Friday, September 30, 2011


Yesterday, my friend ran through [an institution]'s building with my dog. My dog was not supposed to be there, and we'd been told to leave. When we got back to the safety zone, my friend said, "She is such a cute dog. Almost perfect, but in the wrong form. If only she were not in the form of a dog, she could go anywhere. People wouldn't say anything if she was a turtle, or a frog."

Thursday, August 4, 2011


I found these two things at almost the same time:

"...Suddenly I realized  
That if I stepped out of my body I would break  
Into blossom." 

("Blessing," by James Wright)

Perfect, isn't it??

That bug on the other side of the window just shed its skin. What kind of bug is it? 

Friday, July 22, 2011

Too Hot to Sew, Dreaming of Snow

I've been bemoaning the extreme heat because I have some projects that I want to finish and the thought of covering myself in fabric while sewing is Too Much.

So, while we wait for it to cool off, Piper and I are hunkered down in the one air-conditioned room in the house. This is her, dreaming about traipsing through the snow after a chipmunk, I think. (I tried to capture her funny dream-twitching-and-running, but she got wise to me and woke up.)

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Hmong handwork

I bought this pouch when I was traveling through Thailand years ago, and just dug it up while packing/unpacking. Isn't it beautiful? It's all done by hand, too. I remember the women sitting on the deck of this guesthouse where I stayed, dressed all in colorfully-embroidered black with bells sewn on to their hats, sewing by hand all day.

Mushroom Chronicles & Annie Dillard

Two more baby mushrooms have sprouted up next to the one I found yesterday!

"It is dire poverty indeed when a man is so malnourished and fatigued that he won't stoop to pick up a penny. But if you cultivate a healthy poverty and simplicity, so that finding a penny will literally make your day, then, since the world is in fact planted in pennies, you have with your poverty bought a lifetime of days. It is that simple. What you see is what you get."

                                                                     - from Annie Dillard, Pilgrim at Tinker Creek

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Guess Where This Guy Lives?

This morning, when I went to the basement to throw in a load of laundry, I found this little guy growing in front of my washing machine. I found it really funny to have a little mushroom in the basement, though I imagine it's not a very good sign for the house and its foundation.

Friday, July 8, 2011

rain outside the window sounds so nice, and tomorrow brings sun

My wise friend Meg said recently, "You stopped banging your head against a wall, and a window opened up behind you."


Thank you to whomever opened the window.

Friday, July 1, 2011

Class & Making

I've been following this for a little while, and chatting with friends about it.

It's reflective of much, much bigger problems we have as a country, obviously. And, in addition to class, the subject brings in issues of race, gender, age, etc..

I'm interested in thinking about these questions, and also:

Where is our fabric made, and by whom?

Thursday, June 30, 2011

pretend love-affair

for the first time since college, i'm having a pretend love-affair with a musician. back then, it was lenny kravitz. i might have named my car after him...i was young; what can i say?

now? ray lamontagne. in my dream-life, in this pretend love-affair, i fly out to portland, oregon on sept. 4 and see him play live. (come to boston, ray!)


(what i love about this clip is that it's a video made by some devoted fan. "let's be clear" (as obama likes to say) that devoted fan is not me.):

Monet's Quilting Arrangement

This title can apply to both Monet's set-up in her apartment to make room for her quilting (see her blog here for more information), as well as the afternoon she spent figuring out how to arrange the blocks for her next quilt. (It also sounds like some strange sort of marriage from the 17th century.)

Monet came over this afternoon to work out how she'll arrange the blocks in her next quilt. We cleared out my dining room floor, evicted Piper, and started arranging. The blocks are sooo pretty! And it's amazing how different they looked in each configuration. Also, my geometry skills are not as bad as I thought! We did pretty well reconfiguring each pattern! (What's next? A rotary cutter and a gridded cutting board? Holy cow.)

Monet also gave me some of her scraps, which makes me so happy -- I love getting people's scraps and mixing them up together.

I've used my Expert Photoshopping Skills and blurred out the quilt so as not to ruin the surprise when she's finished and posts it on her blog. This is Monet, arranging the secret blocks on the floor:

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

wind and a cool night after a hot day

The big breeze on the porch was so nice! And the stars. And my house is clean, and my neighbors are out front sitting on their stoop.

grateful for my quilting friends!

Thank you for all of your wisdom these last few weeks in particular. The very smart Caro gave me lots and lots of ideas this afternoon -- thank you Caro! (Thank you, flour, for the amazingly tasty deliciousness. It may be good that I've had to go gluten-free because I could otherwise take one of everything in their baked goods section. Giant Oreos? Mm. Chocolate cupcakes with vanilla frosting? MMMMM!)

I'm working on a couple of sewing projects but am feeling dissatisfied with my low-quality camera. I like pretty shots of fabric. But, ah, well. I'll make do. This quilt is for my cousin, who's heading off to college soon and likes pink!

