Quilting day…

Today is the first day of my annual three day, pre-birthday quilting weekend …which includes the annual trip to the Mid-Atlantic Quilt Festival  (MAQF) in Hampton.  It was to coincide with a girls weekend for out of town friends, and a trip to VMFA for the Picasso Exhibit.

Alas, real life stomped on those plans, and one girlfriend is with her fiancé during post-op, and the other is dealing with the possibility of unsettling job issues that all of us fear….

So, today I decided to work on a quilt. I pulled this quilt out of the nether reaches of my UFO pile last month.

It was a quilt that I decided to do about a decade ago. The pattern was, to say the least, challenging. Jack’s Chain is pictured here. I should point out that a decade ago, I was a relative newbie to quilting. My eyes were bigger than my stomach, I explained to Timmy last night. I totally didn’t realize what I was asking of myself.

Now, a decade later, my skills are probably up to the task, but I am also more aware of my frustration level and desire for torture. (VERY low and VERY small, I assure you.) I also know that I am NOT a precise quilter, and that this pattern requires precision.

Therefore, last month I redesigned the quilt to a far more acceptable and FINISHABLE pattern.

2 25 2011

This is how far I got today. I took all the pieces I had previously cut and worked up this quilt. I am going to locate a very dark blue or green antique patterned fabric for a sashing between the main pattern and the triangle border.

Tomorrow, Timmy will chauffer me to the quilt show so I can spend my birthday money and dream of many more quilts I probably will never make!

(I even think I may know of a special someone that I will need to FINISH this for!Flirt male)

Balance…

How did your clothes flinging go??

I have had a (RARE) 4-day stay-at-home, and because “I” am the person leading this, I figure I needed to lead by example.

Combining clothes closet and drawers, my flinging number is up to 92! (Remember, ANYTHING you fling counts. The extra hangers, the hole-y pair of socks, the ones that don’t stay up  -count as one- the orphan socks EACH count as one…)

I can purchase a pair of new khaki’s and a pair of black jeans without feeling excessive! My clothes match. There are no holes, or stains or missing buttons.

I lean toward blues, turquoises, teals, olives, and black. That is proven in my closet. So passing up a fuchsia sweater should be easier, right? Not foolproof, but easier.

But my word for the year is BALANCE.

So therefore, I have not dug deeper, and made more mess, trying to cross off even more of the list while I am home. I could have, sure. But I think it would have lead to resentment on my part for my ‘wasted’ time off. I want to create, too!

I have quilted. Played with my fabrics would be a more apt description. But today, I have quilting at the library, and I have a few things to work on.

I have UFO’s.—(quilt speak for Unfinished Objects.)  Many of them. My goal this year, is to finish twice as many things as I start. A great balance. I won’t feel like I am swimming in old things, but will accomplish great amounts! (I hope.)

If you go here, you can see the quilt projects in all their unfinished glory.

Virtual Hugs…

9-11label

My first 9-11 quilt.

This was my response to driving to work on 9-11-02, in a new state, far away from New York, from the people I loved. the DJ was talking about the time, approaching 8:46, a moment of silence. My lips were quivering as I pulled off the interstate; my eyes were filling with tears, as they are this moment as I write this…unbidden and unstoppable.

The need–the push and pull of desire versus horror –to hear and see the reports on the radio of the first Ground Zero anniversary.

I stood in the employee break room, the television tuned to the news, finally forcing myself to shut the damned thing off; it would take too many hours standing frozen, to hear the names I felt compelled to hear. I found myself returning time and again, while fearing I would get caught goofing off with only 9 days employment under my belt…

I was miserably alone. My husband was at work. He would understand. My daughter; she was in Connecticut, in college, alone and confused and hurting. She would understand. My brother, he was in Philly-far away from my embrace; he would understand.

But these people here. They didn’t seem to understand. I think there were maybe a half dozen references to the date during the course of the day; I remembered spending the days after 9-11 cutting ribbons; and comforting people and hugging them, and here, no one was wearing ribbons; no one seemed to care.

I spent the first months of life in Virginia having people tell me how GLAD I must be that I was out of New York!

How DO you measure a year? Now, in 2009, even ‘Rent’ is no longer. (Rent was the show we went and bought tickets to on the very first chance we had to travel into Manhattan when the ferries started running…solidarity, desire to survive, the need for Arlie to see that Mike wasn’t coming home…)

Measuring years lately has taken on the feeling of trying to measure the rush of the wind. Time flies by; we are celebrating the start of another school year, waving goodbye to another summer; and with it, the melancholy of 9-11 descends as it does for the weeks running up to it; I notice how I cringe having to tell people their order will be done on September 11; how I brush it off to ‘two weeks’ from today,’ or “on the ‘11th’,” but saying 9-11…

I don’t watch much TV; I don’t know if tomorrow is being hyped; I do know Facebook is going to open my heart to more heartbreak this year. Having lost touch with so many—and not knowing their circumstances over the past 26 years– I know I am going to find that friends still in NYC are suffering in ways I don’t even want to imagine…

I was only peripherally involved in 9-11. A witness, not a victim. And yet.

This quilt was designed by me when I came home from work that day in 2002 after work; a frenzied desire to create something, to get all the feelings and thoughts out of my head.

9-11quilt It took time to finish of course. (It’s me, after all.) I asked my friends and families to offer to me the names of loved ones they lost, and I embroidered their initials along the edges.

And I while I would like to say there can be no more, I will be honored to add the initials of your loved one.

Here is a bit of the original essays that I wrote in 2001, and photographs of the day itself (in the form of a scrapbook, double click on the image) Its a tough read, and a tough view. And everyone should have to read it, have to remember it.

disc guard-2

(Another quilt, part of a triptych, called Disc/Gard Guard Aquehonga, the sun setting on Fresh Kills.)

Hugs to you, Kerin, and Jessica, and Arlie and Pokey. Love you all.