2015—word of the year.

 

is… CONNECT.IMG_6108

 

Happy 2015!  As per usual, I fought the word. “What?” I thought, when, about a week ago, while not really even thinking about the word of the year, “Connect” jumped up and waved its arms in the air. “Look at ME!”

 

Connect, I thought. Huh. What in the name of anything can I do with YOU? And so, stubborn wench that I am, I ignored it, and listened out for a sensible word. Right. That never happens. Remember ENOUGH or CHOOSE or INSIGHT or WEATHER  or MOTION or BALANCE or DELIBERATE or INCLUSIVE? (I look at this list and think maybe my inner Buddhist is coming out)

So, I randomly thought of other words (NEVER works, by the way. Never.) I tried,while going about my week, to figure out what CONNECT could have to to with my art, my quilting, because that is where the concept of doing a word started for me.  And, yet.

 

This morning–today, January 1, 2015, I looked up the definition of the word connect while getting ready to write this blog post.

 

1794641_10203652074326362_1275265419_n-001Well, DUH. Connect. To Join, link, or fasten together. To unite or bind.

 

Right there, the first definition, is about quilting!!!!! What more does one do in quilting, at the most elemental level, than attach two pieces of fabric together? And what is the last step, but to bind the quilt? (We shall not talk, today, about all the intermediate steps, of reverse engineering, running out of material, mis-measuring…) Let’s keep it classy, ok?  But will this have anything to do with the bigger picture, outside the studio walls…?

 

Connect verb (used with object)   1.to join, link, or fasten together; unite or bind:   2. to establish communication between; put in communication: 3. to have as an accompanying or associated feature: 4.to cause to be associated, as in a personal or business relationship: to connect oneself with a group of like-minded persons;  5.to associate mentally or emotionally http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/connect

 

20140131-IMG_8214

I shall connect with my fabric, indeed! As soon as I finish writing this post, as a matter of fact, I have to scramble to finish a project.

But on the larger scale, connecting, connection; it’s the thing we all want more than anything, isn’t it? Isn’t it why we hug, or hold hands? Why we walk side by side, why the cat climbs on you the moment you have created a lap?

So, this year, the “connect” I want to work on is the one on one, personal connecting… Comment on this post, start a connection with me. I want to know better the people I know…Connect in real life and in this new small world of the smart phone, the internet, where all my friendships can be at my fingertips…

I think making the threads that connect us stronger is a wonderful goal.

HAPPY New Year!!!

This quilt is called Emails from China, designed and worked on while my daughter was in China in 2009. We stayed connected during that time via emails that came while I slept, and were answered while she slept…

Finding Fabric.

photoquiltfabric3Fabric2Quilt Fabric

There is a conversation going on over at a quilting group to which I belong. Art VS quilt, hand-dyes VS commercial, old fabric VS the latest pretties.

A rather typical conversation, actually! 

I am of the commercial collection side of the discussion, and I don’t like buying lines of fabrics, I can identify by designer only a handful of fabrics, and I don’t want ALL the newest fabrics in one quilt.

To each his or her own, but I enjoy digging through my collection and finding things to pair together that weren’t meant for each other.

 

(This reminds me of the conversation I had with my daughter when she was four. We were getting appetizers ready for company, and I wanted sliced cheese and apple wedges. In her four year old logic, she told me they didn’t go together, because mice and worms don’t go together! —Happy almost 30th Birthday!!!)

 

Back to the subject at hand, however.  Digging and digging, I cannot for the life of me find any scraps of these fabrics. It seems impossible that I don’t have a strip of any of them in the house, but…

I have this UFO that really needs to be finished. It has sat at the point where a normal person would say, take it to the quilter already. I am not satisfied with it. Something was missing.

I had an epiphany last week, and know what I need to do to make it work for me. But NOT a scrap of any of the fabrics are around!

I need possibly a 12 x 12 inch square of these fabrics. Not all of them, but definitely the black floral, and at least two of the other colors.

They are about 8 years old, ancient in quilt years, and I don’t know the manufacturers.

Anyone recognize any of them? Anyone have a scrap or two they would be willing to give up?

 

I have reasonable Plan B, but it is rather involved and not necessarily what I would prefer to do….

If you can help out, please contact me!

 

Thanks!

 

 

 

James

20130927-untitledThis is “James”, my entry into A RVA Runs Through It, which is a special exhibit at Mid-Atlantic Quilt Fest (MAQF) this weekend in Hampton, Virginia.

The Richmond Quilters Guild sponsored this exhibit, and it seemed a natural for me to enter using photography as well as quilting.

My Artist Statement—

“I am not a native. As a transplanted New Yorker, the songs that Richmond sings to me aren’t necessarily the same ones a native hears, and I am ok with that! (Obits in my hometown paper for a 97 year old read “Brooklyn native, brought to Staten Island as an infant.”) I get it.

This is the first in a planned series of YoYo quilts. Painted Cheese cloth and Yo-Yo’s depict Class III and IV Whitewater Rafting, surrounded by photos I’ve taken of favorite spots in RVA.”

I love to take photos of the James River, and of things in Richmond that I enjoy.

I have an outsiders appreciation of the place—I don’t focus on the political or Civil War, but I do love a lot about Richmond, and the parallel’s to my former New York life aren’t lost on me. I was born in Richmond County, New York. (More popularly known as Staten Island.)  Staten Island is to Manhattan what Colonial Heights is to Richmond, VA.  Manhattanites stare blankly when you say Staten Island, and when I say Colonial Heights up in Richmond I get that same vacant stare, a level of disbelief that I have wandered so far afield and north of the river.  I went from the forgotten borough to the outer suburban edge of this metro area. It takes almost as long to get to downtown Richmond as it did to get to downtown Manhattan, although the mode of transport is very different. Car.  Not bus, then boat, then train.

The quilt came about the way most good things do. I was walking around the IQF in Houston just after Super storm Sandy, and my mind was distracted by thoughts of home, of the devastation, and I had a certain amount of survivors guilt, being there in TX enjoying life, while so many of my family and friends were battling this storm; seeing all the news reports, and just this sense of doom, and dread for my hometown, and all the places I knew so well.

The idea for this quilt came from that day, because walking through the quilt show in Houston, my mind being pelted with an overload of visual stimulation, I had suddenly envisioned a quilt about Sandy. And, once that came to me, it broke through my inability to buy fabric, to settle on things I liked. I bought fabrics and I knew it would have YoYo’s, and I had very specific ideas, but I wasn’t totally ready to make it. So, it sat, aging, as my quilts often do.

When this challenge was announced, “James” came to me, almost fully formed; so many of the thoughts about Sandy that I hadn’t yet realized just lined up and became this quilt.

Sandy is still going to happen. It’s closer now, than it had been before. This piece was very much a test run.

 

The photos on the quilt are all mine, and are all available to purchase at my website.  This takes you to one page where most of the images are, but please, explore more of Richmond and  more of my photos!

My understanding is after this 4-day show, the entire RVA exhibit will be at a church in Richmond for the month of March. (I believe it is Shady Grove, but am not positive, nor do I have details.) Watch this space for further information.