Thursday, March 19, 2009

Quilted poetry, (sit back and relax with a glass of wine or tea and read on)

Julie and Gerrie helped flush out the narrative in Quinlan's quilt that I discussed in the previous post below.  And I emailed Quinlan because I when I get a bee in my bonnet I need to get it out and move on.  Quinlan's response: While the last administration, I felt, used a lot of diversion tactics to keep the public and press misinformed as it pretty much tried to dismantle the country as we know it.  A kind of "Pay no attention to that man behind the curtain" Oz like feel. Also, you can read into it a slipping away of our natural resources, and this country's power in the world as well as our children's future. Yes, not a very happy quilt. Thank you Shawn for taking the time to reply.  I also spoke briefly with Kathleen Loomis who sponsors the award and she read it as an overall uneasiness and discontent with the actions and decisions of the former presidential administration.

The other two quilts that I deeply vibed with were Caesura #3 by Marina Kamenskaya...big swaths of solid rich colour in Red, Black, and Green...just vibrated; and a calmer meditative one, When September Ends by Peggy Brown...a softer palette of blues, grays in cotton and watercolour on paper.  The actual quilts I couldn't find but the links are to images of other work by them. 

The two quilts that intrigued me the most by virtue of construction were Crossover by Mary Ruth Smith and City Grid III by Valerie Goodwin.  They where both visually complex but spoke order.  

Form Not Function exhibit blesses me with the opportunity to see quilts of high caliber right in my own back yard and I always look forward to this annual show. 


And from the workshop:

DSCN3975  I love sewing bindings...this is where I sigh with relief  of being finished and reflect on my processes and fall back in love with the fabric.  Most of my quilts still require sleeves and labels which for some reason are pains in the butt for me to do. 

The threads at the bottom in the top photo, the red thread and and the green,yellow,blue thread will possibly be added as embellishment...not sure yet.  The red fabric I'm still writing on it.  The piece below is something I started playing around with Monday.  I'm thinking I'll write with thread, hand or machine, I'm not yet certain.  The man is my FIL who passed away in 1995 but like my great-grandmother, he is still very much present with us.


One of the poems included in the community arts publication was written for Peter, Mo, and Ade to honor his passing.  Here is an excerpt:

2. Ten

One season in ten years

I witnessed your tears twice.

First, at the beginning of the Harmattan

When the nine were executed.

Moral decay of my people, it could have been ten

You whispered and swallowed.

Second, in the middle of the season, Christmas Day.

The call went through.  The line clear.  Your sister spoke.

Father passed away three hours ago.

Unexpected.  Sudden.  Distance.

From his bedroom windown he was looking for you.

Standing at the gate of the compound

He was looking for you.

    Rare does death not bring regrets.

Your manhood is not murky; your soul does not wane.

I have seen people unable to look you in the eye,

Who want your smile on your teeth instead of in your heart.

What you hold is what he has given you--intense light.

Benin masks of eternity reflect

Your piercing gaze and sealed lips.

This of your father in you

Needed to be here in Kentucky with me.

(The editors of A.I.R., Artists in Revolution will be looking into get more books published for circulation sometime in the future.)

Here is another painted quilt:


My soul rests in my quilts, the process of making them...I think it shows in my preferences for low contrast...other areas of life have enough drama. 


  1. Beautiful fabric, beautiful poem. Soul quilts.

  2. I always love you inclusion of meaningful photographs. The relationships are well crystallized for you but the image placement also leaves rooms for viewers to form their own conclusions. Have been thinking of you the past couple of days because I am reading Alice Walker's The Way Forward is With a Broken Heart. Something in this particular writing (memoir based fiction) puts me strongly in mind of the quilts you've been sharing over the past few seasons.

  3. oh Acey, this association means so much to me...Alice Walker is one of my spiritual adopted mothers.
    and Jen, the phrase "soul quilts" resonates with me as a future title or series of quilts, as in quilts as talisman.

  4. Thanks for the links to those wonderful quilts. Your poetry and poetry quilts are such a strong statement of you. I appreciate your wisdom of understanding how your work reflects your "soul." Beautiful work.