Tag Archives: “art quilt”

Five Things (and a rant)

1.  Weather — Today is cold.  Steely sky, breath condensing.  Hat and glove weather.

2.  One thing I did well yesterday — Can’t think of anything.  I’ll have to come back.

3.  One thing I could have done better yesterday — Responded more neutrally when D. said he had a sore throat.

4. and 5.  Two things I’ll commit to doing today that I might not otherwise get done

  1. download H1N1 vaccine forms and fill them out for the boys. 
  2. cut out pictures for SoulCollage® gathering this weekend. 

Back to doing something well.

What DID I do well yesterday?  I made a muslin angel that I ALMOST love — but I loved her better before I sharpied in a face, which on some level feels to me like I ruined her, so THAT doesn’t count.  Overcooked the pork chops, which were still okay, but can’t count that.  Spent hours on the phone finding out about Mass. Health, ECOB, COBRA for my sister… but all of that felt like a big muddle so that even though I came out of it with a couple of appts. and a located birth certificate, I wouldn’t put that on the list.  So, what then?

Can I count NOT being awful as doing something well?!!

Yesterday, I contained my rage waiting for 25 minutes at the post office.  There I was picking up a certified letter (on my sister’s behalf — so there’s THAT) that my postal carrier SHOULD have rung the bell for me to sign and receive at the house.  He had THREE chances to make life easy for me.

There it was, the first ‘real’ business day after Thanksgiving and presumably the beginning of package-mailing-season and my wonderful post office branch had ONE window open (the line was ten deep the entire time I waited).  Furthermore, (does this count as TWO things I did well?)  I did not call the postal carrier a liar when he claimed to have rung the bell and knocked when he delivered the three notices, which I know for a fact, he did not.  I was there when the mail hit the floor every single time and no bell was rung, no door was knocked.

And now, I’ll rant about this guy.

This is a postal carrier that defies the notion of service and veers into some creepy realm of vindictive laziness.  When he was assigned to our street, it was all anyone could talk about for weeks — what stupid, incredulous thing he had done THAT day (e.g., drop envelopes with checks in them onto the curb, not deliver mail because a rug-cleaning hose was threaded through the front door, refuse to bend over and pick anything up on a stoop because of a bad back, act like my dog is a vicious, postman-eating predator).  Many of us reported his errors to his supervisor, he was put ‘on probation’ for awhile, and now he is back to his tricks.

Though it serves no purpose, I spend a fair amount of time wondering, as he strenuously cuts corners and makes life difficult for everyone on the route, whether he is acting out of a generalized incompetence or out of some sort of shrewd and calculating desire to inflict misery on his customers.  I tend to think the latter.

Can’t I come up with ONE THING I DID well yesterday?  Oh, here — I added some machine stitching to my Full Moon in Taurus quilt, and miracle of miracles, located the missing moon, by, again miracle of miracles, cleaning up my work area a little.

Quilting a Full Moon in Taurus

Fern-Village

I THOUGHT I was going to bind and be done with this.  But a few influences (later on those, perhaps) got me to wanting to add a moon and moon shadows.

To make the moon, I looked in some unlikely places, underlining my rule about COLLECTING UGLY FABRIC.

ugly-fabric

who knew I'd want this fabric?!!

Disk and batting to start —

ugly-disk-base-+-batting

I won't use a backing -- but there will be two top layers

I love sheers for layering to create depth and a one-of-a-kind surface —

shirt-for-shadow-and-shine

sheer shirts and scarves layer well

This shirt has shown up in other places lately — a self portrait, for one… Its scenes of New York resonate to a child of parents who haled from Brooklyn.  THIS particular full moon was in Taurus, and so, while my initial impulse was to make a quilt about money, the difficult transitions to fall/daylight savings, and the painful nature of attachment… now it had also to do with my father (b. May 19, 1929).

stippled-craters

I like to use dissimiliar threads top and bottom for more texture

After stippling the craters, I flipped one of the lighter edges over the top (making a third top layer) because I thought the moon was too dark, and the fabric was there.

fold-edge-to-TOP-first

Then, because I wanted to make progress and because I knew I didn’t want to attach the moon to the quilt with a loose satin stitch, I machine-stitched the lunar edges under.  (BTW, do you see those two men in the foreground of the grey landscape?!!  This reference to the “man (or men) in the moon” not only affirms my love of visual puns, it does direct homage to my father, who was a true Master of the Pun.

tucking-under-on-machine

On a different day, I might have decided to tuck these edges under by hand.

Now, I wanted to make moon shadows.

lacey-moonlight

rejected this treatment of moonlight

More on that tomorrow!  (This treatment was soundly rejected!)

Hearts Full and Close

Blue-Heart-close

Naming today’s jpg files for purposes of posting them here, I used the words “close” and “full” to indicate cropping.  These files — “Heart Close” (above) and “Heart Full” (below) — put me to wonder, What is it to have another’s Heart Close?  Or even, one’s own Heart Close?  And, what is it to have a Full Heart?

Blue-Heart-Full

Here is the “Heart Full” — although in this case, it is not quite the entire quilt.   In this Heart Series of quilts, all of which feature a single heart perched on top of a busy mosaic, I have always been working with the notion that the fullness of our experiences add up to a kind of perfection.  And that this perfection normally eludes us, but in fact, is always there.  As a designer, it is easy to know that the dark-hued swatches of fabric are as responsible for the overall design (and dare I say, beauty?), as the lighter patches… As a human being, it is less easy to know that those experiences which wounded us the most, are just as responsible for the overall design (and dare I say, perfection?) of our lives as the sunnier experiences.

Blue-Heart-lower

As David Whyte  states in his poem “The Faces at Braga”, “If only we knew/as the carver knew, how the flaws/in the wood led his searching chisel to the very core,/we would smile too/and not need faces immobilized/by fear and the weight of things undone.”  (From “Where Many Rivers Meet”).

Heart-of-Darkness

This smaller quilt includes the word “Darkness”

heart-song-full

and, in the lower right corner, “SONG”.  These are not contradictions.

copper-heart-full

How does one become, again to quote David Whyte’s poem, “wedded to our essence”?

copper-heart-and-minis

such that the details transpiring in our tiny houses, do not impede the fullness of our hearts?

copper-heart-beads