Tag Archives: “machine stitching”

A pewter sky and hope

IMG_7913Another snap of cold, waggling branches, and a pewter sky can mean only one thing: MORE SNOW!!! I can take it. Knowing temperatures will rise into the 50’s by week’s end really helps.
IMG_7930On Monday, in order to apply some machine-stitching on one of the Global Warming panels, I bundled up. The basement has been very cold this week.
IMG_7955Originally, part of the motivation to ‘white-wash’ the surface with quotes of climate change naysayers was speed. As much as I have re-engaged with these panels, I want them done. The cold kept me upstairs, however, and hours of hand quilting ensued.
IMG_7862 This was starting to have a paralyzing effect. Would I scrawl the machine-stitched words OVER the embroidery floss? Would I RUIN carefully applied textures?!
IMG_7933And then there was this recent discussion about Hope (a few posts back).  If I accept that it is incumbent upon us as moral and spiritual beings to find a way to HOPE, what was this stitching doing to me? Is it healthy to be spend so much time with the sentiments of people whose destructive idiocy makes my blood boil?!
IMG_7939So I really had to get down there and keep going.
IMG_7942Some new idea about pairing the bad shit with good stuff is forming… ideas as antidotes or something. What would happen if I scoured the internet for innovations or movers and shakers and reported about them in tandem with these gems from Fox News. Would that at least neutralize the blood-boiling effects of these nay-sayers?

time plus little acts equal

“time plus little acts of love = a Good Life”

Made this Valentine this morning, with red silk, a sheer grey/black poly, and a handmade pink paper with sparkle-inclusions.

The paper must date back to pre-school volunteering – the glitter is a dead give away.

Ever since Jude posted something about the possibility of ‘sympathetic evolution’ – possibly by pairing old and recent work, I have been wondering what this might look like with my bag of tricks. A few weeks ago, I clicked some shots from an illustrated book of poems that I created in college – so we are talking mid-70’s.  The one below inspired today’s card:


This is a collage using a dark-room created floral image.


A couple of weeks later, a chip of red fabric happened to find its way underneath that grey/black polyester that I am currently so in love with, and the resonance spoke for itself.



Today’s card is a reminder of the power of deadlines, the utility of saving a piece of paper for 14 years, and the value of re-visiting our earlier work.

While this little heart-felt card merely hints at what a more robust ‘sympathetic evolution’ might look like, it is a tasty hint, and I’ll take it as a signpost!

               Practice note:  it helped, some, to add black shadows to the white-stitched letters with a pigma pen.

Cultivating Curiosity

Curiosity
14th century 1 : desire to know: a : inquisitive interest in others’ concerns b : interest leading to inquiry <intellectual curiosity

After the post about feeling like a jerk for being unorganized, I have decided to offer myself at least as much “inquisitive interest” in how I perform day-to-day as I would offer a work-in-progress.

In quilting, I really have learned to look at pieces with a certain amount of curiosity and detachment, because I understand that my subjective stance, at any given moment, might undergo radical revision as I move along.  Further, I recognize that detached curiosity can be key to discovering HOW to move forward — in quilting.

And, more along these lines, why is it that I can offer another blogger (with children, lamenting the interruptions), the sage advice that ‘interruptions add up to a life’, while feeling desperate in my neck of the woods, as my time gets meted out in one caretaking task after another?!

Carolyn Myss says ‘there are no unimportant jobs’.  If, for even a fraction of a day, I can act as if there are no unimportant jobs, will I feel more freedom?  You can sense what my answer would be here …

A Sufi I had the privilege of spending a summer with at a camp north of here, put it this way (we were cleaning the camp’s bathrooms at the time):  “You can find God cleaning the toilets.”  I don’t think I understood this at 17.  Or, even, why one might want to believe it.

So, forget my little post about being a jerk.  Doing the best I can here.  Might even learn to trust some of my hesitations.  Readers’ comments about the two-sided nature of selling through stores helped pop this into focus for me — thank you all.

I kept seeing the ecru silk in the little abstract (former angel) quilt as a snowy hillside.  It wasn’t long before the upright rectangle in the foreground was begging for a roof.  The moon uses a piece of organza on which I had printed a picture of the World Trade Towers  — a photo snapped in the brief expanse of time between impact and falling.  Smoke was pouring out of the upper stories, as we all remember.   As surely, none of us can forget.

Although this detail is nothing a viewer would be able to know without my telling them, I am telling YOU, dear reader, and so now I can further suggest, that this piece assumes its humble and obscure place in a chain of works about memory.  The little house here is tippy, but secure.  It will hold.  It has survived the winter.  The shadow of events from 9/11/2001, are THERE, but barely recognizable — a mere cast of grey on the edge of the moon.  We get through.

And, boy oh boy, is spring around the corner.  Perhaps that is all I needed to write this morning!