Trigger (Radio Edit)

img_3614

[10/15/2016 – I got mixed feedback on this post.  I used a lot of crass language originally that I felt drove home the point I was trying to make – the pain, the shame, the visceral.  I think that language lost some readers.  And so I repost with compromise.  And since I originally posted this, Donald Trump has reiterated my message – nothing that his accusers are too ugly to predate upon.]

And god help you if you are an ugly girl

I am entirely ugly.  Feel free to stop reading, but do not give me your objections.  I have more experiences in my life than pounds of extra flesh that let me know I am ugly.  Boys at spring break, teachers, friends, family members, and total random fucking strangers have reiterated to me (unbidden) how entirely ugly I am.

I would love to tell the stories over and over again… “Who invited the fat girl?”, “Why would he grab your ass?”, “We need to walk Kate across campus so she doesn’t get raped.  See you tomorrow, Ginger”, male friends and family dissecting the hotness of a woman while I am right there, the high school calc teacher who ogled a girls’ bottom with the boys in the class and then shrugged when he saw I saw him, getting punched in the boob…  I can pull up the choking pain and embarrassment in an instant.  I can beg for you to imagine 10 steps in my extra wide shoes.  But there is no point to that. Let me just say, I am ugly.  There are not enough words or breaths in your body to convince me otherwise.

In my lifetime I have built a life –  husband, career, house, flesh –  to protect me from the pain of not being pretty.  I can completely, entirely, honestly say I don’t give a shit if you think I am ugly.

And so when I heard that video released with Donald Trump talking about grabbing pussy.  I inexplicably felt all of my ugly-girl pain triggered.  Why???  He was talking about irresistible women – I live in a different universe.

Course too pretty is also your doom
‘Cause everyone harbors a secret hatred
For the prettiest girl in the room

I have always had a complicated relationship with pretty girls.  They have this superpower they can wield with men – to be protected, to be adored, to be listened to, to have things purchased for them.  Jealousy – dark, slimy green jealousy overcomes me.  A few years ago in therapy I said, “I just wish I was pretty enough to deserve to be taken care of.”

My therapist looked at me and said that sounded like absolute bullshit.  And she was right.  Being ugly, unadored, invisible gave me space and tools to be who I am.  And I am great – I stealthily reveal my humor, my intelligence, my worth.  And I can always recognize that moment when somebody realizes I am pretty fly for a fat girl.  And I can take care of myself.

I’m not trying to give my life meaning
By demeaning you

Being invisible and being gorgeous have one thing in common.  They don’t expect much.  And at least I was mostly left alone.  That seems easier than being valued only for your looks – all other attributes ignored.

In short, it is complicated.  As we focus on getting rid of rape culture in our schools and society, there is progress in that male authority figures are no longer allowed to talk or act like sexual predators.  Definitely not the case when I was growing up.  Donald Trump’s comments have been seen as totally outside of acceptability – not just boys being boys.  Except by Rudy Giuliani, who (if you ask me) is entirely ugly  Watching male Republican leaders have to disavow gross comments from their presidential candidate cracks my flat fat ass up !!

And god help you if you are a phoenix
And you dare to rise up from the ash
A thousand eyes will smolder with jealousy
While you are just flying past

All of this is self-indulgent navel gazing, because if I was a minority, Mexican, disabled, or a muslim, I would be pissed that all of a sudden we find Trump’s words too much.  As a fat and ugly girl, I can only begin to empathize with how people in those groups must feel invisible and unprotected – not worthy of outrage.

Let’s end this national nightmare.

p.s. all song lyrics from the song 32 flavors by the totally fuckable Ani Difranco

p.p.s  don’t worry, my marriage is happy and healthy.  But one of the reasons I love my husband so hard is that he absolutely judges everybody by their intelligence – men, women, newts… not a perfect system, but refreshing.

New storage

IMG_2650

This was my fabric storage.  Lovely and folded.  It looked like this twice in the last year.  The open storage is perfect for a Type A.  When it comes to storage, I am so not type A.

In addition to the general failings of open storage, this shelf needed to have that piece of wood between it and the wall to not sway back and forth.

