Tag Archives: hearts for charleston

White coral bells

Saturday I dug up some lilies of the valley for my sister, happy as anything to be working among their fragrant flowers.  Today was too cold to work outside. It was basement vacuuming and garage sorting for me. And some sewing.

Somewhere along the line, the decision was made to name all the congregants who were in the Emanual AME church the night of the mass killing. Liz Ackert (“I’m Going to Texas“) stitched these names and created the lovely hands. I struggled with placement when they were white rectangles. But once I decided to reverse appliqué them with some reproduction Civil War fabric, they found their spots. The hearts were too big. Circles seemed just right. The only label left is the one naming the ten makers. The one saying these blocks were stitched with love, in grief and outrage and with hopes for peace.

Waiting to become

This morning, I revisited the little gem of a book, “Steal Like An Artist,” by Austin Kleon because it’s good and worth revisiting and because, well, seeing my blue indigo woven square on Instagram turned my stomach, just a little, because of how much it said, “Jude” to me. Not arrogance here. Rather:  dissatisfaction. The thing is far from done and woven strips are kinda woven strips, but still, I thought I’d share some of the excellent things Kleon has to say about this, “this” being developing a style or a voice, even though the “Hearts for Charleston” quilt is not about this. At all. (and, as you take a breath, can you tell I’m reading Faulkner again this summer?!)
“A wonderful flaw about human beings is that we’re incapable of making perfect copies. Our failure to copy our heroes is where we discover where our own thing lives. That is how we evolve. So: Copy your heroes. Examine where you fall short. What’s in there that makes you different? That’s what you should amplify… ”

And: “Don’t just steal the style, steal the thinking behind the style. You don’t want to look like your heroes, you want to see like your heroes.”
Also this: “… you don’t just steal from one of your heroes, you steal from all of them.”

[Who are all of them?!! The blog roll on the right is a starting place. This morning, Robert Rauschenberg, John Singer Sargent, the Gee’s Bend quilters, Susan Carlson, and Ruth McDonald all come to mind. Jude Hill (obviously). Maybe I don’t think about this enough].

“Nobody is born with a style or a voice. We don’t come out of the womb knowing who we are. In the beginning we learn by pretending to be our heroes. We learn by copying.”

“We’re talking about practice here, not plagiarism…. Copying is about reverse-engineering. It’s like a mechanic taking apart a car to see how it works.”

This is not hand-wringing, per se. Just follow-up to a little turn of the stomach. It’s important to follow up on little turns of the stomach. That might be a piece of advice I’d give an artist. Or just plain a person. It’s a little like Julia Cameron suggesting that we use a list of people we are jealous of as a laundry list of things we need. It works. Try it.

Meanwhile, I am in love with some new double exposures. I wish I could figure out what to DO with them!
These feel wholly mine. And yet? Thumb tapping? Digital code? What ARE they?!
And, not free of influence, obviously.


Specs done in a hurry

Specs in a hurry — how else can they be done by someone afflicted by (graced with?!!) ADD?!

But seriously, running off to final of 16 dog obedience classes, then I’m making lunch for one of my favorite people whose birthday it is today, then I have to babysit a delivery window (we are finally going to replace the rotting deck rails, and YES, with a rot-proof composite) and then it’s the Newton, Mass. Charleston Vigil at 6:30 at City Hall. So, a more detailed ‘how-to’ post will come tomorrow, not today.

But the quick answer to when and how big is: 10.5 inches square, nine strips across and down, a heart about 4″ across, and August 31 deadline.

Mo, I realized shipping from Australia adds time, so if this feels too tight, l’ll work with that.

I was going to ask for as much indigo as possible for obvious reasons, but people are already volunteering. So there will be a lot of indigo. Whatever else gets mixed in will work, I’m sure. I made my strips 10″ long and used nine each way of unequal length, but you are welcome to use more or less.

My heart is going to be traditional applique (meaning edges stitched under), but rough edge is okay, too. My heart currently might be a little bigger than I want. I’m guessing about four inches across would be good. I want to embroider a word on my square too — this is optional. At first I thought I’d stitch it across the heart, but now I think I’ll stitch it in the woven section.

A few extra squares are welcome!