Tag Archives: house

Privilege Progression – quilt slide show

One of the reasons I like to machine stitch some of the seams on bigger quilts is so that I can cycle through variations and ideas faster. The many phases of a design get lost along the way, and I’ve always thought that was kind of a shame (especially when the ‘best’ version is say, #7, while the finished version is #14!).

If I captured even a fraction of the process it would become clear why a quilt can take so many months to create.  And, the hope is that a process that is inherently frustrating will be less so if there is a visual record. What would I learn?  We shall see.

Lately I’ve begun to think that I just want to ARRANGE fabric, TAKE A PICTURE, and call it a day. That’s the other extreme… but what IF the product were purely digital?!

In the meantime, here is  ‘White House of Privilege’ morphing into something else. The White House has flown elsewhere. To be continued.

I will count this first stab at creating a slide show as a major victory on a day where the computer crashed and my photo uploading developed (new! interesting!) problems.

Adding mountains, vines. Finding hearts.

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This small landscape was simple and now is less so. Adding black sheer along the horizon to suggest hills, but they look like roof tops as well. Another two houses crept in on the left, but since those structures share fabric with the hillside behind them, they are a little ambiguous.

20130910-133336.jpgAnd this was the White House of Privilege (in response to the Zimmerman acquittal), then it became three other houses, and now it’s looking like it’ll be just be a pair (neither the original ‘White House’). Vines have crept in.

The vines were inspired by fiber artist Kit Lang who made two Trayvon Martin quilts, one of which she titled, “Strange Fruit” after the famous Billy Holiday song about lynching. Kit’s comments and questions to me about using fiber art to express outrage and grief were provocative, and I appreciated her feedback and willingness to go a little deeper with me on the topic of race and privilege.

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And this piece of garbage caught my eye walking home from the periodontist this morning.  As blogging continues to be a challenge (ongoing tech-glitches and other obligations — nothing new or out of the ordinary), I shall use this found heart to wish you all a peaceful, uplifting week.

house evolving

A muggy and grey day with a visit to the periodontist slated early (have no fear — only stitch-removal!)

The Trayvon Martin quilt (blogged earlier here) — “White House of Privilege” — and its intended background have both changed enough that they no longer partner well together. More on that later, but for now — how the house is evolving . . .

flower-of-youth

early stages of White House of Privilege

I added more strips of blue flanking the house, to make it stand out more. White pickets were added to the foreground later.

TM-giving-house-windows-doors

more detail on the house

“but there’s no living thing…”*

possible inhabitant

possible inhabitant

This house has a personality, but I want it to have some living creatures associated with it. The seams on the roof please me. The door needs a doorknob.

What could go in this house? I need more patience.

Maybe I’ll name this cat, “Patience”, and let her be the guardian of the place.

*that’s what D said when I showed him the almost-finished Village Quilt I’d made for his bed. I added some cats.

perspective – not necessary, but good!

house-before-roof-and-side-fix

straight base translates as flat; roof line doesn’t match up with house

This white house emerged months ago as I pieced up muslin for what would become the “Red House”. I was immersed in barn raising at the time.

sideways

pin board

house-and-chair

roofline better; perspective created with a single strip of blue floral slanting up from front corner to back corner

Two different green plaids are used in the roof. I think another piece is required to overhang that right rear facade.

real rooflines

real rooflines – earlier in season, many years ago

There are flash flood warnings here.  My phone actually honked to tell me so. Based on the rain and wind, I would not have guessed there to be any danger (and maybe there isn’t).

Speaking of phones, when I took my failing-to-connect-to-the-internet iPhone to the Genius Bar, everything operated just perfectly. The ‘genius’ took notes (on his tablet, naturally), but I could tell he thought I was a technology-challenged moron (and maybe I am). However, I came home and all the same problems reasserted themselves. And I don’t see how it could be an issue with our router, because everyone else in this household is connecting to the internet just fine.

