Tag Archives: hearts

Newton Vigil for Charleston

The ceremony held yesterday to honor the victims of the Charleston massacre was well attended and moving. It included statements from the Mayor, prayers by a priest and a rabbi (sorry I don’t have names, I wasn’t there to take notes, and there weren’t enough flyers to go around). One long prayer was broken into sections and read by nine people (or groups of people), each of whom lit a candle in front of a large photograph of one of the deceased. Even reading out very short bios for each victim (church treasurer, pastor, retired pastor, track coach, librarian, great grandmother… ) lent a sense of the enormity of loss suffered by the community — these people were GIVERS. I should say: added another layer to the sense of the enormity of loss. The centerpiece of the ceremony was a rousing sermon delivered by a Reverend from the Myrtle Baptist Church (Alicia Johnson, I believe). She called upon us all to acknowledge the wound of racism (how wide and how deep) and then DO something about it. Surprisingly, there was a lot of hope articulated. “Amazing Grace” was sung by the LoveTones to finish and I might have cried (others did), but for the sound system’s wincing blasts of feedback. I wore a little nine patch on my chest — made that afternoon — to represent the victims. I also wanted to be able to include cloth in the “Hearts for Charleston Quilt” that had been in the energy of this vigil.  My larger square was rolled up and tucked in my purse.  And get this — do you see the woman standing in the middle of the picture above? I bought that very dress at Savers a couple of years ago and have been using bits of it here or there ever since. TWO STRIPS of it are woven into my Charleston square!! I literally gasped when she stood up. The dark strips below with ivory stamping on it, sometimes barely peeking out, are from that very dress. This synchronicity had a way of making me feel like I was in the right place at the right time, and now I wonder: does all synchronicity do that? Since she read a prayer for one of the victims, I determined that my square should be dedicated to her: Rev. Sharonda Coleman-Singleton.

P.S. The heart above is not a ‘go’ but I like the idea of a tiny nine patch occupying its center. Among other things, doing so would give the suggestion of a fractal (if not an actual fractal) — which is a sophisticated style of patterning employed by many African societies (posted about here).

Hearts for Charleston

Ever since the senseless murder of nine black congregants during a Bible Study circle at the Emanuel AME in Charleston, it has been hard to think of much else. It is sickening to realize that we now all have enough experience with these tragic events to recognize what could be called the ‘one-two-three punch’. First comes the awful, heart-rending racist violence itself. Second comes the media distortions, in which various denials and weird angles continue the racist harm. Third, we get to wait and watch for the possible failure of the political and judicial systems to prosecute or make a finding of guilt (or take down the Confederate flag). These very distinct kinds of harm overlap and blur into what for me is an increasingly intolerable state. What must it be for families of victims? For all African Americans?

Which is part of why I want to make a quilt.  It’s not quite the ‘fearless action’ I consecrated myself to in a Solstice circle yesterday, but it is not nothing either.

A nine block would fitting.  If each heart was secured atop a square of woven strips (in the style of and with techniques taught by Jude Hill), I think it would convey something about hope and love uniting us all – whatever hue our stripe.

Unlike the flurry and fury of my online activity (facebook and twitter), this would be a gesture with a little heft. What I have in mind is a modest wall hanging. More of a sympathy card than an heirloom quilt but still, something with literal and metaphoric heart… something that the members of the congregation in Charleston could touch and hold. That feels important to me.

Anyone in?  I only need EIGHT SIX  FIVE  FOUR others   ONE MORE. Thank you Sandi and Donna! And Ginny! And anonymous. And Dana, Mo and Gillan.

shadows below and on top

Make quilt. Take picture of quilt.  Print, then stitch picture of quilt to folded pages of a book.*   Make a color xerox.  Tape color xerox to window on top of Nat’l Geographic photo of a robed figure.  Take another picture.  Voila.

Next, use color xerox cut outs of a previously constructed quilt (hearts) and stitch them onto paper with a magazine waterfall, using a color xerox of handmade paper for the bottom edge.

