Tag Archives: quilting

Sunday Assisi Walk Part I

How endless the visual and historical delight is here! This morning I went back to visit San Rufino, a cathedral I’ve now been to seven or eight times. Since I went on the Roman Antiquities tour yesterday — an absolute subterranean wonder, medieval Assisi having been built on top of a first century Roman town– I paid more attention to what is under the Cathedral… the layers of civilization and time in plain view.

Above: the front rose window from the outside on Good Friday and from inside this morning, reflected in the glass flooring that’s been used in order to reveal Roman wall work underneath.

On one side of the cathedral, next to statues of Jesus, Mary, David, Isaiah and others, is a preserved arch opening into an ancient Roman space.

Here, a hokey inclusion of my own shadow to hint at the insubstantial brevity of this life.

Speaking of life passing, one of the blessings of being here has been distraction from the last months of my sister’s struggle. I’ve lit candles for her all over the city and shared a little about her with a new friend, but otherwise not much — not much memory or hand-wringing. This morning, I threw coins into a pool at Santa Chiara (my sister’s middle name being Claire, recall), one each for K, the boys, me, and her.

Not three minutes later, there was a beautiful and perfect feather in my path. Some say finding a feather means an Angel is near. I thought cynically, it also means pigeons are near. But then, not two feet away, I found a sticker emblazoned with a pentagram, a symbol important in magic generally and to my sister personally. And so, there she was. Hello, Noreen!

I took out the little owl that I’ve been carrying around in my pocket (one of hers) and photographed it near a new picture of Francis in her honor from my favorite perch of this visit — my chair by the windowsill. Need I say — I am a sucker for religious iconography?

I finished the first Assisi-inspired quilt (below) and am rushing to finishing another to give my host before I leave.

Didn’t get to share pix of the sweet cafe where I had breakfast or the many incredible street views returning home, but look how long this is already. I’m going to load some wall and door pix on Flickr and otherwise will be posting about this trip for weeks to come!

Home Tuesday. Apologies for not commenting on blogs right now. Can’t wait to catch up with Jude’s class and Happy Birthday, Nancy!!!

Piecing, falling, tidying

Patchwork. The stalwart metaphor for bringing disparate pieces together. This is Deb Lacativa cloth and one of my felt houses. I hand-pieced the house’s surround this time instead of what I usually do, which is to plunk the house onto a surface and stitch it down. This made the parts more coherent, but it was awkward to do.

More to figure out.

There’s always more to figure out. This week: a meeting with my sister’s team. In spite of strenuous suggestions from me, no weekend help materialized. K and I went up yesterday. Tidied. Tended. Tried to help N into her new bed (failed). Paid a guy in the building to bring up her Sunday Times (yeah!)

But she was alone today. Not answering the phone.

There are seven reasons my sister might not answer the phone:

1. She’s on the phone, 2. She’s dropped it and can’t pick it up, 3. She’s neglected to put it back on its base and drained the battery, 4. She’s asleep, 5. She’s busy in kitchen or bathroom, 6. She’s fallen and can’t get up, 7. She’s dead.

For years, her failure to answer the phone has produced annoyance laced with mild panic. Voice mail or messaging problematic, for some reason. Once after two days (during a much busier era when I couldn’t just dash up there), I called the police.

This morning after four attempts over two hours, I was really worried. Debating whether to head up there and when.

And then, I got word.

It was #6. She’d fallen and couldn’t get up. Lifeline called 911. Ambulance guys arrived (again). Helped her up. Helped her back into her chair.

Sigh.

Remarkably enough, her sense of humor is intact. She tripped on a cat bowl and managed to, as she put it, “get Kibble up my ass.”

Somehow, the Times ended up on her bed during the tumult of rescue (yeah!)

With all this happening, no wonder I like the control that tidying up offers. This weekend, I tackled socks. Though I originally resisted Kondo’s advice on sock storage, I went with it and guess what? Folding IS better than rolling. I offer you a before and after.

In the cool deep

“Let the breath take you deeper:” a reminder.

I can’t believe how much I enjoy being down in the cool sanctuary of the basement right now — whether machine piecing a village quilt, pawing through bins, or vacuuming up cobwebs. It’s a great complement to writing upstairs.

The process of piecing up house patterns keeps me going, but something is missing. A theme? A selected recipient? An internal challenge? Something. And, do I care?

Here are some pictures from today: paper collage, unearthed fabric WIPS, and in-progress shots of current work.

Here I went w/theme. Too heavy handed

Still damp from spritzing

An unearthed sampler from one of Jude’s classes

This old cut out from Newsweek will go upstairs

SoulCollage card composed a while ago but this week seems about the draft envt’l report

Let your freak flag fly

This work-in-progress garnered the comment, “I love it when you let your freak flag fly!” on Instagram yesterday. After pressing back to make sure it was a compliment (it was), I’ve decided that the phrase makes a pretty good working anthem.


Maybe articulation will follow, but for now I’ll rely on that old Supreme Court ‘definition’ of pornography: ‘I know it when I see it’. Probably something about voice and style.


Is this square with woven strips and indigo moon ‘letting my freak flag fly’? No. Or, not yet. It is too derivative – persistently, dismayingly derivative. On the other hand, the newly assembled cloth collage below lets me announce: “I’m letting my freak flag fly!”

The early stages of composition nearly always more closely capture my ‘style’, such as it is. I have to figure out how to bring more of the free and pleasing (to me) beginnings forward. This is a question of technique, but not exclusively. To be continued…

Jude Hill – a little look back

workshirt-woven-strips
buttonhole-ribbon
three-stones

turtle-atilt

strips-on-pine

blue-moon-some.jpg

This is a small gallery revealing Jude Hill‘s influence and inspiration. I am feeling nostalgic. It’s been different without her private classes. And I’ve been ‘away’ from her and others’ blogs — more consumed with writing and the ten month project for Charleston. I miss being on a learning curve that was as exciting as it was steep.

Life is all about change. And it’s hard, too. We are all constantly adapting to various burdens, impositions or difficulties — aging not the least of them. One of the things I have admired about Jude the most is her capacity for invention — not just of her cloth creations (the way she can take an idea in fifteen directions, each of them further than I could possibly have imagined), but also of how she has conducted herself online — generously, with poetry and beauty, and with unbelievable technological skill.

The reinvention of late seems to be toward greater privacy, which of course I respect, but the thought of her going away makes me panic a little.

There is so much more I want to say about this, but I haven’t done my morning pages yet and the dog will need walking soon, so it’ll have to wait.