My Monday Morning Video, A Day Late

I’m seeing, when I look back at my blog posts from yesterday, just how tough a day it was for me.

If I had forgotten, I can tell because I messed up the post about my Corona Housewife Magnets and I never published my Monday Morning Video.

What happened is I had some bad news about my mother’s health that threw me off.

My relationship with my mother is complicated and between yesterday and today,  I’m just starting to understand it a little more.  It’s not something I want to write about yet, but when I make mistakes like I did yesterday I do want to acknowledge what’s happening.   It’s actually the reason that the work I’m doing on my quilt is going so slowly.

But when times are difficult for me,  it’s my art and blogging that helps keep me grounded.

So here it is, a day late, my Monday Morning Video.


A Gentle Place

I spent the day working on my quilt that I’m calling “A Gentle Place”.  It’s slowly coming together.

I think I can see the influence of the collages I’ve been working on in the soft blues.  All those blues come from three of Jon’s old shirts.  And today after I cut up and sewed down the last one I knew I needed more.

I also knew Jon had more shirts on his shelf that he doesn’t wear anymore.  So when he was in his air-conditioned study working with the door closed,  I threw the old shirts in the wash then hung them on the line.

Tomorrow I’ll cut them up and hopefully be able to finish designing the quilt.

The batik wave fabric that inspired this quilt is made by Carol Conklin, and is called “Evening In A Gentle Place”.  You can see more of Carol’s work here on her blog Amity Farm Batik.   She reproduces her batiks in lots of different functional and inexpensive ways as well as selling her originals.

What “A Gentle Place” looked like at the end of the day.


“Evening In A Gentle Place”

It was slow going working on my quilt today, but I’m happy with the progress.   I used an old quilt top on the sides and they had all the right colors in them.

It took me forever to figure out what to do next.  I still have to sew that bottom strip together but that will have to wait till tomorrow.

Carol Conklin who made the batik that inspired this quilt told me the name of her batik is “Evening In A Gentle Place”.  I think that gentle feeling comes through in the colors I’m using in the quilt.

Men Are Housewives Too: Only 20 Coronavirus Housewife Magnets Left….

Housewife Jon

I’ve heard from more than one man that it was actually them, not their wives,  who have become the “housewives” during the Coronavirus.  And although I wouldn’t really include Jon as one of them (I’ve been doing more cooking than usual) he is in many ways more domestic than I am.

I have 20 Corona Housewife magnets still available.  Since Etsy has censured them and I can’t sell them in my shop, I’m selling them right here on my blog.

My Corona Housewife Magnets are Sold out.  5″x3 3/4″ and are $7 each including shipping. You can buy them by clicking on the button below and use paypal or a credit card.Or you can email me at [email protected] and send a check to Full Moon Fiber Art PO Box 205 Cambridge NY 12816.

Playing In The Garden

It really was a secret garden, all grown over with weeds with a cracked cement ring in the middle where there used to be a fountain.  It was surrounded by a tall hedge with an opening in one corner that you had to duck down to get through.

My next-door neighbor and best friend Colleen and I spent the morning trying to clean it up.

There was a cement path leading to the backyard which had an old grape arbor and giant pear tree, separating it from Colleen’s house, the oldest house on the block.

She had never seen flowers in the garden, I have no idea if her parents had either.  I always had the feeling that her grandparents had once lived there.   Italian Immigrants who made wine from the grapes and stewed the pears.

I know that we had marvelous plans for the garden, it was a magical place waiting to be reborn,  but I  don’t know how we thought it would happen. Neither of us knew anything about planting a garden or had any money to buy flowers or seeds.  I’m sure we didn’t think that far ahead.

I do remember Colleen’s mother calling her in for lunch.

That was enough to break the spell.

When we got back from lunch, Colleen told me that her mother didn’t want us “playing” in the garden.  We were both disappointed, but also tired and discouraged at how little we had gotten done.

I think we would have given up on the garden even if we had been allowed to keep working in it.

That day taught me something about myself.

It showed me how I could be so engaged in something I was doing, even if it was physically demanding.  How I could keep doing it, obsessively (althought I didn’t know that word then) but once I stopped and took a break, I became aware of my fatigue.  The obsession severed, I’d lose interest.

That’s not exactly what happened to me today as I worked in the yard in the hot sun.  But when I came into the house unaware that I was thirsty, hungry, and tired, I soon realized I was all three of those things.

And once again, as I have so many times before, I thought of Collen’s garden.  The difference is, I haven’t lost interest in the work I was doing in my gardens, I just lost the energy to do it.

And, of course, these are my gardens and no one can tell me not to “play” in them.

The Wave Caught Me

Carol came to the farm last week to drop off the yard piece of fabric made from her batiks that Jon bought for me.

She also brought some other pieces of her fabric.   Some were scraps she had no use for like the one in the picture above.

It was this scrap of fabric that inspired me this morning. The wave grabbed me first then, something in the colors. Maybe because they are so cool and today was so hot.