Photo with ‘neutral light’ (above) and then let shadows play into design, creating two variations.

(This is a test regarding crisp posted images).

I love the shadows and the watery realm in the background.  I also am enamored with photographed stitching bumping along with actual stitching.  And although the THOUGHT of a heart casting a shadow somewhat troubles me, the image does not.

Do any other fiber artists out there like to play with paper reproductions of their fiber work?

*(“The Crystal Cave” by Mary Stewart).

Off to make a smoothie for D’s first day of school… LATE START is a great idea for teenagers!

welcome change; welcome home

For a week, we were one of those families – you know the ones – the families that take vacations, spend money, have fun.

The skies in Colorado were the most glorious blue, all except for the second day, when it snowed, alas, only a little.  The powder disappointed – not up to the Rocky’s standards at all.  But, ooooooooooh the space!!  Yes, the room to maneuver and general lack of iciness made the skiing still very superior to that possible on New England slopes (especially THIS year).

The view from our balcony.

At MidVail, hot dogs cost $10.75.  Thankfully, courtesy my brother and the company he works for, we were comped almost everything… room, ski tickets, parking for the week, internet access, movies charged to the room.  And, K’s multiple trips to Asia meant we had frequent flier miles to spend and ‘premium access’ – no charge for extra bags, for one thing – and hallelujah, because we had TEN bags to check (four helmets and four pairs of ski boots take up quite a bit of room!)  It still feels like we spent a fortune, but truly, we didn’t.

I sewed a little.  Drew a little.  Read a little.  Skied two days (half days, really – it was all my legs could take).  Really enjoyed myself.  Everyone did.

My hearts look so rag-tag.  I am doing my full-out best not to compare them to anyone else’s hearts.  They are mine, dammit!  Ragged, messy, scarred-up looking, and mine.  I really like the few sketches I made, though —  I’ll post a couple more tomorrow.

This week promises to be busy.  Will continue with Jude Hill‘s Whispering Hearts class, along with a million other things that have to get done (three doctor’s appts – mine and other’s; thank you gifts to mail; fridge stink to rout out; high school follow up; class to prep for; laundry; piles to sort and put away; food to procure and prep; Newton Open Studios countdown to organize; printer to purchase; quilts to continue on and finish; felt house order to fill; commission email to happily respond to).  eek!!!  Right now, I better just get to bed.


P.S. the slipper link was added to that post if you were wanting the pattern.

weekend work

I might be finished piecing “Middle Passage I” – shown here.  An African ritual beaded belt helped me ‘see’ the bottom edge.  Maybe tomorrow I’ll be daring and violate copyright laws to show you.

I finished this felt house today by adding satin cording and a bottom and closing it up into a 3-D structure.  Need to find bead for closure.

Did first “Whispering Hearts”‘ online class with Jude Hill yesterday – signed up, whaaa? – last year sometime – only now going through the entire class (I signed up at a time when I was working full-time — it was an act of hope more than anything).  I love her idea of keeping things simple and getting to know the subject before departing from it.  On American Idol, they’d say – ‘more melody’ or ‘stick to the tune’.

I like the way Arlee Barr’s beautiful ecru silk is imprinted with leaf shapes that almost look like ribs.

While piecing “Middle Passage II” today, this little piece emerged – just for fun!

Cleaning out paper boxes, found the heart doilies… once you investigate a theme, it starts showing up everywhere (but, I have to announce for the record, that I’ve been sewing hearts of one kind or for more than a decade!)

Tonight, after WISHING for curtains for our back sliders for years – honest to god – and puzzling over the nine foot expanse, wondering about support for the rod, brackets (do they match others in the room, or not?), where to place the fullness of cloth and still move in and out the door readily – I JUST DID IT!!  Had the spring rods.  Dug up the curtains.

Maybe it’s the NIKE track poster of C’s that I just hung on the other wall that spurred this long over-due act!!

Whatever the reason, it is heavenly to have the room completely enclosed at night – especially when the leaves are still not out.