As 2011 begins I find that I’m still in reflective mode.

This morning I was listening to the Bob Edwards’ Weekend podcast while knitting and I came to a complete halt when this essay began. The author briefly describes making a quilt from her grandmother’s saris. And the experience sounds like it was much like one I’ve had.

I believe we are entitled to cut our grandmothers’ saris, that they were not meant to hang in dark closets collecting dust. I believe that what we create from them should make us proud, and also humble us. I believe that not every stain needs to be rubbed out, and that cutting the cloth can help maintain its integrity.

I believe that to love, and to bare the boundless depth of our love, we must have the courage to reshape what we inherit.

Harvested silks. (C365:172)

My father passed away in 2007, leaving behind a legacy of a life lived big and bold, decades of service to the least valued people among us, and lots of very sad people. To me, his ties were symbolic of him. If he could have, my father would have worn white linen suits, purple satin shirts, and the brashest hats he could find. However, he greeted the state legislature and the US Congress in conservative tailored suits and the loudest brashest ties he could find.

the prepared silks

There are more than 200 silk ties in the collection. And I couldn’t let the opportunity to commemorate the man go by. My father actually knew about my intention and would send me decommissioned ties in batches over the last few years of his life. Also a weekend artist himself, he was intrigued by the idea. And so whenever anyone suggested that I was ruining/destroying ties, I could ignore them safely knowing that my dad disagreed.

tie tags (C365:174) [Jun 23, 08]

There will be a series of these quilts. So far there are two–one for each of my siblings–made in 2008 in a cathartic frenzy.

Dad's Charm: patchwork done (C365:179)

This one below, given to my brother, is likely lost or destroyed already, but that’s a story for another time.

Second Silk Study: fuller view

Perhaps one thing to add to my 2011 To-Do List is to make one of of these quilts for myself?