What is a girl to do?  Ikea.  Ikea is the best and the worst.  So inexpensive.  And my husband put together two of these labor-intensive cabinets.  And ta-da !

img_3556

I mean, right?  Just love this part of mu atelier now !  A servicable cutting table, lots of scrap storage, and room to display a mini quilt collection as I build it.  Where is the fabric?  There are two more cabinets coming with lots of those baskets so I can put the fabric in there without folding it all to line up.  More pictures and more squeeing later.

It is such a dream to have a room all to myself for sewing, and this beautiful storage makes this even more wonderful.

A Baby Quilt Update

I currently am working on the most dope baby quilt I have ever made.  Not kidding – truly the greatest.  But because that baby quilt is secret sewing, here are some pictures of some other baby quilts I have wrapped up quickly.  They are pretty ok…

img_3434This was made based on a pattern in wanderlust quilts.  I modified and simplified it a bit so there weren’t any Y-seams.  I used V and Co. Ombre.  Something about the ombres, especially the yellow and turquoise make it look light the quilt is lit from within.  I used Kona Medium Gray… and my favorite baby boy quilt back fabric of the season, this Zoology print..

img_3435

I loved giving this quilt.  The mom recipient is one of my favorite people.  And she really loved the quilt.

img_3437

Next up is a quilt made for a friend who was going to be surprised by the gender.  When I ask what colors a nursery is going to be decorated, the trend is going to get very specific answers.  Which I would be the EXACT SAME if I was decorating a nursery.  But as a quiltmaker, I yearn for free color  and artistic control.  So when this mom said, “um, I don’t know, green?” I was thrilled.  And wowzer did I get crazy with the green.  I had a lot of fun with this quilt.

 

img_3466

How sweet is that?  Love all of those greens – and I do think it will be equally cheerful for a boy and girl.  This has become my favorite baby quilt pattern.  It is on-point 5-in squares and tied.  The tieing and no binding make the quilts lay flatter and look cleaner.

I backed this quilt with a fun all-over numbers green print.

img_3465

I have made 4 boy quilts in a row, so I was ready for a girl quilt.  So I used the same pattern and went crazy with the girly flowery prints.

img_3474

Oh my gosh, that quilt is my jam !!  I still have to tie it, but then it will go to Project Linus.  I think it will make a small girl and a family happy.  With all those beautiful blooms, how couldn’t it?

Dealing With Loss

IMG_2002When I sit down to write I get stuck.  This year has been hard.  So much loss.  Too much loss.   The latest being of my beloved Annie.  My dad and I drove a sweet puppy home a little over 14 years ago.  She was tiny and the sweetest little soul I have ever met.

She became my love, my family, my friend, my baby.  She stuck by me (literally) everyday.  So many stories of her that I need to write down before they are gone.  But it feels too raw.  Thinking of her face, even looking at a photo of her creates a stabbing feeling in my head and my stomach.  That feeling that she is just gone. forever.

And so I want to get back to blogging.  But I need a pass to not write about the loss.  It feels like I am being untrue.  But it is the opposite.  I can only be true to my sanity to pause from this rawness.

So blogging on some really shallow things, mostly quilting, is forthcoming.

img_3547

And then there is this little guy.  His name is Toby. He is new to our home and is giving me all of his joy and love in exchange for kisses and tears and cuddles.  He is giving me permission to breathe and smile.  He talks to me all the time.  When he gets scared he runs to me.  At night, he sleeps on my pillow and purrs until I fall asleep.  He is full of discovery – he spent hours on Saturday jumping in and out of a basket – I think he thought he was invisible when he was in the basket and was so proud of himself for discovering this.  When he is excited, he runs so fast his back legs get out of synch. He has no idea how cute he is.  He imagines himself a great hunter as he drags his stick and feather toy across the house.

I can’t imagine a better medicine for my sadness.

I love you Annie.  I will always love you.  And I know that me being ok was always the most important thing to you.  I am ok.  I promise.

Cups of stuff

cups_penspencilsI still want to learn to draw.  It has been challenging for me, because my brain doesn’t communicate to my hands in that way.  Which is just practicing enough in order to build the connection for communication.  But when I want to practice drawing, I don’t know where to start, what to do.

