Back Off…I’ll Take You On*

Sits down. Throws toy for dog. Takes a sip of hot tea, even though it’s been over 100 degrees here for days. Back to the school routine. Alarm at 6:30 AM. Brain already awake, worried that I’ve forgotten something. Trying to remember to eat, because my body has to get retrained on no bathroom for 4 hours, no food until noon, standing for hours, talking nonstop (at least for today). Saying the same thing 5 times to 5 different sets of faces. I know how tired I’ll be at the end of it. Voice scratchy, feet aching. And mourning the loss of more freedom. BUT. A paycheck this month. It’s been a while. That will be nice.

Girlchild Face-timed last night…not to see me and the boychild, but to see the dogs.

The quilt saga continues, in a crazy wonky way. I got an email yesterday morning that AQS had shipped both quilts to SAQA. Their reasoning? Not overtly that they were worried there would be complaints, but because everyone else in the exhibit had 2 quilts and now I only had 1. Um. That’s because of You Guyz. Surely I can send another one? Oh no. A friend said maybe they were worried my quilt would be lonely. Does she look lonely?

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Fuck no. She doesn’t. She’s got this. Strong woman. Can hang alone.

I posted about it, after I sat alone in my classroom (I had to be at school yesterday, even though I was mostly done setting up) and cried a little. Cried because my kid is gone, the other leaves today, I’m frustrated that I keep banging my head against all these solid rock establishments…the quilt world, the Quilt Police, the art world, the anti-art people, the anti-craft people. This is crazy. And it hurts.

I make most of my work completely alone, mostly in my head. I’m fairly isolated from a community of makers. I belong to one quilt guild, but they’re awfully traditional. I don’t need to take classes. I live out in the boonies. And honestly, I’m an introvert, not much of a joiner, not a socializer. I’d really rather be in my head with my drawings and the fabric.

So I appreciate all the people checking in. Last night, at some point, I stopped trying to answer all the emails. I’ll try again after school today, because some of you have written some truly nice and funny stuff. I did get one email from a woman who interviewed me for a podcast last night, and as soon as she gets it ready to go, I’ll post all that info here, so you can listen to me and figure out how to pronounce my name right. I just know y’all are going around saying it wrong. (like it matters) But it was really nice to talk to someone who had seen the quilt in Grand Rapids before it came down and wanted me to talk about what happened. Total stranger before that, but sort of cathartic to get it out.

In other awesome yesterday news, Maddie Kertay of BadAss Quilter’s Society fame and owner of SPOOL in Chattanooga, Tennessee, was willing to exhibit the two quilts during September, so I got SAQA to set up shipping directly to her. So if you are going to Chattanooga to see the AQS show (and I really don’t want people NOT to go because of this…go see and celebrate the other artists there. They deserve it.), then stop by SPOOL as well. Maddie wrote about the issue here. And my quilting friend Judy Kurpich wrote about it here. Sometimes other people’s words are better than mine.

So yeah, the world is coming out and supporting me, and that’s cool.

And I keep going. Making. Because it’s what I do to stay sane.

I said I was going to clean up the office/studio, and I did…

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I forgot to photograph the piles when I started. There were many more of them. All the fabrics from the last quilt, plus the stuff my SIL sent. They all needed to be put back in the drawers. It took about an hour to get everything straightened out, and at that point, after being on the phone for quite a while, I was tired. Honestly, too tired to start picking fabrics for the big quilt, although I did set up for that.

See, she’s ready to go.

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And then I remembered I had this easy little guy, the owl from the most recent Earth Mother…a commission. So I had just picked up that quilt from the photographer on Monday. I pulled it out and realized I had just put all those fabrics away. Dammit. Sigh. So I found them again…

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And I laid out all the pieces (there’s only 103)…

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Ironed them all down…and started cutting them out.

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So I’m almost done with that. Hoping to maybe iron it together tonight and then give the future owner some background choices. Then maybe I can get my head around the big one.

So this sugar packet has been lying in the driveway for weeks. It’s the girlchild’s. I’m leaving it there until she gets back.

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Empty nests. Suck.

At school, I was kinda done with everything, and pacing around because of the email about the quilts, and not very focused, but I was supposed to try to draw this spiral of life thing that I do in the classroom…so I started…

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This is what I usually do with the kids…to show what we learn in 7th grade versus all the other grades, and how they’re all connected.

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I brought it home to work on it, but that didn’t happen.

This did. Kitten and Simba are wary of each other.

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In the end, Kitten comes up and sleeps on the keyboard, thus altering Google Docs forever. I come in and my school calendar has 7800 equal signs in it, because she was lying on that key.

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She doesn’t care about all that.

To school. My job. Art when I get home, after I take the boychild to the airport. Then it’s just me and the menagerie and my art.

*Trapt, Headstrong

4 thoughts on “Back Off…I’ll Take You On*

  1. New title for your quilts: There is No Penis In This Quilt I, II, III, etc. — an unlimited series. Take advantage of the negative publicity and turn it around to make your name known to everyone and stay in the public eye

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Hi Kathy, I learned about you and this recent asinine thing that is happening to you and your work through Judy Kirpich’s blog. I recognized your work right away and am pleased to learn more about you here through yours. No need to respond, but know you’re getting a big-ass fist pump from Alaska, from a girl who has just finished a quilt with 12, 3-D yonis all over it and will probably never get it into a show…ever. Whatever. Fuck ’em. I just started following you on IG and hope that my teeny bit of encouragement will keep you going out there in the boonies. Community can come from strange places, so I hope you’ll consider this a bit of community from the boonies in the Far North. I think we’d get along pretty damned well in real life.
    XO Amy


  3. One thing I’ve come to understand: there are not very many people in my life I can completely count on, but my quilts never let me down. The AQS people here did all the wrong things. But your quilts didn’t let you down. I do like Maddie’s comment above to have a never-ending series of “there is no penis…” brilliant.


  4. Something good will come from this, in fact it already has because I have been introduced to your amazing work! Forget the quilt society, you create fine art, it just happens to be created from fabric. Ever heard of Grayson Perry? Your work fits perfectly with his. He won the Turner prize a few years back for some pottery with nudes and phallic symbols. He also makes fabulous quilts.


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