Before this scrap of fabric caught my eye, I was trying to figure out what I would work on today.  I started a couple of things, a potholder, a collage, but whatever I tried just wasn’t right.

Till I picked up this piece of fabric from the pile on my worktable.  It spoke to me.

I used some of Jon’s old chamois shirts which were the perfect shades of light blue.

Carol’s fabric had a mirror twin.  I liked the way the moons faced out and the waves in.

The embroidered flower fabric came from a sun dress I got at the Salvation Army for one dollar over twenty years ago.  In all those years I never saw how green those stems and leaves really were.

I know the green in Carol’s fabric helped me see its true color.

I tried to find the name of the batik that Carol’s fabric came from on her website Amity Farm Batik, but I didn’t see it there.  I’ll find out from Carol what it’s called.  It may influence the title of my quilt.

I’m enjoying working with the soft shades of blue. There’s some purple in Carol’s batik, so I’m thinking of bringing that out too.  Although I have no idea what will come next.

Have a look at Carol’s website.  She has her batiks in so many different forms for sale, from $8 fabric prints to original batiks, cutting boards, leggings and so much more.

Imperfect Perfection

I’m always conscious of the sound of cars going by when I take my videos.  I always wish it wasn’t there.

But when I watched this video after taking it, I was surprised at everything else I could hear.  The sound of the sheep and donkeys pulling up the grass, birdsong, and Fate’s breathing as she ran behind me.

The reality is we live on a main road.

An old one that originally went from Manhattan to the Canadian border.  Now Route 22 begins in the Bronx (Old Post Road) and ends just shy of the border.  Part of Route 22 was originally Native American trails as so many of our roads were.

Once a dirt road it is now a two-lane rural road that is scenic to drive on. So we get lots of campers and motorcycles in the summer along with local traffic.

I like to think of Route 22 when it was a dirt road and how people would have welcomed seeing other people on horseback or in horsedrawn carriages and wagons.

Route 22 still has some advantages that we appreciate even if the traffic isn’t one of them.

Because it’s a county road it’s well plowed in the winter and early in the day. And since our house is close to the road (as many old houses are) it’s easy and inexpensive to plow.  We get cable and good internet service something that is important to our work and not always accessible in the country.  Also when our electricity goes out in a storm it gets worked on more quickly than if we lived on a back road.

I’m always trying to get around the noise of the cars going by, but I think I need to learn to accept the reality of it more.

Ours is not the secluded pristine farm and house.  It’s our home,  where we live and work, in all its imperfect perfection.

Corona Kimono 6/18/20

I thought about how the last time Jon and I went away was just before the Shelter-in-place began.  It was Sunday, March 8th that we met Jon’s daughter and granddaughter at the Bronx Zoo.

And now, here we are at a time when our world is beginning to open up again.  And when it did the first thing Jon and I did was to go to one of our favorite Vermont Inn’s a day after they opened.

It felt very much like an important milestone in our experience during the Coronavirus pandemic.

So I began with a drawing I did at the Inn of the piece of furniture between two chairs in our room.  I used a photo I still had in my iPhone of a sealion from our trip to the zoo on one side of it.  On the other side, I drew a butterfly.

On our trip, I finished reading the novel This Terrible Beauty by Katrin Schumann and began reading The Language of Butterflies by Wendy Williams.

The Language of Butterflies is a non-fiction book all about butterflies.  Jon got it for me knowing I’d be spewing butterfly stories day and night.  And I am.  But I also read some of the book to Jon and suddenly he’s very interested in butterflies.

I liked the balance of the animals in this piece, one on each end and the symbolism of the butterfly as a new beginning.

The dart I made on the kimono

Before beginning my stitching today, I had to do some work on the kimono itself.

It’s not always easy to maneuver the kimono on my sewing machine to do my thread drawings.  Usually when I do a thread drawing the ends of the fabric are not sewn down.  I’d start in the middle of the fabric and work my way out to the edges.  But it’s harder to do that on the kimono since there are already seams and no open edges.

So in one place on the Kimono, the fabric was puckered.

I decided the best way to deal with it was to make a dart as is sometimes done when making clothing. I also had to open up some of the seams to trim and rearragne the batting so it laid flat.  ( I put the batting between the lining of the Kimono so I could stitch on it).

This all took some time to get right.  I had to figure it out as I went and after a few tries, I got it right.

I basted the dart, then after I did my thread drawing, I pulled it out.  You can see the fold in the photo of my drawing, and a small pucker in the sleeve to the left, but I think overall it won’t be too distracting.

This is one of those things I’ve been avoiding, not really knowing how I would do it.   But it feels good to have it done and I’m happy with the job I did on it.

Some of the practice drawings I did before doing my tread drawing on the kimono
The back of my Corona Kimono is filled with Thread drawing. Now I’m working on the front, then I’ll do the sleeves.
Full Moon Fiber Art