This week I drew my cup of pens and pencils on my desk.  It is so far from good.  But it is progress.  Practice Practice Practice.

This is the first in a series of cups of stuff.  Weirdly awesomely fun to draw.

WIP Update

Here is a change of pace… a blog entry about quilting on a quilting blog!

Sharing my looooong list of WIPs….

IMG_2462Project Linus Quilts – I have 9 more I want to make before year end.  I have one top done, and several unused quilt blocks in bright colors.  My goal was 1 quilt per month, but has been only 1 quilt per 3 months.  Lots to catch up on.  Luckily I mostly just need to quilt and bind.  I have lots of blocks to use.

The Colorado Quilt.  Despite a giant list of projects waiting for me, I lost one whole weekend to making scrappy log cabin blocks to frame the row-by-row patterns  I collected in Colorado.  The blocks are so full of color and joy.  I really want to get back to this project.

IMG_3429.JPG

The Living Room Wall Hanging.  Again.  One of the last projects I finished before I got my Juki (I love my Juki) was a wall hanging for the living room featuring curved blocks.  Loved the fabric.  Loved the pattern.  But my sewing was sub-par.  My skills and sewing machine weren’t suited for the project.  I then got really bummed out that a bunch of gross light black dye stains got on the quilt when I washed it.  My husband claims I am the only one who can see them.  I know he is lying.  And I am so sick of seeing them.  I am working on a replacement from  pattern in Quilt Now.  I love how the new quilt will look.  And so looking forward to not facing that stain every day.

IMG_3430

Poppies!  Earlier this year my mom and I collaborated on a quilt as part of a challenge from our Modern Quilt Guild.  We didn’t finish in time, but it is such a cool project that I would like to see to completion.  It is a representation of the World War 1 Museum in Kansas City.  Everything is done except for appliqueing on the poppies.

IMG_3428

Tessellation Quilt.  This one is for the love of fabric.  I have the fabric, I have the desire.  I hate paper piecing.  But the good stuff sometimes takes the most fortitude.  And the quilt will be amazeballs.

IMG_3431

Big Charming Bed Quilt.  This one is a bit anachronistic – It is a quilt for our bedroom – the one room in our house that is tres grown up.  It is a very modern pattern in very French General fabric.  I just need to piece the top.  This one I will have to send out for quilting.  I love my Juki, but not that much.

IMG_2565

Heather Bailey Framed Improv.  I lurvs Heather Bailey.  And I want to use every bit of my fabric from my scrap pile.  I started these controlled improv blocks to make a quilt for the chair in my studio.

IMG_3334

Embroidered Baby Quilt.  This one is secret sewing.  So only tiny sneak peaks.

IMG_3329.jpg

DaBombDiggity Baby Quilt.  I love this project so much.  Good news is the shower is on Friday.  So tick tock.

IMG_3432

Pretty Little San Francisco.  Love Satsuma Street.  Love this pattern.

That is a full and truthful accounting.  It does not included the other 3 baby quilts I need to get done this year.  Or the stuff I just added to my to-do list because I was stupid enough to look at the Purl Soho website – an advent calendar, scarf, gloves, overnight bag.  Or the sewing kit I want to make.  That is 26 projects.  26! I want to finish before the end of the year.  I think I may need to reset my expectations.  One day at a time.

One night…

I went the whole night without television.  What an inane statement, but still I am proud.  DH and I luxuriated in the quiet evening.  He is dozing on the couch after a few hours of reading.  And I have done a lot of things that I plan to do of an evening (before I end up numb and sprawled on the couch).  My smugness is punchable.  It gets worse.  I have pictures of what I did instead of watching TV.

IMG_3332.jpg

Ate sushi at our dining room table!  It has been awhile since our dining room table has been used for anything other than storage or a place to lay out quilt designs.

IMG_3333

Read about floral painting in 18th century France.  And I learned the meaning of two new words – haptic and florilegium.  I have shopped at a store called Florilegium for many years – so when I exclaimed to DH “Florilegium is a real word!”, it was nice that he kept a straight face.

IMG_3334

I worked on the never-ending embroidery project.  I am still on N.  Still.

IMG_3331

It was a good day.  I am going to go meditate and then punch myself.  Good night!