You can click on pictures for larger versions.
P.S. Hope to fix picture resolution issues ASAP. I have been wondering why my pictures are defaulting to a 72 pixel resolution and looked and looked at my Photoshop settings, but it now dawns on me that perhaps it is a setting on my CAMERA that I changed (the file size while noodling with something else – will check and hopefully fix.
Parts of the whole — vintage lace, cuff of New York City scenes polyester shirt, pale taupe and white shirt pieces (shells and floral clusters), phototransfer of Mexican flashcard (the ladder), iron on transfer of self portrait, inkjet-printed words on linen.
“I WANT TO GROW” was not the sentiment I began with, but as I pawed through my scraps of words and what I call “precious tidbits”, these two phrases seemed to work. I, in fact, DO want to grow. It seems odd to say this, but for a long time (the time almost exactly coinciding with the intensive years of parenting two boys, two years apart), my growth was not at all on the radar screen. Survival, more like. Their growth.
Here, a shell, ripe cherry tomatoes and peas, as well as a fragment of New York seem to echo the longing for ripening and fullness.
The ladder makes the rather obvious connection to UPWARD growth — not spiritual growth, necessarily — but certainly in a direction counter to downward. The fact that both of my parents grew up in Brooklyn makes the quilt resonate that much more. Both of my parents were from poor families. None of my grandparents went to college. They were seamstresses, bricklayers, and shipbuilders. My parents’ growth was up and out, in a way. They left the city, went on to have a family and careers. And mine? We shall see, I suppose. There is the question of time. I find it interesting that although I have a graduate degree in law, I am working with my hands — sewing and digging gardens.
Back when I was taking photos of urban scenes to adapt as decorations for a local after prom party, I also took a number of pictures of beech trees. They live in Brookline, just a street over from Beacon Street, and they are truly magnificent.
This quilt is small, about 8 1/2 x 11″. I used the bucket feature in Photoshop Elements 3.0 to change the background colors, which transformed the branch patterns into something resembling stained glass. I changed threads at least three times quilting the piece, which is a departure from my generally lazy approach to thread.
I’ve recently been back to visit these trees and have come to the conclusion that they are most beautiful when the branches are bare. This time of year, leaves are plentiful, obscuring the muscular structure of the trunks which I so love to look at.