Mary Oliver


Mary Oliver died this week.  I have heard of her before but never was a follower.  I know I’ve read some of her works, but I never really FELT it.  Plus, I’ve never been a ‘poemy’ sort of person…most poems I read and think to myself….”ehhhhh….whatever”.  I’m more a “tell me what you want me to hear and I’ll deal with it” kind of person.  (K2 always says she doesn’t do ‘subtle’ and I think that’s what most poetry is.)

However, so many people have been posting Mary Oliver quotes this week that I’ve become intrigued.  (Similar to Leonard Cohen.  I was a late lover of his music having only discovered him about 15 years ago in a yoga class.  Now I can’t get enough of him.)

It might be time for me to explore the work of Mary Oliver.  Even if I don’t really GET poetry.  It doesn’t appear as if her poetry is the sing-song rhyming variety….more thoughtfulness and reflection type poetry.  (Could you call it stream of consciousness?  Just blurting out what is going through your mind?  I’m not sure.)

This is the latest of her thoughts I’ve run across:

“You do not have to be good.
You do not have to walk on your knees
for a hundred miles through the desert, repenting.

You only have to let the soft animal of your body love what it loves.”
From Wild Geese by Mary Oliver

Elizabeth Berg, one of my favorite authors of all times, recently posted on her FB about walking out of a yoga class and then quitting her gym membership on the way out the door (her post is dated the 20th of January if you want to read it and all the thoughtful comments)…all without pre-thought or planning.  It resonated with me.

I have arrived at the time in my life where I can say no.  And I say no fairly frequently and (mostly) without guilt.  I can’t tell you how freeing it feels.

A friend asked me to join her in taking over the local reigns on a fairly large Aussie charity.  It is one of the three charities that I really love and generously support.  In the past, I would have said yes immediately.  Instead, I asked for details.

I’m not sure if I’ll say yes or no – but I will be comfortable saying no.  I no longer feel the need to be a front runner.  I KNOW I can be in charge and get things done, but I no longer want to be that person.  Let me sit in the back row and be a supporter.  I’m tired and I’m learning how to say no and I’m comfortable saying no.

That’s all.




Quilt Sabbatical finishes

While on my quilt sabbatical, I am busting through some non-quilt projects.  In about 2 weeks I have finished 5 items.  I have several more projects in various stages that I would like to complete, but I’m out of supplies.  A trip to town tomorrow should fix that problem.  Here are my 5 finishes:

30 Alcohol Ink cards

4 pillowcases with new style of a horizontal flap/opening rather than on the end.

(No picture)

Boro-inspired bag – BeBeBold pattern


2 throw pillows


Up-cycled tunic top


I’ve also been doing a clean-out of my friend Elizabeth’s stash.  She has resigned herself to moving to a care facility.  She has many treasures that I am trying to rescue and find new homes for.  I am being very strict with myself when sorting through her things.  So many unfinished dreams and plans…but I continue to be pleased with my very limited stash and so will pass the treasures on to others (well…except for a FEW things!).

Alcohol Ink

I’m taking a quilt sabbatical until the end of January.  Time to get a few other projects finished up and/or worked on.

Here are some alcohol ink pieces I’ve made the last couple days.  I’m really enjoying the ones on tile using the heat gun.  Mr. W and I are trying to figure out how to resin them next.


IMG_3675 (1)


I’m enjoying looking at the texture of She Let Go while it rests on our dining room table.  The shadows play with it all day.

I like to cuddle with a quilt that has been hand quilted – but I like the look of a quilt that has been free motion quilted.  Even if the snot has been quilted out of it.

I’m working on a top right now using my indigo fabrics that I intend to doodle quilt.  It will have to wait awhile though as it is too hot in the little house to have a larger quilt on my lap.  I can’t show it to you though ‘cuz it has swear words in it and my mama don’t like it when I swear.  (No….I’m serous….it DOES have swear words in it!!!)

On a sad note…Pfaffy died.  She was a lovely machine.  I bought her in 1994 when I graduated from pharmacy school.  Twenty-four years old.  She blew out her mother board.  Luckily, Jani Janome has stepped up to the plate to fill the gap until I obtain a new machine.  I want to test drive the Quilt Expression 4.2 one of these days.  However, I have a lead on an older Pfaff that is looking for a good home as the owner is potentially moving to a care facility.

Time for lunch.

60×60 finished

Many techniques used on this one.  Improv piecing, machine quilting, embroidery, hand quilting.   It started as demonstration blocks for a workshop I led in August.

I’m not sure if you can see them or not but there are ‘shadow’ women embroidered around this quilt.  Women of different shapes and sizes.  Also words.  This has a body diversity/body acceptance statement associated with it.  A little bit of anger at the societal focus and societal bigotry toward women who don’t fit into a certain size range.

I like it.

It was said to me yesterday that my work has a unique look to it.  Maybe.  I’m not sure.  Sometimes I think I have a distinct look but then I look at the bigger picture, I look at other improv quilters and I’m not sure.  I guess the bottom line for me is that I am enjoying what I am making.  I think I take inspiration from others and then hopefully create my own piece rather than copying someone else.



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