return of the prints

Recently I had to pack up my studio and that ended up being a fascinating excavation expedition. Found loads of scissors and seam rippers and swatches and practice piecing and stuff that brought back many memories. Despite being started about six years ago, these two tops are pretty much close to done. They have been haunting me since I scrounged them up.

scrappin' it up!

Right? My friends remarked on the prints. It’s been about six years since I used prints in something this heavily. And a comment reminded me quite loudly of one reason why I stopped. Maybe I’ll figure out a way to to explain that someday without offending too much? I dunno.

Anyway, that’s the top I’m tackling first.

Now, I’ll always love scrappy patchwork–no matter the fabrics. The thing about scraps is that the more the use the more you have. So the bucket of scraps was still there, though I had to refrain from augmenting with six years of solids scraps. It’s hard to get back in the same process because of my obsession with small pieces, which also slows it all down.

scrappin' it up!

I’m embracing the idea that the quilt will have two visible phases. (Actually it’s already had two, but I’ll talk more about that later.) It’ll be like adding a deck onto a Victorian home. Meh, who’s judging?

scrappin' it up!

Yeah, those small pieces are fun, but even I know when small is too small.

scrappin' it up!

Who am I kidding? I think I can sew smaller than that.


But the goal now is getting stuff done so I can feel guilty about new projects. So I’ll hunker down and keep it chunky.

Have a good week!

stop, 2017

I think this is the first time I’ve reproduced my own quilt. The original was auctioned off for Planned Parenthood in 2011 but I still get exhibition requests. It just needs a sleeve and then has two long term stops already scheduled.

Stop 2017

Stop 2017

Stop 2017

Stop 2017

The Details
Materials: cotton (denim, scrap of calico)
Techniques: improvisationally machine pieced, machine quilted, hand bound
Finished size: 20″ square
Started: June 2017
Finished: June 2017

(almost) wordless wednesday: sewing in June

collaborative patchwork

testing out fusibles


quilting on the backside


ss, dd *

Writing today in much the same USA as yesterday, last year, last century. Thinking about Philando Castile, Andrea Constand, Charleena Lyles, Nabra Hassanen and many many others while still wondering what will ever change.

“To be a Negro in this country and to be relatively conscious is to be in a rage almost all the time.” – James Baldwin

A friend also emphasized that we are expected to tamp down that rage to be polite and spare our countrymen of having to acknowledge our emotions. It’s true, though not sustainable. And that’s why I quilt…among other things.

Here’s some disjointed eye candy for ya. It’s a work-in-progress (machine quilting stitches by Pam Cole) that’s evolving in my head as we go. Had planned it to be more involved with some appliqué eventually, but it might just be a simple hand-quilted ditty for a wedding gift.

Stitchin' in full technicolor.

I’ve already started the alternate patchwork base to get back to the appliqué ideas. Will then need to reevaluate my obsession with overwrought handwork. We’ll see. That’s not an easy habit to break.

Lately I stitch in silence because there’s too much to think over, though I did enjoy the audiobook of Lincoln in the Bardo. Here’s some of the other media in my life in snippets.

  • This brief Jeff Koons documnetary. I have always found his work quirkily fascinating. Still not sure what to make of him.
  • These 51 NatGeo photos. They were 51 heart flutter for me. So astoundingly beautiful and inspiring.
  • This story about two-faced trifling bitches in the quilt world that made it to the BBC. I saw it going down in real time and now it’s nice to see it in the full light of day. More reason for head shakes and a call for culture change.
  • This quilter in Durham, NC documenting violent deaths. My new quilt hero and a true inspiration.
  • And Social Justice Sewing Academy, a nonprofit in the SF Bay Area run by a recent college grad, Sara Trail, who does workshops with high schoolers on social justice. Students then express themselves in fabric collages. They are powerful works. And she is seeking volunteers to help with embroidering the pieces down so she can then finish it all into quilts. Get involved.

That seems like enough for now. Have a good week!

* same shiz, different day