Tag Archives: sanctuary

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

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. 

sun and shells



Sometimes, it doesn’t take much to cheer up.  A good night’s sleep.  A sunny day.  A walk into town for a quiet meal out.  Last night K & I tromped through the slush for a nice plate of Mexican food in the Center.  Today, the sun was warm and emphatic.  “Yes siree,” it seemed to say, “spring is on the way no matter how much snow is piled up out back.”

A quick and early grocery shop, followed by calls, and then time to stitch.  And — talk about little things that can matter a great deal — an unexpected, hand-delivered gift:



Then, time to work on ‘Batik Moon’ and a pieced rectangle I’ve decided belongs in my ‘sanctuary series’.  I tacked down the last moon ring on the quilt below (the small one on the left).  Added the green zig-zags along the bottom yesterday.  I could keep going and going on this one, but I think I won’t.

two feet and a leg

red stitches around the house – which is NOT centered

I am also quilting the piece below, and 100% refusing to let even one minute of the process be stressful.  This was a ‘sidebar’ quilt – made in stolen intervals while working through the difficult, challenging construction of the barns.  I used stuff that was around, easy to grab, and that pleased me (and that coincidentally would not have met the commission specifications).  That mottled green batik is trying to screw me up on the intention to keep it easy and fun – it is so damn tough (do they use petroleum AND wax for modern batiks?  WHAT makes them so hard?).  But, I have a strategy — and that is to be sure and quilt those rectangles early in a session, before my hands (particularly the thumbs) have a chance to get tired.

‘sanctuary quilt’ – not one step of quilting will I let be difficult

in this landscape, the house is the place of rest

I may simply invisibly baste this one.  Let the play of patterns be the design.  Except the house.  That may get something extra.  We’ll see.

Spurred on, in part, by the warm and thoughtful comments to yesterday’s post, I grabbed a book off my shelf and opened to this:

“Prajna is the unfiltered expression of the open ear, open eye, open mind that is found in every living being.  It’s a fluid process, not something definite and concrete… It is not particularly regarded as a peaceful state of mind nor as a disturbed one.  It is a state of basic intelligence that is open, questioning, and unbiased. “

Pema Chodron from ‘Comfortable with Uncertainty’

I like that – a state of mind that is ‘open, questioning and unbiased’.  That is worth striving for, I think.  Was it Carlos Castaneda who had his Don Juan character say that the warrior does not take sides with reality?!  And that to do so is a profound waste of energy?!  And yet, I do it 100x an hour, and bruise myself in the process.

Time to let the story drop a little.  Or maybe a lot. If for no other reason than it’s boring me.