Thursday, May 1, 2014

Old Friends

We had very heavy rains for the past three days, with the rain so hard yesterday that it seemed quite biblical.  Three dark and wet days which were quite depressing.  In the midst of this bleakness I pulled out a stack of my older quilts to decide what to pack up to fly out to Boulder with me this weekend.  What a great treat it was to see these old friends again  

One of the earliest is the applique blocks I created for a big wall hanging celebrating Ben's and my 15th wedding anniversary back in 1993.   Here's the one of our Daisy Lane house..... 

....and here's the one for our Hungarian sheepdogs, using real dog hair!

This quilt was made a year later to commemorate our biking/camping trip on the White Rim trail in the Utah's Canyonlands National Park.   The front used included a hand-dyed fabric, which was a new thing back then...

...and the back featured appliqued and stitched scenes from the trip. 

 This one, called Emergence, done in 1999, interpreted a statement made by Marianne Williamson in her book A Return to Love.

Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us. We ask ourselves, Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, fabulous? Actually, who are you not to be? You are a child of God. Your playing small does not serve the world. There is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won't feel insecure around you. We are all meant to shine, as children do. We were born to make manifest the glory of God that is within us. It's not just in some of us; it's in everyone. And as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same. As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others.

I had been in therapy for a couple of years and this quote meant a lot to me.  I painted and stamped the back and wrote the names of many of the people who had influenced me during this time.

I love this last quilt, made in early 2000 as I considered adopting a little girl from Russia.  I was so scared to make the long journey to such a big and unknown country, and designing and sewing this quilt helped me work through those fears.  It's interesting that as soon as I had the door opened for Paul to come to us from Colorado; amazing how things work out! 

 As I looked at these old friends I realized that back then I quilted to tell my story.  Later quilts are less revealing, using lines, circles, and angles, like this strip pieced quilt.  I love it, but I'm struck by how little it reflects my inner life when compared with the earlier works.

As we prepare to move to Boulder, my new office/studio is beckoning and I'm increasingly curious about what I'll do there.   Seeing these old friends again makes me itch to step back to some of the older techniques and use them to make pieces that tell my more recent stories. 


  1. What a great photo of the house quilt. Notice that the porch was not "wrap-around" back then...

    How long ago it seems.....



  2. I recognize a couple of these quilts. All are wonderful and, yes, they reflect your story and also your development in as an artist and craftswoman. Good to take them out every once in a while and enjoy them again!

  3. The quilts are beautiful and I love how they tell your story! I am going to miss you!!!!! I cannot wait to see pictures of your new studio!!! :-)


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