This is an excerpt from a post on my blog “Quilting is My Addiction”.
Without getting too boring or pedantic, I want to say that what I love about quilts is thinking about the anonymity of all those who have thread their lives, industry, and economy into their art. I love imagining the stories they shared, heads bowed over needle, the hopes and secrets, surviving in the fibers, if we can only listen.
No quilt can be reproduced, not really, because it has time sewn into it.
There is an obsession with permanence and naming things that comes with Empires, stamping coins and art and contracts, (all with men’s names, never with the names of women or slaves which sometimes women were by law). But we never run out of the proof that there was always art that was made to gladden the heart, to ease the pain, to connect with hopeful birth and to commemorate loss.
And in a way these proofs that artists were there survive better than the art that is dependant on Dynasties or Holy Empires, because they borrow from each generation, each carefully cherished item and thread a different history, one that includes women and slaves and reaches out to a future undaunted by circumstance, for joy.
Just went to a launch for this charming book written by Peter Reynolds. First off, Quilts! Secondly, thirdly and well, I lost count — Time travel, an only child with siblings, and a tale of family and traditions!
A magical story, nicely illustrated and told with wit and compassion.
I have been technology challenged for about ten years. Before that I felt I could hold my own. Now, age, concussion and recently, ambivalence have led me to the shoals, the place where many older adults find themselves, muttering and cursing and occasionally exclaiming “YuReeek Ha!” as some colourful object washes onto our shoal and makes us happy.
I spent an entire weekend, possibly the nicest weekend of the summer trying to sort out why I could not longer watch television (Star Trek) or googly or putz on the various devices in my home! I must say here, if you are patient with the poor techies they are appreciative. I may not be able to defuse racist Nazis but my Zen practice has taught me to be attentive and patient while on hold.
Mostly I want to have Star Trek, any version, playing while I do my sewing. I could put on the radio but sometimes (gottalovem) CBC radio is just dumb and my stitches get tight while my mind boggles. (Star Trek is often dumb but it is Sci-fi, come on!)
Last night while falling asleep I realized my dreams were of a billion tiny flowers, each providing a context for perpetually opening complexity, which viewed as a whole was breathtaking. From my perspective they were the flowers of a quilt that I painstakingly was appliqueing one at a time, made of billions of threads of cotton, manufactured and dyed, all by human hands from plants grown in sunlight and with water and tended by more human hands on a beautiful planet spinning within spinning galaxies.
So as glitchy as these entertainments are from my point of view, some things, important and awesome, never change. 🙂
No excuses. Well, I might have a migraine coming because just the way that sentence sounds makes me giggle. Inappropriate giggling is one of the signs of impending migraine and also why I don’t drink wine.
And, yes I have to read everything I write out loud, or moving my lips. I have always done this. It is particularly difficult when I have never heard a certain word pronounced out loud but have read it often. I read a lot. But I don’t read particularly well.
Perhaps you now understand why I am re-blogging my blog. https://quiltingismyaddiction.wordpress.com
Okay it is funny. Just switch the first letter or first two letters of blogging and blog with a different letter…never mind. I can’t seem to link to it. Oh well, you can see a bit of what I am up to, if you care to visit my other site, now that my brain is totally addled. 🙂
Lovely Rachel gave me a tablet. I am taking careful care of it. I sewed a quilted bag for it and I keep it charged but I really haven’t got a clue what to do with it. These days it is a glorified alarm clock. I am afraid to take it out with me.
I spend an hour every morning on the desktop computer reading and writing. I have my special keyboard that supports my wrists, my special seat that keeps my spine erect, I have a small work area with scraps of paper piled up, yes, I take jot notes with a PEN. But the real environment is in my mind, a reflective place with little stimulus and a lot of concentration.
The whole idea of taking a computer on the road with me seems too bizarre to fathom. Yet I see people everywhere focused on screens of various sizes. They are working, playing games and conversing. I have no criticism for the lack of involvement humans show their fellow man because of these devices, for I don’t believe it to be true. Human beings have many ways of ignoring each other, and many supposed reasons for doing so, this is just a new one for some… but what interests me is how do they do it?
As I have often said, quilting can a be expensive, but you meet nice old ladies when you go for supplies, so it’s better than buying CRACK, which I have learned is a type of cocaine. Buying crack, which is also HIGHLY ADDICTIVE btw, you might run into unsavoury types like Rob Ford.
I started a quilt for my mother in the hopes of getting it finished for Mother’s Day. Life and other minor annoyances were not co-operative!
So I have maybe four squares left on the massive quilt I started a year ago. I started hand quilting because the sewing machine I have is a loaner and I like to imagine I am a princess locked in a tower.
I have learned a lot.
Bamboo batting is great for machine quilting but not so great for hand-stitching. While I like the idea of bamboo, I also learned that it takes a lot of chemicals to get it so nice and soft, sort of defeating the whole purpose of buying a “renewable resource” that is more expensive. It also tends to “beard”, have little bits come out with the needle, and it is not uniform in thickness in some places. It was really hard to get the needle through.
Speaking of needles, you can’t just buy the cheap packet of needles from the Devil Store even if they say “quilting needles”on the package. They are crap.( I call it The Devil Store for killing all the small local businesses, killing unions and buying crap that is cheap but marked up from the price they paid the “crimes against humanity sweat shops” that produce the crap, while attracting the type of shoppers who cram too much into everything, including those horrible stretch pants, I know because I have waited in line behind them… If you buy them you will find they can’t be threaded by any thread larger than the kind used to sew fairy wings on.
There are videos that show how to hand quilt. The nice lady on U Tube who gets five stitches on a tiny needle is actually a magical being who uses fairy thread and fairy needles. I am trying to find where to buy said items on line.
Which way you iron your seams is important. I should have had a plan when I started. If I had a plan I would have known which way to iron my seams. It is hard to get a needle through two layers of fabric and batting but even harder to get it through four layers.
An eighty year old woman who has been quilting all her life is not easily impressed. I recommend hiding it from real quilters and only showing it off to the plumber, if he is a man and has large fat hands. He might be impressed by your stitches.
I have realized that I am more of a “glue it” type of crafter. In the journey of life I am a set designer, not director, or a writer. I don’t build things that last but I do like a bit of splash!