slow poetry 2: please remember

That quilt I showed you last week was practice for a bigger series of works. Unfortunately, I’m a worrier and so this smaller quilt was my practice piece to prepare for that one, which was practice for the others that are just wisps of notions. Yeah…it’s both good and not good.

you are you

Of course, it was also a travel project.

you are you

I test out materials (spandex is the devil!), tools (try them out for yourself!), and techniques (read, watch videos, ask questions, experiment!), scientifically and psychically finding the sweet spots for the expression intended. Even my thimbles are deeply researched. Here’s my fave; you may have a different fave. I’m good. This one works for me quite well even when it tarnishes with indigo dye crocking.

you are you

That the process is by hand from start to finish is really what I like most. It’s therapeutic and keeps me grounded while RealLife does everything it can to make be feel a lack of control and free will.

you are you

Some day we’ll have to start talking more openly about memory. Today isn’t that day, but this is my first dip of the toe into the theme.

you are you

As always, it carries many other meanings for me and even more waiting to be discovered.


The Details

Title: slow poetry 2: please remember
Materials: denim, felt, perle cotton thread
Techniques: hand appliqued, hand quilted, hand bound
Finished size: 36 x 29″
Started: June 2017
Finished: Jan 2019

sorta mute monday: the one with slow poetry








The Details:
Title: slow poetry 1: the one with apprehension
Materials: denim, felt, perle cotton thread
Techniques: hand appliqued, hand quilted, hand bound
Finished size: 44 x 47″
Started: June 2017
Finished: Dec 2018

hope, half-empty

…or half-full? That analogy has always kept me on my toes. Though recently I got a chance to observe a paragon of half-empty Eeyore style, you know a person who’s only goal seems to be to suck all the happiness out of a room.

[Oh, yes, there’s a quilt at the end of all this. Feel free to scroll past all this for that.]

It was 5am in the local airport, a place I spend far too much time in. There is a tight social contract there that early in the morning and I’ve rarely seen anyone break it. Simply endure TSA, navigate to your assigned gate (there are just 10 of them), and keep it quiet. Yes, ask questions; everyone understands and is happy to help. But ask quietly.

5am, airport

In these seats across from me landed a Mama bear, a Papa bear, and a blue-haired Teenager bear. At 5am. And she proceeded to break the social contract. She spoke non-stop in a barrage of insults of her family members, cutting them down while interspersing with complaints about her discomfort. They looked beaten down though they tried valiantly to defend themselves at first. She is herself a walking grey cloud not allowing anyone in her general area peace nor happiness. While I spent the whole time trying to fathom how she became this way so that I could muster up some empathy, I moved away so that my eyes wouldn’t end up permanently rolled to the back.

A 20 minute encounter told me very little about this woman and her family. But they left a mark on me. And let’s call her The Hurricane and treat her as a symbol now. Really.

Cafe Intermezzo ATL

I am no stranger to this inhumanely early flight to Atlanta and know that I may recover in a relatively peaceful cafe in the airport. That morning they subbed dry flavorless cantaloupe for home fries and somehow thought I wouldn’t notice. But normally they serve up a nice egg and potato breakfast that is the foundation of the day of work ahead of me when I land at my final destination. Waking into the day it occurred to me that there’s every chance that I could end up like the woman–The Hurricane–though I shook off the great melon-potato switch within a moment because it wasn’t something I nor the servers nor the restaurant could control. They just ran out of potatoes in this tiny outpost in the airport. Bummer.

baggage claim

That chuffed prideful feeling for overcoming that potato loss didn’t last long. One of my big airport pet peeves is the appalling etiquette at the baggage claim, especially the dudes who step in front of you only to triumphantly place a foot upon the ledge as if they just made a big game kill. No luggage has come out and yet no one but them can access that area. Just as I took this photo these other two men stepped into frame, crowding me out completely. No matter how assertively I said “excuse me” none of them would move to let me get my suitcase which was the second one down the chute. You really shouldn’t have to throw an elbow to get your stuff. I didn’t but I always make a point of swinging my suitcase out a little further than I have to so at least there’s a jolt of recognition for the crowders that there are others in the universe. A tiny spritz of spite. That’s how I move on and just acknowledge that I am grateful to have landed intact yet again.

The accumulation of an abundance of pet peeves and having no means to process them could be a reason one may turn into The Hurricane?


Of course. It’s how we respond to adversity and our outlook or temperament that determine our chances of becoming The Hurricane. Right? We can endure small annoyances, find ways to move on mainly by seeing that things may not be as annoying in other parts of life. It’s much easier to do in youth when the world is wider, time is less constrained, and more things seem within reach. It’s much easier when we have hope.

When I sat down to write today I thought I was going to tell you about how last week I just discovered that I’m “middle-aged.” And we still may get around to that because years of experience bring perspective on life and a sense of limitations on the possible. Put simply: reality and practicality are unkind. This trip described above, for example, is to regularly deal with an issue that cannot improve. Recognizing that got me past a denial phase that held me back. And yet…there’s a hope I wish I could get back.

I once had more hope: more to hope for, more reasons to hope. I once had more hope for myself but more importantly greater hope for my people…

quilting denim

Every morning I wake up and hope that this national nightmare is over. And, no, impeachment would solve very little. This is a not just a nation divided. This is a fearful nation with everyone on tenterhooks and adrenaline accumulating in anticipation of the worst coming to pass. We are in crisis and it will take a long long time to find the will to heal. Healing is not achieved by silencing or deporting or maiming those with whom you may disagree. But rather healing will come from true self-examination of ourselves—ALL of our selves that leads to collaboration on peaceful, truthfully reconciled coexistence. This is a tall order, but striving for it could improve our chances of getting to a better place together.


Well, poop. There I go hoping again.

Here’s another question. How do we measure hope? Is it all or nothing–one has hope or no hope–or is it something that grows and atrophies at will–hope half-full or half-empty? And is hope a cure? Or is it sometimes a problem itself?

Oh, there is so much to consider.

hope, half-empty

The Details
Title: hope, half-empty
Materials: embroidered cotton, quilting cotton, denim, perle cotton thread
Techniques: improvisationally machine pieced, hand quilted, hand bound
Finished size: 41 x 48″
Started: Nov 17, 2018
Finished: Dec 8, 2018


Hi Friends! And happy Crafturday…= Saturday of Craft!

I’m longing for some more “found moments” to take up the needles and fiber to say some things, but alas RealJob is real right now. [Not sure why, but grading papers, in particular, is an insurmountable task for me these days. I don’t mind making copious encouraging comments, but assigning points and grades makes me inordinately sad. Procrastinating about grading means a whole lotta other stuff is getting done, however, so it’s not all bad maybe…]


Lately, though, I’ve been knitting as a grand escape from both the heaviness of the themes of my artwork and some self-doubt. I’ll find my way back to sleep deprivation for the sake of the art, but for now the safety of just knitting for warmth and comfort is warm and comforting and keeping me grounded.


Oh, and it’s good for travel, air travel. I was handsewing for a while there, but turbulence is no good if you are eager for straight lines in your work. Knitting is more forgiving when the plane ride gets bumpy.


Blankets, of course, because they are big and big enough to keep me warm in my old, poorly insulated home. And because they leave room to used more colors at once.

And baby sweaters, because they make me feel capable of actually finishing something. They’re small! And cute!


I’ll find my way back to quilting in a few days, actually. My Juki is calling to me and some deadlines are looming.


Have a lovely weekend,

PS: If you’re in the NY area, you might want to journey to Auburn, NY for the annual juried show, Quilts=Art=Quilts. I have a couple of pieces in there. Show starts today and continues through Jan 6.