Tag Archives: seams

thin places

IMG_7345 Listening to this * yesterday got me remembering the Irish belief that the Other World can be accessed through ‘thin places’ in our world. Thin places are places of transition, or inbetween times.
On this point, from Fire in the Head**:
“For Irish poets, the edge of water — where bank meets river or shore meets sea — is a place of wisdom, enlightenment, and mystical knowledge. Water, fog, mist, and dew have long fascinated the Irish, possibly because the island nation is surrounded by the sea… But any edge or border between elemental realms, any liminal zone between two complementary terrains, or a place where opposites meet is, in the Celtic imagination, a place filled with magic.”

Here is a sampling of ‘Edge Pictures’, some of place, others of time, and a few of both.

New Hampshire, The Flume

Lake Champlain

Lake Champlain

Shaker Workshop, Arlington, Mass.

New Hampshire

* (Krista Tippett talking about her grandfather and faith on “The Moth”. Her website is onbeing.com).
** Fire in the Head, Shamanism and the Celtic Spirit, by Tom Cowan

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.

spring light

The spring light flooded our family room late this afternoon.  I don’t remember it ever being lit up like this before.  By the time I got my camera out, it was the shadows that interested me, so I haven’t captured the golden warm moment at all, really.  I share the photo of our kitchen TV and dinner clutter only because it DOES capture the light a bit better.

When I look at this picture and I don’t think, “Gee, cool, there I am in the reflection.”  No, I think, “Why was that light on?!”

Soon, our neighbor’s 200 year old copper beech will leaf out, and the light will be dappled and less intense (and that’s nice too).

With the poppy pillow commission finished, I can finally get back to my big-big quilt.

Recycled shirts and tiny pieces of Most Favored Fabrics (like a trading status!) are turning into huts and villages, here and there.

I took so much time to piece these big sections, that it would be a shame if I hid all the evidence of that work (i.e., the SEAMS), but that is the temptation right now…

That blue spade fabric (a roof of rain?) is cotton that K. brought back from India last month.  It was hard to cut, because it was such soft cotton, but cut I did. It is one of many fabrics that translates into “RAIN” in this piece.

Inauguration and Ichor

Journal Quilt Week 4

This week’s Journal Quilt HAD to reference the Inauguration, of course.  I started with the idea of pairing drab gray with splashes of bright color to capture the contrast between how I feel about Presidents 43 and 44.  A dark gray piece of bark cloth that had maroon foliage the color of dried blood was a good starting point.  It wasn’t quite big enough, though, and the ‘correction’ of using a corner to enlarge the piece introduced the idea of wounds.  I used last week’s straw-colored linen (satisfying my Journal Quilt Rule of carrying over one fabric) to create X’s and sewed them and red floss (more dried blood) like sutures on a cut.

The central window was a new trick learned from the most recent issue of Quilting Arts Magazine.  Initially, I had the obvious and perhaps corny idea of using some bright Hawaiian fabrics for the interior, but instead placed a recently-purchased piece of Australian blue-dotted fabric, which I realized when I stepped back, resembled cells seen through a microscope.  So now, rather than referencing Obama directly, I let the quilt speak to healing more generally.

The dotted print is embellished with beads.  The gray surface is embellished with sequins and a button. This process put me in mind of the recently learned word (thank you John Banville!) ‘ichor’ — which means both discharge from a wound and ambrosia — a funny contradictory combination that seems apropos to this particular changing of the guards…

I selected the window frame fabric because it fit my notion of hope — bright, cheerful images of spring flowers.  As it happens, the fabric came from the dress I wore as a bridesmaid in my sister-in-law’s wedding and so further resonated with the week — nothing lavish and formal like what was seen at the inaugural balls, but still a fancy-ish dress worn to a big, happy event.


The sense of change is so welcome!  Look!  Lights are on out there!