Saturday, December 31, 2016

the old-ness of the cloth

I realize that my green heart piece has the same rough sensibility as a wool quilt I made in 2012,
So I look at them beside each other,
They are pinned on top of the whole cloth quilt found in Matt's mother's childhood home, rescued for me by Oona so that I can rescue it in some artful way.  I'm looking.
My famly is here this week. 

Tuesday, December 27, 2016

this is me

this is me

making and thinking

I stitch as a way to show my own meditative reality.
Stitched cloth is very very real.

Thursday, December 22, 2016

stitching the green leaf

Chinese art   - not spelling everything out

What is NOT painted or put into words conveys what cannot be painted or put into words.

Proceed via simplicity to what is remote and obscure.  (ancient formula)

Monday, December 19, 2016


I am mending a quilt I made in 1987.
I saw a picture of an antique quilt in a magazine, and was inspired to try a sunshine and shadow quilt like it.  It required careful use of cotton prints.
When my father moved to a new city, I gave the quilt to him.  They moved because my mother had been diagnosed with rhumatoid arthritus and they thought that the doctors would be better in a university town.
Dad 'went horizontal' on his bed in the afternoons.
Eventually, the top of the quilt wore out, some of the fabrics disintegrated.
I started to mend it when he moved into long term care.  Since 2013, off and on, during my visits with him, I take the needle and scissors and scraps from a ziplock I keep in his cupboard and mend,
Sometimes I work on other sewing project or I go through photos with him, or I read to him.
He likes Ogden Nash.
He likes Emily Dickinson.
The mending seems to be a slow process.
I brought the quilt home a couple of weeks ago and told myself  "just go for it"!
Mend it.
The man is 93 years old.

Tuesday, December 13, 2016

New un-thoughts

loving this red and tan palette
natural plant colour plus red
inspired to make a series of large quilts in this colour way

Saturday, December 10, 2016

cloth is a language that connects us

cloth provides a continuous under current between cultures

common to all cultures - and culture-specific - both

it is a shared activity and stirs both conscious and unconscious memory

it is a language that connects us

Wednesday, December 7, 2016

pare away


pare away the hankies from the path quilt, and replace them with madder dyed wool-silk.

get a wool batt for this quilt

use welsh quilting patterns -

Welsh quilters developed a quilting style which remains unique to this day.  The quilts are distinguished by the practice of outlining throughout the quilting design and the use of geometric and stylized patterns.  a common layout for a welsh quilt is a large medallion surrounded by motifs and borders.  the different parts of the design are filled with a variety of geometric and stylized patterns.  Patterns common to Welsh quilts include hearts, leaves, rosettes, spirals or snails and Welsh pears which we know as a paisley.  Welsh quilts are one-of-a-kind creations of the individual quilters and were seldom copied quilt for quilt. Utility quilts often were filled with old clothes or blankets but lambs wool was frequently used as batting.  It is through their wool quilts that Welsh quilters have made the greatest impact on the quilt world because the neighbors of the Welsh immigrants in Pennsylvania were the Amish.
from Welsh Quilting Pattern and Design Handbook by Marjorie Horton

Monday, December 5, 2016

what is most true

What is most true is poetic.
What is most true is naked life.

the world written nude is poetic.
Helen Cixous first lines of Rootprints

Sunday, December 4, 2016

dust clearing

I am ripping out my luminous halo path - removing all those multi-coloured memory cloth bits, and replacing them with plain plant dyed wool and silk, leaving only the red geese, flying in straight rows around the edges of this large square.  A simpler, purer look, but not the original intent.

Or is it?

Isn't my original intent to make a quilt as beautiful and compelling as I can?
Doesn't my 'new' aesthetic thake things away - pares away - all the dust from my old ways and my old cloth is part of that dust.

Friday, December 2, 2016

wall sized journal page

I'm driven up against the wall to write these.
I don't decide to do it.
They save me.
This is not paradise.
I don't have the equipment to penetrate the range of human activity that confronts me.
I can't figure it out.  can you?

Leonard Cohen  March 20 2014 CBC radio interview