hi! how ya been?

Friends, I’ve been on a journey. The kind of long winding trip of many trips in which each new port brings many lovely new friends and quite a few new lessons learned. I can’t even begin to describe the worst of it all without hurting those I think I like and so I’m in a quandary. I’ll find a way to talk about it sometime; it’s just some seriously messed up racist stuff that happens, but it needs to be discussed. We’ll get there someday.

And then there’s the anti-semitic, racist, and xenophobic stuff that’s been openly endorsed and embraced at RealJob. I stood up and got a coldass tone-deaf response from the powers that be. That’s gonna take a less cotton-y and more humanly protest-y approach. More later.

Instead, let’s just reflect on some good things.

When last we spoke, I was making lots of grey and gray dots.

still greying

And then I flew off to Pasadena for QuiltCon. While there, I got to visit briefly with lots of great people. I go for the people and it’s becoming less and less good for finding those moments. Looking for other ways to meet up. Let me know if you have suggestions on that.

But I did take a class with Dan Rouse.


Taught my own class in small hand piecing. Getting to build communities of quilters meeting and making friends is my favorite thing to do. My classes are sanctuaries for me in a place that can feel less than welcoming sometimes. All the students were all some great folks to spend a day with.


Gave a lecture on the value of art critique for inspiration and for improving our own work. [Big thanks to Heather Kinion for the photo.]


I attended an autobiographical lecture by Kim Eichler-Messmer, an art professor in Kansas City. She’s always been one of the badasses I admire, but she rose quite a few more levels after i learned more about her artistic practice. Below is one of the quilts she had in the show, a raw edge applique tour de force called Total Eclipse of the Pivot.




There were a large number of social protest quilts in the show and that was gratifying to see. Here’s just one by a very nice guy named Bob who I got to meet one evening. I kinda wanted to wear this one around the place like a screaming cape for protection around there, though the message is universally applicable.

your words matter


Re-entry to RealJob was painful, as always, but moreso because my job-job is different these days. It’s too much. Too much. And it just keeps getting worse. My hope is that I’ve carved a new path and it will be more reasonable after May. We’ll see.

I gave myself the gift of another day with great people, teaching small machine piecing for the Philadelphia and Lancaster MQGs. Just the nicest people in a tiny space, making it all work and sewing some supremely small things. Yay! [Thanks to Nancy for the portrait.]



Jam-packing the start of Spring Break, Jess Skultety and I ventured down to the Mercer Museum for a special exhibit of the quilts of noted collector Cuesta Benberry.

These boots were probably my favorite, but they all managed to worm their way into my mind.



Early the next morning I hopped a plane on a regular trip I make. This is not a pleasant trip, but one of duty. And yet it always seems to spark new ideas, probably as escape routes (?). Every so often one of the ideas take hold and I pursue. It happened again this time. Clipping in the ATL…

cutting in the ATL

Not sure what the next few days will bring but it will involve quilters, cotton, and love. I’ll report back soon.


going grey/gray

Back in the day, truly not very long ago, a weekend brought a mini-renewal so that by Monday my world was metaphorically reset to a tidy box of tools ready to go. And of course it’d be super frazzled and ransacked by Friday, but then there’d be time over the weekend to tidy back up. I’m pretty much always an actual and metaphorical mess and just hope to find my way to just see past this very moment.

going grey/gray

Back then there’d even be the option to take the time to watch nature’s tv at the window. And then indulge some long lingering moments wondering at the splendor of it all. This was a very wet snow that plopped down quickly overnight.

going grey/gray

Okay, this Southern girl is always going to gawk at snow. Almost two decades in this frozen world hasn’t left me jaded. I’m more capable of managing the stuff, less and less tolerant of being cold, but still impressed by Seussical frosting formations on the trees and bushes and in awe of the stunning brightness of the sun reflected in the white terrain.

Anyway, back in the day, I’d have taken the time to research the difference between grey and gray just to have that nugget of knowledge to drop here and then on all my friends and family like the good nerd I am. I’m still super curious to know and will go google after writing this because not knowing will eat at me all day now that I’ve asked out loud. Okay…wait a minute.

going grey/gray


Hmm…they are the same–not very interesting. And it’s not totally an American English distinction since apparently one spelling became more popular centuries ago. I never remember which is preferred (gray) but the auto-spell-checks will sometimes choose one and so I go with the other just out of spite. Machines cannot control me!


Just the color grey/gray. And I love finding grey tones like a soft lavender or dusty green. They blend and accent in greyscale in surprisingly effective ways.

Can’t wait to start this new project, a meditation on when one’s world shrinks and every moment is a shade of grey. It’s gonna be a long-term series. More later.


are you?

Opened up WordPress today to a notice that this is the 11th anniversary of this blog. That hardly seemed right, but then I counted on my fingers. One of things that make you say hmmm…. This is a space where longform writing about ideas, issues, and art can happen and I am grateful that some drop in to listen from time to time.

are you?

More than ever I’m biting off more than I can chew at RealJob and in RealLife and the art is what takes the hit. But luckily airport and airplane time is captive time when it can flow and my book bag holds multitudes of things for making: crochet hooks, yarn ball, felt, scissors, needle, thread, snacks, books, stuff. Always be prepared.

This has resulted in several projects built on similar themes that are on the cusp of progress. This one depicted here is ready for the quilting step despite giving me disturbingly blue hands from the dye crocking while applying the letters. Meh. It’s just a practice piece that won’t be washed.

Anyway, I keep staring at my calendar and wondering when there will be time. It’ll be all about the captive travel moments and found moments here and there to move things forward from now on. And maybe I’ll start writing a bit more to remind myself why we do this.


at that show.

On Friday I drove a few hours over to my exhibition in Connecticut. (One was a harrowing hour on I-95 during which I saw my life pass before my eyes a few times, but otherwise a smooth travel day. My return trip was on the Merritt Parkway, a much less frightening route.)

There were so many students and faculty and staff and friends to talk to that I didn’t take photos after my initial arrival. Noticing my name on the thingy…marquee thingy, I felt myself duck. Friends, my physical reaction was to hide! Instead I stopped in the middle of that crosswalk for a quick snap.

At Choate

Of course, it’s pretty amazing to see my name—SPELLED CORRECTLY!—like that. It’s still not something I think of as me, as who I am. It may never be.

At the same time, I felt all kinds of pride to find my quilts hanging in the lovely space. There are 12 up; this is just a glimpse.

At Choate

At Choate

While I am honored that several friends joined me at the reception last week, the best part was getting to interact with a group of visual arts students. They’re very bright and curious. Despite trying my best not to, a few f-bombs had to drop in order to mention some of the work and the impact. They took it in stride as the academic discourse it was meant to be. And I look forward to seeing what they create in the future!

The quilts are up through February. Stop by if you’re nearby.

if you're nearby...

Have a great week!