2020 WRAP UP

There is a point when it’s been long enough since I communicated where I begin to question not only whether to reach back out, but how to. I think about how to catch up, cover the ground of everything that changed in the silence, and still move forward, and it feels overwhelming. Of course, the only thing that will work is to put fingers to keys and just start writing. Start somewhere, anywhere, and the gaps will either not matter or be filled in and repaired.

So here I am. It’s a new year, which I used to reject as having meaning past the page flip on the calendar. A wrap up on the blog. But 2020 changed more than we will know for a long time. In the months, literal hundreds of days spent mostly at home, I have grown to cherish new experiences, opportunities for reinvention, any marker of change or novelty. I have heard people talk about their sadness about the new year, their hope, their guilt at feeling accomplished or proud of a 2020 accomplishment. I felt relief, a sigh and small lift of my spirit for the novelty of a new year. There was still a hesitation to believe that anything was actually different, but my body told me that a new year was a good thing.

Some cheerful stitching from the darkest days of the year

I do have some good things and new work to share in this space, but first a recap of the fall. Tally raised $250 for Movement Voter Project, a proud contribution to the more than $50,000 raised by the textile artist group that I was a part of. I danced in the street and drank champagne with the neighbors when the election was called, crying tears of relief.

Later in November, I finished a new quilt made entirely by hand, the one that I started in June. Its title is Holding Things Together (Show the Work). The piece is held together by work that is usually invisible, work that holds a lot more together than is credited. From piecing stitches and knots to thought processes and actions, there is important labor that is often hidden and/or taken for granted by others. The pandemic has exposed this further by forcing people to retreat to domestic spheres, but what is actually seen and honored? Who is holding things together with invisible work, and who values it? Every stitch of the quilt was sewn by hand in golden thread on bed sheets, striped “work” shirts and quilting cotton. It’s 49” x 51” and work that I am very proud of.

Holding Things Together (Show the Work)

At the end of November and beginning of December, I taped my pre-recorded Quiltcon Together classes. I learned a lot very quickly and was so grateful to have a co-teacher to work alongside in Anne Sullivan. I look forward to connecting online with the students who make projects from these classes.

Getting ready to talk to my ring light (find the sleepy dog challenge)

During the month of December, I channeled the challenging work of preparing for a pandemic holiday season into a mini quilt that I used as a study for some future projects.

Mini quilt study

That fills in some of the gaps. There are so many more that involve thoughts on my sewing practice, my teaching career, and my ongoing work, but for now, this is a good place to show what my hands have been up to.