21 years borrowed

its a lovely feeling when a thing comes together…. folding, rolling, holding, wrapping, hugging, cuddling, securing, caring and comforting a precious creation.  I’ve been working on this piece for some time now, twenty one years it appears though i didn’t know it at the time.

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My eldest boy leaving home has created a void I didn’t see coming.  Though I felt it months before as his independence grew, its only now as I reflect that it becomes crystal clear.  Mending, fixing, parenting the cloth to be fit for the child – making good for them, then letting go for their independence to grow – how much is enough?  The essence of him lurks everywhere in residual memories, even the laundry bin contains a void.  He’s not gone in the forever sense, but freed himself of his childhood island, gone to find his adult being, leaving me (the parent) suspended or paused..



So I’ve taken to my work using some of the clothes and paper ephemera he left behind – indigo dyeing, Kantha stitching, applique with organdy and quilted collage.


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She sells sea-shells on the sea-shore…

The sunshine is inside the studio today!   I’m making clamshell patchwork with memories of a tongue-twister…


The shells she sells are sea-shells, I’m sure.

For if she sells sea-shells on the sea-shore.

Then I’m sure she sells sea-shore shells.






The Preservation of Self in Everyday Life



Sociologist and quilter Marybeth C. Stalp explores how and why women quilt.

Quilting: The Fabric of Everyday Life (Dress, Body, Culture) Paperback – 1 Dec 2007 by  Marybeth C. Stalp

‘Quilting is used in multiple ways as an extension of women’s care taking and tradition-maintaining activities.  Quilts bookmark and commemorate important family events and, through gift exchange with friends and kin, solidify social ties.  They leave visual, tactile records of women’s daily lives and of their skills as artists and technicians, aspects of their lives that women hope will be remembered. Quilting can strengthen women’s identities and heighten a sense of connection with the past, especially with women ancestors.’