit of text, so that the text and the paintings resonate off of each other.

PPS I very much relate to the recent mood over on Jude’s blog. A disorientation to time. A wondering about the value of words. The enticing draw of retreat. And yet, another day!

Where you find strength

Today I find strength in others’ words and posts. From Mo’s exaltations of Pinkola Estes to Liz’s resolve to find beauty wherever she is to an NPR radio interview with Kimberle Crenshaw on the historic and catastrophic parallels to “finding unity” and “moving on.”

And, as is so often the case these days, Acey’s pictures and directions and catalogues of thought and image are rolling through my nervous system.

The sewer cap above is one of many answers to Liz’s question: can you find beauty in the suburbs? Look at the color of that brick! The rust! And the delicate shadow of a twig. They make my heart sing.

The magic green dots thrill me every time!

As I begin to explore yellow* — my cutting and piecing paper instincts want to be translated to cloth. Can I even remotely achieve the immediacy of paper collage with stitch and fabric? What a wonderful edge to open up the power of the will.

* chakra exploration with Acey

Indigo square with moon by Jude.

Snow on the way

I might follow along with Roxane Gay’s reading list for the year. One book a month. I ordered the first one, which is getting a lot of buzz and I really wanted anyway. If this effort is like others, I’ll last until April.

I’ve finally attended to the minutiae involved in being able to borrow kindle books from my library. What a gift! Using the Libby app, I can reserve books and then they show up in my kindle reader without having to go anywhere! Black Futures looks like a beautiful coffee table book, though, so I ordered a copy. Here’s the full list in case you’re interested.

In other news, “we” are installing a gas fireplace. This old house’s current fireplace is very inefficient and sucks warm air out of the entire first floor. Plus, you know, because of the mess and effort, we just don’t have fires all that much. We already have gas in the house. I can’t wait to be able to start a fire with a click of a button. Don’t judge me!

By “we,” I mean my husband, of course. We save almost two grand this way.

I just discovered an Instagram group — @pariscollagecollective — that posts weekly image prompts. I may take part (again — will I last until late spring?) Here’s the first prompt for 2021.

I’ve put together one of my digital-collage slideshows (one minute, below), but I intend to work with paper this week. And then maybe, using a photo of the paper collage, create more layered exposures with the Diana app — my preferred method.

Some of my faves follow. Some of you will recognize collage images embedded from the Collage Challenge with Acey a year ago.

Snow to begin before sunset.

* tattooed torso is a dancer from recent remake of West Side Story and featured in the New York Times. Cloaked Egyptian and other smaller white cloaked figure from National Geographic. Cloth is my own. Virgin from photo I took in cathedral in Assisi. Black woman looking at lens, I don’t remember — but very possibly Vanity Fair.

New ritual and a miracle

On January first, 2021, I found myself spontaneously cleaning every clock face in the house. Windex and shine! For those where moisture was not possible, I used compressed air. Begone dust!

It was satisfying. Cleansing. Inviting.

Now for the miracle. A few weeks ago I took part in a book-gifting chain letter. I mailed off a book to someone, sent the rules to a couple people, and forgot about it.

On my walk with Finny yesterday, I listened to more of Brene Brown’s interview with Tim Ferriss. So much food for thought! On return, I swooped up onto the stoop to grab a package and came back into the house rattling about this thing Brown said and that thing. Let’s try “batching” and “marriage isn’t 50/50, sometimes it’s 80/20 or 10/25.”

As I was enthusing about Brown’s work, I opened the package to find one of her books. I was stunned. I was stunned particularly because I’d forgotten all about the book-gift thing. I had to text Ginny to track down the origin (it was from her nephew on her husband’s side) before it all made sense.

How do you like that?

On a more sober note (more sober than reorienting oneself to Time or being the recipient of a minor but nevertheless eye-opening miracle?) : I’ve started Caste by Isabel Wilkerson. HOLY CHRIST.

More to come. But just a teaser: when the Nazis were seeking to codify their racial caste system in the early days of Hitler coming to power, they studied American law AND THEY FOUND IT TOO EXTREME.