Thursday, February 27, 2014

Sun Salute

Finished D's quilt. Here it is indoors:

And outdoors:

To celebrate I cleaned out my sewing room.

And walked on the treadmill.

And dreamed.

Of a print I'm thinking of buying by Lakota artist Renelle White Buffalo:

Of the tallgrass prairie we hope to establish on the east acre.

Of a path winding through it.

Of a structure to which the path would lead.

(Possibly with a second deck for moon-bathing.)

Life seems livable again.

Thank you, sun.

Thursday, February 13, 2014

Sunny Days, Dark Nights

The sun came out yesterday and warmed our little patch of Earth. Suddenly it felt less like the dead of winter. The spark had returned.

Last week at this time I had reached the end of my rope and was urged by our social work professionals to start our respite weekend from B. two days early. On Friday my husband and drove 5 hours to spend two days and nights in this fabulous yurt:

The couple who rent it love to cross-country ski, so their 37 acres are criss-crossed with 3 km of ready-made trails (good for me, since I'm a complete novice). The hub and I enjoyed the exercise and the tending of the wood stove and an authentic Finnish sauna experience, and most of all, each other's companionship.

On our return, B. seemed to be just slightly more pliable or resilient, slightly more willing to take responsibility for her behavior. Maybe I was just riding the post-yurt buzz, but two nights ago, nearing the finish line of 3 overdue math assignments, as she roared, first, that she would "rip [my] face off" (her usual threat) if I didn't stop smiling, then, as my smile teetered into laughter, would "pull [my] bottom lip over my head" (??!!!), I broke into a jag of hilarity--and through the tears I think I saw her fighting back a smile herself. You'd have to have been there, but it represented progress.

The quilt I've been working on is sunny, too. Check it out! I've done all the patchwork, and have the perfect fabric for the border and backing, here in my stash. The pattern reminds me a little of metal pieces manipulated by a magnet.

Having gotten this far yesterday afternoon, I was so looking forward to ... everything. Spring, finishing the quilt, giving it to D., the young woman with Asperger's whose sunny personality is its inspiration. Underneath all this optimism was the sense that B. may be shedding a skin on the path of growth and healing. But last night as we drove home from a visit to her mom, I was physically assaulted by her for the second time in 10 days, simply for holding the line on a deal we had made.

The sun is shining again today, but my heart is under the covers all scrunched up in pain, trying to make sense of it all.

Thursday, February 6, 2014

Paralyzed by perfectionism

I FMQ'ed the B.F. quilt wearing headphones and plugged into the audio version of Claire Huffaker's The Cowboy and the Cossack (1973). Such a perfect yarn. And the B.F. turned out to be the absolute perfect quilt recipient. She ooh'ed and aah'ed over individual fabrics; she loved little quilty details, like the back side having some patchwork too. She affirmed that she loved earth colors, and knew enough about quilt-making to ask, "Did you quilt it yourself?" Best of all, the visit to her house provided me brief relief from B.'s escalating drama. The girls interacted with us moms like two normal, reasonably respectful teens. Here's the B.F. (check out the hat):

 Maybe all this perfection got me anxious about my next quilt. I've been needing some bright color in all the drear of winter. I combed through my scraps and took the plunge. Here were my first and second blocks:
I liked them pretty well. Here are two more I made:
I have to say "ugh." The combination of colors makes my stomach turn. The ole quiltmaking machine sputtered to a halt.
Then, at some point today I came across the website, Wrap Them in Love. This foundation finds orphanages abroad, and connects with children for whom the quilts they send might be their only real possession. What dazzled me was the freedom and creativity of some of the quilts on display in their galleries:

It helped me to imagine that the bright-colored quilt I had started was not an 80" x 80" bed quilt for my friend Denise, but a 40" x 60" experiment I can finish and send off in a jiff. I pushed on through my disappointment that this one is not going to be a masterpiece.

And it turns out, the medley of colors might not be half bad.  I guess I'll just keep making those ugly blocks, and see how big and how ugly (or not) the whole thing turns out to be.