Category Archives: In the Company of Cloth

notes from a quilter, collage artist, fabric collector

Serendipity and not

Once upon a time I stitched up a bunch of abstract squares. They were covered in black nylon tulle, because that was a thing I did early on, and they were close enough in size to potholders to have an unshakeable resemblance to them. In other words, I soon hated them.

What does a quilter do? Cut them up, of course.

The row houses above came from one such “potholder.” A series is born, I thought.

Two problems. One, I can’t at the moment find the rest of the potholders. Two, the simple selection of ground, sky, and moon rather instantly became more complicated.

Because I let it, I know.

No worries! I’ve found other rectangles to cut up. Also, the way I allow various permutations to have a say is endlessly interesting to me.

The detours don’t help finishing a series (or to be honest, perhaps prevent even beginning one). But there you have it. This is who I am.

This one started w/crazy quilt appliquéd square

Any previously-worked square cut carefully enough ought to yield two rows of houses.

Back tomorrow!

Look what I found

Woke to neighbor’s yard crew roaring just below my bedroom window then for hours endured tree work two houses over. Incredibly punishing. Finally put in ear buds and listened to a box fan. Whir, whir, whir. Then I could think and turned to sorting study papers — throwing out old chapter lists, old word count tallies, old email lists. A purge. Then vacuumed. Always feels good.

It is blessedly quiet now.

Dead Northern Flicker and rusted iron disk found within steps of each other on dog walk.

He was 23. John Lewis was 23 here.

Help with the puzzle yesterday.

I made company another version of the quinoa salad. This one had the same mix of wild and white rice but with barley and fresh corn in lieu of the quinoa. It wasn’t as amazing as the day before but still yummy. Is it because I served the quinoa salad while it was still warm? Maybe.

Already sick to death of Ramaswamy. Why is the press giving him so much air time? The man is a creepy fraud and a lunatic who makes Elon Musk look like a moderate.

Younger son has gone back to college. Starting today. Thoughts and prayers appreciated, especially since they won’t help the most recent victims of Nazi terrorism.

One of Paris Collage Club digital collages for week


In case you want a look back that’ll give you chills and maybe, hope. I who never cry, teared up. I know Biden is old and that can make us wish for different choices, but take a look and remember.

Meanwhile, this is happening in the basement. The closer K gets to retirement, the more house projects he takes on. Last week it was cleaning out all the gutters and oiling the wooden ones. I could hear that distinctive clank of the aluminum ladder being moved for a few days. Then he replaced that bedroom window that spontaneously shattered a while back on a day with a sudden forty degree temperature drop.

Fixed: the ice maker; the washing machine.

I think he’s paving a path.

Also, finding (more) skeletal mouse remains and patching holes in the old foundation.

When he starts organizing (and selling off) the massive coin collection in the cellar, I’ll know we’re close.

Same family that was in our backyard recently spotted on yesterdays dog walk

It appears that my first born is shopping for a motorcycle. Excuse me while I go scream in a closet for a bit.

My only response to him will be to ask if he’s a registered organ donor.

Found poem and more rain

British cop shows are full of great vernacular. I started this “poem” because the saying “he seems the full shilling” caught my ear.

Noun. the full shilling (plural not attested) (UK, Ireland, chiefly in the negative) In control of one’s mental faculties; sane; all there.

Here are pix of two finished quilts. I’ve posted ad nauseam elsewhere, so I’ll let the quilts speak for themselves.

Show that offered quotes listed above

Dream, a pet peeve, and a look back

Sunflower is Paris Collage Collective image this week

I dreamt about Michelle Slater this morning. She lives in an apartment below me, not in NYC but in Pittsfield near Berkshire Medical Center (where I really lived once).

She has the coolest composting device in her kitchen sink. It’s miraculous, really, but in the dream it is just elegantly ahead of its time. It’s a small deciduous tree attached to the faucet that both gathers and converts waste in a single rotation. Think: bonsai with a mission.

She is leaving the apartment, not sure why or where she plans to go. When I look out the window, I’m surprised to find she lives on the ground floor and not above me on the fourth as I had supposed.

Later, I’m at a gathering and leaning on Hillary Clinton’s shoulder, who sits in the row in front of me. Just like on a zoom call, the stage is lined with bookcases, but instead of the speaker’s most recent book propped up for viewing, a variety of my small quilts are on display.

In writing circles they say, tell a dream, lose a reader. Did I lose you?

Today I’m traveling to a writer’s retreat in Central Mass. aka the Connecticut River Valley. People consistently mislabel this area the Berkshires. It is not. I was born in the Berkshires and lived in three (or 4 or 5? too tedious to count) (it’s 5) different places there. Can you tell this is a pet peeve of mine?

Central Mass from retreat patio

I’ve been to this retreat twice before and it is heaven. The food, the views, the quality of leadership, and the writing. Just a treat all round!

The last time I went was in 2019 — before covid. I took a look back and was shocked to see how much I did that year. Life will never be like that again. Just for kicks, here’s the list.

My sister died in March and in less than a month we cleared out her apartment and went to Rome in April. I stayed on in Assisi for two weeks. In May we went to Denver. In June I did the weeklong training to become an AWA facilitator (local but still). In July we went to the Catskills and Schenectady and I also spent a couple days on the Cape in Wellfleet. August found K and me in Rockport for a spell and then I attended this very writing retreat (in Central Mass).

Visitors: friends Maggie and Deb Lacativa came. Son #2 stayed a week to do his EMT training and then both boys were here for Christmas (that was the last time we gathered here as a family).

This year I’ve been to Aspen, LA (aka my brother’s house), Rockport, and soon, Central Mass. Next month, we’re going to Quebec for a few days. And in November, I’ll be spending a week on a Civil Rights tour in Mississippi and Alabama. (When I write it all down, it begins to seem like a lot?)

Coming on retreat with me: footstool and heating pad, Tylenol and Voltaran. A collapsible soccer-mom chair. All to minimize or treat back pain. Talk about passing time!