29 Oct

Still Plugging Away

I’ve been blogging in my head again. After my flag dissection, I meant to blog about the rest of my dad’s and my trip to DC. It was to be an essay in shuttered monuments. That blog post has passed though. The curious can see the photos on my Flickr stream, along with yarns I’ve been collecting and knitting up. There’s some figure drawings there too, because I’m still attending the weekly group at McGuffey.


I’m still working on this too. For the last three days, I’ve written on my to-do list that I’d finish the piecing, but it’s just not going that fast.


I thought today would be the day, but no, I still have 7 more rows to stitch, and then the whole thing to press. Maybe tomorrow.

18 Oct

Small Civil Disobedience

On October 2nd, at the start of the US partial government shutdown, I posted this on my Facebook page:

My two ideas for artworks today:
1. Death Shroud for Democracy. Think Shroud of Turin, but on an American flag
2. A performance piece where I take a flag to the Capitol and slowly disassemble it with my seam ripper.

Then I sat and stewed for a week. I couldn’t shake the ideas. I realized that they could even be merged together. The next week I realized they even fit a potential exhibit opportunity. And it dawned on me that my dad and I had already planned a trip to DC.

So, I decided to take a flag with me on our trip and to stop at the Capitol at some point and disassemble it as a metaphor for Congress disassembling democracy (or maybe their actions were metaphor for what I would be doing). I had trepidations, because one can be fined and/or imprisoned for desecrating the American flag, but I kept telling myself that no one would even notice me, and if they did, my concept was strong and my protest peaceful.

Wouldn’t you know it, by the time we wore ourselves out walking through barrier after barrier to see the monuments around the National Mall, Congress had actually made some progress and looked set to pass a Continuing Resolution to the budget and to raise the Debt Ceiling, both without ransom. I felt like the wind let out of my sails. It was a lame protest if progress was being made, no matter how brief.



Disassembly 4 sm

US politics are still terribly dysfunctional, and I still believe that our elected representatives are tearing apart the system. I still think that America’s reputation is stained. So, I sat on a lesser populated part of the Capitol lawn, and faced my back to the Capitol Police in the far distance (the pictures wouldn’t have worked if I faced the other direction anyway).


Disassembly 1 sm

I removed a red and a white stripe from the flag and picked the stitches out of several embroidered stars. It was slow going and I was still a bit nervous and feeling bad that I was doing this on the eve of the end of the shutdown.


Disassembly 3 sm

We sat there barely an hour, but I knew I couldn’t finish disassembling the whole flag in the remainder of the day. So, photos taken, and not wishing to attract attention, we packed up the pieces and returned to the world as tourists.


Thread Nest sm

Back in the hotel, I disassembled the rest of the stripes. Now I will move on to the next phase of the project, which is creating the Death Shroud. I still feel like that aspect is valid. Majority rule and idealistic Democracy is ill. I have hope that it can heal, but not in the near future. So, this project will continue in the background for a while and when it’s done I will share it’s next incarnation.


Flag pieces sm

07 Oct

Weekend Whirlwinds

I am a long-time member of Studio Art Quilt Associates (SAQA), and finally live in a region where there are opportunities both to gain from the organization, and to give back to it, in more than an online, arm’s length manner. I spent two days this last weekend volunteering.

Expo 2

Thursday and Friday were spent at this table, giving a SAQA “elevator speech” to anyone at the Sewing and Quilting Expo in Fredericksburg, VA who would listen. My mission was to let people know what SAQA is and to make the connection between our information table and the two art quilt exhibits nearby.Expo 1

A good portion of the show, Deux, which premiered at IQF Chicago, is traveling with the Expo. Unfortunately, my bestie Deborah’s work was not part of this grouping, but hopefully each Expo location will have a different selection of work so that they all get their moment in the sun. Expo-goers definitely gushed over the work.

Expo 3

I also enjoyed meeting peers whom I have previously known only online or by their work. I had a lovely dinner with local friend Lorie, and online friend Victoria, whose quilts above are not only beautiful and beautifully made, but convey an absolute joy of quilt making. My crap photos do not do the work justice.

Then, I switched gears on day three and helped out my knit night friend Elisabeth at her booth at the Fall Fiber Festival a little closer to home. It was a gorgeous day, but a bit too sweltering and many people melted away early in the day. Still, I enjoyed promoting Elisabeth’s cool cottons, and had plenty to restock.

Fall Fiber 1


The slower afternoon left me some time to do my own shopping and I picked up this pretty shawl pin.

Fall Fiber 2


I don’t think I even mentioned that the weekend before, I spent two days in North Carolina attending SAQA and PAQA-South events. Weekends have been a whirlwind! Local pal Mary Beth and I drove down to attend a PAQA-South regional meeting and then the opening reception for their regional show, Freeze Frame. The works I liked the most were the ones that took more liberties with the theme, but overall it was an enjoyable show.


Since many of the PAQA-South members are also SAQA members, if one has an event, then the other tags along, and so we had a regional meeting for SAQA VA/NC too. People brought show and tell, and as always, sharing work highlights unexpected tips and tricks. It was great to see familiar faces from MB’s retreat last summer, and NC faces from our last PAQA-South event in January. I find the in person contact makes a bi-annual long drive worthwhile.


I’m itching to get back to my “studio,” but I am happy to have had the opportunity for professional development and making new friends.