Thursday, 8 November 2012

A Few More Blocks Completed. Blog 3.

Garlic, Gilroy, and Good Times 


Mom with her prize winning garlic braid
A pungent nod the world’s biggest garlic festival in Gilroy, California,, as I cut up two of my mother’s t-shirts from some of the early years of this celebration of “the stinking rose”. For a number of years, my mother grew garlic as the main crop of her small organic farm. Sometime in late summer, there would be heaps of garlic drying on the deck to just the point where they would they be pliable enough to braid. I would help her with stripping the excess dried strands, cleaning the bulbs and trimming their roots, making a good tight braid and decorating with small dried flowers from the garden, always that heavy but sweet smell of garlic and her careful instructions. She went down the West Coast to the Gilroy festival in California a couple of times in the early 80’s, learning the ways of the true garlic aficionado. Her garlic was small but flavorful, in fact, my mother discounted those large bulbs of "elephant" garlic as tasteless and showy. Bigger is not better. Good, garlicky times.

I am especially pleased with the “how to grow garlic” block. Learning from my nervous beginner experience, I have decided not to trim that block just yet. 

Garlic block number one.

Untrimmed "How to Grow Garlic", lots of little pieces.


"What garlic is to food, insanity is to art." 

- Augustus Saint-Gaudens. 


Love Your Ocean 

Love Your Ocean.
Walks along the shore picking shells, driftwood, spotting terns and gulls, seals and sea otters, my mother never missed a sighting. She had ‘macro-vision’... tiny crabs under tiny rocks... the complete and independent world of tidal pool inhabitants. She loved the ocean, maybe feared it, as all good prairie girls should. Mostly, she respected it. The “Love your Ocean” from a seaside clean-up campaign in 1992 might just be one of my all time favorite quilt blocks... so far.




Mom at 73... barefoot in the sand in Costa Rica.



Some More Things Learned...

Four blocks completed, each tiny piece of fabric individually measured and marked and carefully cut along a thin pencil line while going cross-eyed. I know there’s a better way, better tools... something to do with a rotary cutter. Note to self: get whatever those tools are before going bonkers.

As I Cut and Sew... 

... remembering and grieving, and sometimes I cry, listening to some of the music I played during her last few days... looking through photos to find her in that particular shirt, at that particular time and place. But then, more often, I smile... because my mother would love that I am doing this, she would get it, chiding and teasing me for using those old stained shirts but understanding and appreciating it all the same. 

A shared vision. The art of healing.


  1. Beautiful! Your blocks are sensitive and artful -
    You will love the rotary cutter once used to it. 4x14 omnigrid ruler in green is my favourite. You don't need the big one, no matter what anyone says.

  2. Thanks onepiece ! This is soulful fun... loving it!

  3. Transparent plexi squares to measure and rotary cutters to cut. Get thee to an art supply store. Of course really good scissors.

  4. PS. Your quilt and the stories for each square are a work of beautiful touching art. xxxx

  5. PSS. Just read your posts about scissors and the above about omni grids (who knew that that is what they are called) so my posts are little redundant other that the fact that this is beautiful.

    PSSS. I am human and I find it really hard to read the numbers and letters that I have to type to prove that I am not a machine.

    1. Thanks Earth! Most frustrating to get out in crutches and cast but my new friends at the closest quilting store here in Toronto are moving!!! It's a mess but as soon as they land at their new store in the next few days, I will be heading there for some of that most excellent quilting equipment! I am glad you are not a machine... !