Friday, May 28, 2010

Collaborative Quilt; Dedication Quilt

Ordinarily, I am not much of a quilter. or, you might say, I suck at quilting, but very much enjoy sewing quilt tops. However, so many of the women in my family and lineage make very beautiful quilts; my grandmother, perhaps, most of all. For this reason, a number of years ago, I made a deal with her that if I finished the top, I could pass it on to her, and she would do the actual quilting. I thought of this as my "collaborative quilt" and thought it very exciting, even if I did underestimate the complexity of the pattern and the time it would take to complete such a goal. Well, an embarrassing number of years later, and my part of the deal remains unfinished, partly because each piece must be cut by hand and partly--more importantly--because my grandmother passed away a few years ago. Needless to say, it has been particularly difficult to work on since then, because I cannot help thinking of her when I do anything with it. The color design, sewing tips--nearly every bit of it, I learned from her and my mother, and all I have accomplished with it have been with both of them by me all the time.

Now, with time passed, as I pick it up again, I realize how grateful I am for such strong memories and associations with this project. Who wouldn't want to be reminded of such remarkable women? But I cannot deny or avoid how the concept has unalterably changed. Instead of a "collaborative quilt," I have decided to remake the deal into my "dedication quilt." (Lord help me for the actual quilting... but one thing at a time.) It is the price we pay for loving people that they leave us, and times are ended, but that's part of what makes what is left behind so much more precious. I hope that in every continued step, her presence becomes more apparent. To clarify, I do not wish to make this project embody her life or everything she meant to me; that is a hell of an attempt and would be giving what is most precious to something that passes away. The Thing remains forever just a thing, but it is my intent to infuse a bit of my love and memories in the making of this object, then take them with me, though leaving a perceptible remnant for the enjoyment of others. I am a proponent of this in nearly every art form I participate in, from photography to (musical) performance to sewing, and continue to be amazed at the effectiveness and intensity of the experience, viewer and creator alike, with this method.

Below, some pictures of my remarkable creative lineage that I hope to measure up to someday, if I'm lucky. I don't currently have a digitized copy of my grandmother at her quilting, but hope to soon:

**Grandmother and early family.

**Three generations; four crafties.

**My beloved Aunt passing on the tradition!

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Storm Chasography

Well, successfully completed the first foray into storm photography. Hopefully more to come with my beloved shutterbuddy. I've loved storm chasing for quite a while, but never considered photographing until recently with such great travel companions. Last night's first adventure just happened to be the most perfect conditions and ended up with a number of addictive subjects caught on film between the two of us, and now I must admit: hook, line, sinker; I'm gone, especially after several lottery images like these: