Tag Archives: house motif

Not much and so much

Want to start the week with the frank acknowledgement that between writing with others three mornings a week and editing my novel, I’m not able to show up here quite how I’d like. For now. Even with comments. Please be patient with me!

I took this photo in high school. It’s somewhere on Route 20 where the road loops over Lebanon Mountain, crossing from Massachusetts to New York. I think it’s just downhill from the infamous “Dead Man’s Curve.” It fell out of some shelf recently and I share it because it demonstrates the consistency and resilience of the house as motif in my work.

Scrolling backward to find a color xerox collage made in my early twenties, I tagged just a few recent house compositions.

Below is the piece I was hunting for. Two Isabella Street, Northampton — the last place I lived while a student at UMass. The photo was copied, cut up, fragmented, and copied again on what was then an absolutely ground-breaking and thrilling piece of technology: a color copier. It had a dial that allowed the scanner to apply different colorways. This copy shop was in San Francisco and I worked there and probably the only saving grace to that job was access to that Xerox machine. Now I can see that this red collage/color copy exhibits not only the resilient house motif, but a love for technology-aided variations (now done with filter in my iPhone). Somewhere, I have green and yellow versions of the collage.

Back to the binder! It’s cold and damp here today, which you might be able to tell from the shots from Finn’s and my walk this morning. The one of him lounging on the couch might have been taken while we were watching Stanley Tucci in Italy.

How the roots spread out

Reading Jude’s blog earlier I was struck by how themes and images circulate, sometimes in nonlinear ways. Her post explores “home” and features a cloth house sprouting branches out its roof. (Spirit Cloth, sidebar)

This small vertical cloth is (6″ x 13″?) combines hand piecing and appliqué. I stitched the pink roots awhile ago but keep adding chips of cloth on top, hoping to find a house in the design. 

Last night, inspired by both Jude and Hazel (handstories on side bar), I sketched somewhat mindlessly. Drawing revealed the house. 

Part of me wants to widen the quilt to create room for the structure to expand. But no. This will be an exercise in containment. 


Also: an exploration of adaptability in tight circumstances or the mystery inherent in observing another’s home when most of it is out of view. I won’t strain to connect this small quilt to the devastating roll out of the new administration, but suffice it to say that notions of safe places are very much on our collective minds. 

A little happy cloth

In the spirit of finishing things, in the spirit of working with sweet themes, I finished a half-worked patchwork yesterday. I love it –  not because a thing has to be sweet to be loveable, but because I do.

This one I think I will add batting, backing, hand quilt and offer for sale. It could serve as a baby cloth (to be tucked into diaper bag, say) or as a hanging.

(The house is appliqué. The rest, pieced).