this is just to say…

…is a 1934 poem by William Carlos Williams, a sweet love note about some quasi-stolen plums (jump to 49:43 for a funny TAL bit spoofing it). It reminds you of the little things we do to each other without apology knowing we may hurt each other in ways big and small.

This Is Just To Say

And it’s the working title of a quickie quilt project made amid the turmoil brewing and spewing across our country.

This Is Just To Say

[No, please don’t assume it’s just in VA or just in the South or just the poor or just the unemployed or less-educated. This is America. This is US. This then; this is now. Always and forever.]

This Is Just To Say

This is a meditation on the things we say that mean very little without action to back them up. To be direct, one should take meaning from even the passive “you are loved” that is meaningless unless there is an actual object doing the loving–acting on it in all the ways we need to be caring for each other day to day.

This Is Just To Say

it’s not a response
it might be a reaction
it’s not as sweet as it seems on the surface
it’s flippant
it’s really so not who I am
it’s also not who I aspire to be
it’s just a quilt to keep you warm
and make you feel warm inside maybe
but it’s lacking
it’s for those who say “this is not us”
it’s for those who say they had no idea this is us.
this is us.
and there’s no turning back.

This Is Just To Say

The Details

Materials: cotton solids and semisolids
Techniques: improvisationally machine pieced, longarm machine quilted, hand quilted, hand bound
Finished size: about 64″ square
Started: June 25, 2017
Finished: August 13, 2017

the one with the podcasts

Hey folks! Just popping in with a few notes. First is that I was interviewed last week by a few colleagues on their local-ish podcast, Various Breads and Butters. At that link you can hear us chat about naughty quilts, math, knitting and stuff.

Luckily they edit out my major stumbles. And one of them was going blank on the names of other podcasts I listen to while quilting. Over the summers I tend to sample widely to get a feel for some new ones and then settle in to go deep with a few. Once school starts back up I get really queasy watching them pile up in my queue, so I start deleting. Can you see the cycle there? Makes for a lack of loyalty and some difficulty recalling names quickly.

Here’s an unrelated photo.

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But there are a few I listen in on regularly…

— Shout out again to Various Breads and Butters. I listened back into the archive and these guys, Ben and Simon, interview locals mainly. It’s just fun to hear your friends and students in a different setting.

— It’s been hard to find a podcast about race that’s broad enough to remember there’s more than two races, but Code Switch really hits all the buttons, with regular conversations about modern issues of just getting through the day in our society while on the brown spectrum. Similarly, I think that W. Kamau Bell and Hari Kondabolu are fairly good at laying out issues for their mostly white audience on Politically Reactive.

— Few comedian’s podcasts tend to stick for me. Some exceptions are Marc Maron’s WTF for his open insecurity [the Obama and Terry Gross episodes are still biggies in my memory]; Pete Holmes’ You Made It Weird for the bits of spirituality chat thrown in; and Jessica Williams and Phoebe Robinson’s 2 Dope Queens for their pearl-clutching honesty about everything and for the stand-ups.

— I’ve definitely gushed about 99% Invisible here on the blog before. Each episode is a fine tuned nugget about design features one might overlook. Just listen to Roman Mars go on and on about flags to see what I mean. And he has a chilling spin-off podcast What Trump Can Teach Us About Con Law that’s equally worthy of your attention.

— For just good interviews? I like any Terry Gross interview on Fresh Air; she’s a national treasure and she’s pocket-sized. Alec Baldwin’s Here’s The Thing can be hit or miss for me, but the recent Audra McDonald conversation is one that slowed me down to stop stitching and just be there for her. And I’m really hoping that The Hilarious World of Depression returns soon. An odd combo when you first hear the title, there turns out to be an interesting connection between comedy and depression and these interviews with comedians are quite honest and inspiring.

Seems like enough for now. What do you listen to whether while making/crafting or not?

freaky friday: the one with the big fruit

Continuing the streak of finishing long-lingering tops, I fought every fiber of my being to work with ENORMOUS pineapples. Some of the fun is that I got to use up some of my handdyed indigos. Here are just some scenes from the fruitery.

bigass squished pineapples

bigass squished pineapples

bigass squished pineapples

bigass squished pineapples


Guilt shifted from UFO (UnFinished Object) to ABQB (All But Quilted and Bound)! [Yes, those are the same thing. But please don’t harsh my progress buzz.]

And now I want to start nine new projects…

Have a great weekend!

state of guilt…

So last week I mentioned that I found two rather old works-in-progress and committed to moving them along in order to start something new with less guilt.

I did manage to finish those tops…a scrappy one… I’d been worried that my smaller piecing style of late might not blend very well with the older chunkier work, but it seems to work fine. [New part in foreground.]


Also I discovered that I miss working primarily with prints. There’ll need to be more of this regularly, if only to cope with my enormous stash.


…and then I tackled a log cabin ditty of my town that just lacked the two river boundaries on the south and east sides.


You can see that it started out hand pieced but I got impatient and converted to machine. The wonkier houses look great in the neighborhood, though. So we’re going to say I meant to do it all along.

Rivering backside

And here’s the rivers upside down in stained glass mood lighting.

Rivering shimmer

These are both about to be sent off to (different) longarmers, folks who are partners in my process. I may end up adding hand quilting to the scrappy one, but what’s important is that they’ll be pushed forward to completion. Whew.

And so I sat a minute to consider what I ought to work on next. The new ideas are overwhelming, but there are still piles of old works waiting. [More pineapples, anyone?] That sounds safe and liable to erase ever more guilt.

Have a great week, friends!