I made the circle with scraps from Laurie -- thank you again, Laurie!! It was fun to do so much handwork with that giant circle. I started out thinking I was going to piece all the scraps into a rectangle, then got sick of making a rectangle and cut those pieces and sewed them into this giant circle. I never use patterns because a) I have a long-standing fear of math, and b) I like to feel free to do whatever I like when I'm sewing, and patterns feel confining.

The backing and binding of this are really my favorite parts -- Laurie can tell us what the voile on the back is, I betcha.

I also free-motion machine quilted it on my teensy tiny Janome (the smallest one they make), so I always feel proud that I've mashed a quilt through that process...(but I can't wait for the day that I have a bigger machine as an option, too!)

Now, I'm working on an all-blue shot cotton quilt (with the Kaffe Fasset shot cottons). And a big queen-sized quilt for myself, and another queen for a family member. How to tug a queen through my little Janome...? I may have to make a visit to Laurena's in Burlington and use her larger free-motion machine.

Friday, June 24, 2011

Annual Dance Party in the Streets of Cambridge....crowded and loud and fun.

City of Cambridge Dance Party, Friday, June 24

Cambridge Dance Party
City of Cambridge Dance Party
Friday, June 24, 7–11 p.m.
Mass Ave. will be Closed to Traffic but Open for Dancing!
On Friday, June 24, join thousands of residents and visitors of Cambridge who will gather on Massachusetts Avenue (in front of City Hall, between Inman and Bigelow) for the City’s annual Dance Party.  This portion of the street, at the heart of Central Square, will be closed to traffic from 7-11 p.m.
The annual dance extravaganza is a special opportunity for the entire Cambridge community to celebrate the beginning of summer with an evening full of music and friends.  After dark, spectacular lights will be launched, adding to the magic of the evening.
Originally conceived in 1996 as part of the 150th anniversary celebration of Cambridge, the Dance Party returns each year attracting young and old to join in the festivities!  The event is free and open to the public. 
PLEASE NOTE:  MBTA #1 Bus Line will terminate in Central Square at 6 p.m. and resume full service at 11:30 p.m. (take the Red Line subway to travel between Central & Harvard Squares).
For more information, contact Maryellen Carvello at 617-349-4301.

Bald Man from a Commune

The other day, I met a man who lives in a commune. In Cambridge (did you know there are communes in Cambridge? Me, either!).
I asked him some questions. He said they don't share underwear, but they do sometimes share socks (they get mixed up in the laundry).
They don't have chickens (against city code).
He works sometimes, when he feels like it.
He went to an extremely prestigious Boston school.
He's a vegetarian.
He has a dog.
He doesn't have a car (but, like other people I've known who don't have cars on principle, he asked me if we could use my car -- to take him and his dog swimming this summer).
He has his wife's name tattooed on his knuckles in the characters of a language he doesn't speak, but then she became his ex-wife, and he had some lines added to the characters, so it no longer means her name but something else (he doesn't know what).
Why not just get the tattoo removed? I asked.
Because that would be like erasing the past, he said, And it happened -- I don't want to erase it.
The contemporary word for "commune" is "co-op." They spend a lot of time getting to know people before they move in, inviting them for dinners and making sure they're a "good fit." He says, Joining the coop is like getting married to twenty people.
Euuuh, I said, and cringed.
When I asked if they all wear matching blue Nike's, like the cult in Texas, he said, Maybe those people in Texas just got a good bulk deal on those shoes at Wal-Mart, and they had nothing to do with the cult.
Touche, bald man, touche.

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Olivia the Sea Turtle (heartbroken by Arielle the mermaid)

I met the artist Virginia Warwick at the Vermont Studio Center a couple of summers back. She is also known as Olivia, the sea turtle. I like her characters and stories. They're funny and sad, and then funny again. When Olivia was at the VSC, she got her nails done, basked on a rock by the river, and publicly demolished a jell-o mold of Arielle (she seemed to be having a hard time with the break-up). Now, it looks like she's doing better.

This is Virginia, in her role as Olivia, in the latest work-in-progress (she's adding sound!):

first post in blogland

I've never blogged before, but (of course!) I've been reading blogs for so many years, and it's such a good place for ideas and inspiration, especially in terms of writing and sewing. I've learned so much from those who blog about quilting.

I've been finding a lot of great stories lately, and funny moments, and people whose voices and ideas I want to share, and thinking about things that I want to bounce off of other people. So, here I am.

Helllooooo! (I can hear my voice echoing off the walls! I hope to find you on here soon!)

This is what I made this weekend, while waiting for my car to get fixed at the dealership. I'd bought some pretty jersey cotton at Gather Here and made a skirt of it, then made this headband for my sister with the leftovers. I appliqued & reverse-appliqued it in the spirit of Natalie Chanin's Alabama Stitch, to which my talented friend Amy introduced me a few years back. It makes me happy.
(I don't know who designed the fabric, but I bet Laurie does!! Laurie, do you know?)