Category Archives: In the Company of Cloth

notes from a quilter, collage artist, fabric collector

Still not here

Done a fair bit of writing lately but not here. It’s been a rainy week with grey skies and often, big breezes making leaves scuttle and swirl.

I get why many chose to die in November, winter coming and all that (both my father and maternal grandmother died in November), but I love the gloom. I hope it’s not just because it so often matches my interior landscape. There’s something so New England about it.

We get to sit by the fire and slow cook delicious dinners. Below is last night’s braised lamb shanks with cheesy grits and bok choy.

It’s a sad indication of where we’re at that the Bannon indictment lit me up with relief and joy and something I don’t quite recognize — could it be hope?

Miss y’all. Yes, northerners get to say this!

To close, enjoy this meme. Don’t know who made it.

Just a Monday

I call it “the Horse House.” Garden House was already taken by a place perched on the T tracks over by the lake. The Horse House is a corner lot with stunning trees, foundation beds, and median strip plantings. They even have a big garbage barrel on the curb for dog poop bags. Much appreciated.

I round this corner at about the halfway point of my dog walk. Usually when I pass, some kind of idea or some string of words have come to me for a blog post. Today, no. I can think of three reasons.

One: a clutter of dreams. A charging cord, hot and blackened. An 83 year old friend inexplicably standing in my bedroom where the bed keeps unmaking itself. A butt dial allowing me to hear disdainful confusion about texts I’d sent (“Remind me not to try and be helpful!”). The corralling of prisoners by a body of water. Have they been afforded due process?

Also I was listening to a New Yorker story about the pandemic, travel, risk, baseball and luck.

Third, at the corner I was confronted by the most delicious smell of sautéing garlic. Wow. 9:25 a.m.

Are you really writing a post about writing (or not writing) a post? Yeah. Sorry.

Today I’m going to couch yellow or red threads around a quilted house that disappears into its background. What are you six? Well, maybe.

In closing let me say that anyone hoping that the hyped 12:30 announcement by DOJ was about domestic terrorists or corrupt politicians will be very disappointed. Indictments for international cyber criminals are not nothing. But? I know accountability is coming. It’s just a matter of time, right?

And suddenly, November

A crappy day. But is it, really? K and I had a nice walk around noon, which we interrupted to drop off wedding band and engagement ring for resizing. To fit the current me.

But it is a crappy day in terms of the Virginia governor’s race. I downright exhausted myself watching Steve Kornacki early in the evening, then checking in on everyone’s hot takes on twitter through the night. (Here’s my twitter feed.)

For me, there are THREE main take aways:

1) racism as a platform works. According to Sherilynn Ifill, a civil rights attorney for the NAACP,  we ought to be asking why that is.

2) Democrats won an impressive array of posts last night. Boston elected their first female and first person of color as mayor; Pittsburgh, New York City, and Kansas City all elected Black mayors; Cincinnati elected its first Asian mayor; Virginia elected its first Black woman for Lt. Governor. Good news spelled out here.

3) Democrats need to fight fire with fire. Jesus, how could so much reporting on CRT fail to mention until paragraph 47 that it IS NOT EVEN TAUGHT IN THE VIRGINIA PUBLIC SCHOOLS. Accountability and results and appropriate (fierce) media messaging are going to matter so much going into the midterms.

I’ve been posting work to Etsy today. Tedious. Measure this, describe that, and for some reason the postage choices were all fucked up.

The oaks across the way catch the late afternoon sun and turn brilliant gold. Maybe that’s the truest statement here!

Fly to Lah

One of the most noticeable negative consequences of the pandemic is my large collection of stained tops. How blessed am I? It’s a pain though. This morning, I had to reject one shirt after another because of a slight but noticeable grease stain, usually just below the collar. There I was at 5:15 a.m., pulling one shirt after another over my head with a sigh.

Why the stains you ask? Because K’s workstation occupies our kitchen table and we put our dining room table out in the garage years ago and (she confesses) we like to watch TV while we eat.

Speaking of casual approaches to things, our anniversary approaches. Thirty-one years. Last year was nothing. I joked just now that it’d be an occasion simply to clear the table and sit at it. Pathetic, I know, but maybe I like that it just doesn’t seem to matter all that much.

I just don’t think I should have to cook that night, is all. That’s mushroom risotto, above, by the way. I don’t know why people think making this dish is a pain. Because you have to stir frequently?

Steve Bannon this. Steve Bannon that. In the cab. In the Peet’s line at Logan. K probably would like to hear less of this. But! The pleading filed by the 1/6 Select Committee yesterday is verrrrry compelling. I plan to find it online and read in full later. Heather Cox Richardson’s summary this morning is a good place to start if you’re interested.

Otherwise, I’m reading this biography. I’ll admit I was a little more interested in Audubon when I thought he was Black. Some have suggested that he was. His father had two illegitimate children, one mother was enslaved, the other a French chambermaid. Rhodes says James’s mother was the French maid. Birthplace: a sugar plantation on Saint Domingue (later Haiti).

Some of the mystery surrounding Audubon’s birth stemmed from inheritance laws. Illegitimate children were entitled to nothing, so of course some dissembling was in order.

What’s so far fascinating are the descriptions of the American landscape just after the turn of the nineteenth century. Lush and full of wildlife. Travel by paddle boats. Camping with the Shawnee while waiting for the ice on the Mississippi to break up. Riding by horseback from Louisville to Pennsylvania with his wife, Lucy, and their one year old. Can you imagine?

Rhodes quotes Audubon’s description of the Kentucky barrens: “‘Flowers without number … sprung up amidst the luxuriant grass; the fields, the orchards, and the gardens of the settlers, presented an appearance of plenty, scarcely anywhere exceeded; the wild fruit-trees, having their branches interlaced with grapevines, promised a rich harvest; and at every step I trod on ripe and fragrant strawberries.’”

And of course, the young artist (he’s 27 at this point), is drawing birds constantly.

Well, today when I say onward and upward I mean it literally. Have a great Tuesday!