As maddening as these tech issues have been — for weeks now (Photoshop crashed twice while posting yesterday — one time recovering; one time not) —  I really could use some perspective there as well.

What is the emotional equivalent of a blue strip of fabric lightly laid, just so, to make the line of the foundation travel back? What perspective would ease getting through a series of technology issues that show no sign of easy resolution and that undercut my ability to stay connected (and THERE’s the psychological metaphor for one of the mechanical failures — it’s always there).

“WALK AWAY FROM THE SCREEN, Dee” isn’t going to cut it for much longer. I should take Michelle’s comment from yesterday to heart: “Breathe”.

Boundaries and interruptions and a red thread

C peeking out

C peeking out

Parenting means being interrupted. And it means improvising.

D itching under cast just like the doctors said not to

D itching under cast just like the doctors said not to

Long gone are the days when I craved a solitary bowel movement, or wistfully anticipated the reclined dentist’s chair for the quiet it represented (those were intense times — with two extremely active boys, neither of them particularly inclined toward napping!!).  With a seventeen and a nineteen year old in the house now, the frequency and urgency behind the interruptions have changed, but the fact of them has not. They continue — as they should.

Add to the parenting — a disabled sister for whom I am the sole support (my brother sends money from the West Coast, and that helps, but NOT with the day to day) and a husband who travels often to Asia, and you begin to get the picture here. Our dog is a piece of work, too – requiring special accommodation for getting up and down stairs, for the correct positioning of his food bowl, and a three-person-applied muzzle for basic grooming. Lately, he’s been ill (I think he’s better, but not quite sure).

Relax! I have already ranted in my Morning Pages. This was done while drinking coffee in Newtonville and waiting for the camera shop to open, so that I could purchase photo paper for D. and then deliver it to the high school (speaking of interruptions)…

(I would love to know what the business types in the coffee shop thought of this deranged-looking woman scrawling across a notebook page in ink nearly as fast as one could speak the words…)

And anyway, if I was going to rant it would be about our fucking computer ‘upgrades’ which have produced a series of repeating and ever-unfolding glitches, such that it is nearly a form of torture to blog (one of the reasons for the gaping pauses of late).

No, I would rather look at boundaries.

White House with Red Boundary

White House with Red Boundary

Last night, I surrounded the White House with an edge.  It really changes the composition, perhaps in too obvious a manner, but I’m willing to entertain it for awhile. Study it some. The thread is red, it is true, but it doesn’t scream red. Maybe that’s because it was hand-dyed in India and billed as “Meditation Thread”.

Maybe it is because there is relief associated with having boundaries. From knowing where the house ends and the sky and yard begin. Recently I have learned the difference between asserting ‘a need’ and shouting a demand.  I discovered that need does not have to be associated with basic survival.

Remedial insight, perhaps. But I share it here because I think it governs my response to this red.

The sky poofs and tuckers in places and will require some attention. I find a lot of quilting to be (in my case, anyway) the resolution of problems created earlier in the process. Not unlike parenting, yes?

buckling-sky

buckling sky

As for the bump in the bottom edge and the frayed intersection of the thread-ends, I am going to let those be for awhile, too.  I like the idea of an imperfect boundary, or one that flexes to its surroundings. I like the idea, too, of having an obvious place where the boundary’s ‘gate’ resides, so that it does not come across or function as a solid and permanent fixture. Maybe having had a swinging door for so long makes the idea of a fixed boundary too difficult.

when the edges meet (and a bump)

when the edges meet (and a bump)

In any case, it is food for thought.  And, here are some red lines from the garden this morning. Once you start seeing a red line, or a window (right, Jude?), or a bird in your work, you start to see it everywhere.

red lines as stalks/support

red lines as stalks/support

Around the other side of the house, rhubarb is ripening! Almost time for my annual Strawberry Rhubarb pie. An exception to 2013’s gluten-abstinence will have to be made!