Wednesday, November 08, 2006

back to where it all began

My mom's sister visited this weekend from Vegas. Auntie Sylvia, as I still call her, is the one that started most of this madness, but especially the sewing. Michael and I loved going to her house to sew and bake, and eat lots and lots of excellent food [my uncle, after having us over one time: "Mary, don't you feed these kids?" Sure she did, but she never made pasta like he did ...]

She started me off with 9-block patchworks when I was younger. We made little stuffed animals, bags, clothes for my dolls. Michael and I each have a baby blanket from her - mine has hearts, his these adorable little bears - hand-appliqued and hand-quilted.

Recently she's moved to Nevada but still pops by the Bay Area once or twice a year. Her stay prompted me to clean up my room and the bathroom [I even said it, "Auntie should come more often!" fifteen minutes before we were to pick her up, on my knees in the bath tub scrubbing away]. OK, there's still two boxes tucked away in the corner, but generally this is pretty good for my room. I mean "our" room, though as mom said, "If I was Michael I'm not sure I'd want to be sleeping in Jessica's room." Yeah yeah, he doesn't come home from college that often.

We had hotpot in the East Bay [gurgles, ack, to die for], my mom and aunt compared new jewelry purchases [a must at any reunion of the sisters], sleeplessness at 4AM got me out of bed and knitting and quickly joined by said sisters, morning brunch of dimsum in SF [gurgles, ack, more to die for], an afternoon with the Quilts of Gee's Bend at DeYoung.

How inspiring. Those quilts are truly beautiful, but the people behind them, the stories that they tell, implicitly or what is left to the imagination, truly stunning. I love the organic quality to them, their use of color, of repetition but without adhering to pattern. Even though I've been crafting for such a long time I really don't have a very good sense of design, not yet anyways, it remains to be cultivated. So looking at their quilts, i learned a lot, but it brought me so much to think about in terms of life, history, America, culture, and just how much I don't know about this world.

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