Sunday, October 17, 2010


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Tonight, I finished removing the letters from this quilt. Now I remember why I had stopped 3/4 of the way through the job.

I re-discovered that  is not a good idea to attach fabric to fabric using Wonder Under, black thread in the raw edge stitching, and transparent thread on the back, where there is a light colored calico fabric. This creates annoyance when you are trying to remove the black wonder-undered, etc. fabric. And it leaves schmutz  (the u is pronounced like book).  I love that word.  It means dirt - but the kind of dirt that is temporary: a smudge on your face that needs to be wiped away (preferably with your mother's finger that she has licked to make it moist). Or a smudge on your clothes that can be brushed away, or a general layer of dust on something.  You know what I mean: schmutz!

First of all,if you have ever wondered whether the undered fabric will be permanent - ask me.  This quilt is past bat mitzvah age and I had a bear of a time, even AFTER I removed the stitches, getting off the black letters, and then they left black fuzzies that I had to brush away and pick off, and they still left a residue in some places. Schmutz. But anyway, I am taking it with me tomorrow night.  I did not want it to be a no smoking poster; I want people to infuse it with their own meaning. Or no meaning.
Monday night I am the guest speaker at the guild to which I used to belong. It is, and always has been, a very traditional guild.  About a dozen years ago, most of the art quilt people left the guild, after they stopped inviting people like David Walker to come and teach.  Despite several requests for me to teach there in the past 5 or 6 years, they never invited me because I was "too far from a quilter" for them.
Fast forward to this year. I am teaching there next Saturday: Can this Fabric be Saved? This is so all the traditional quilters can bring their old ugly fabric and make it new and beautiful. Or at least, less ugly.
So far, out of a guild of 200 members, six people have signed up for my class.  Maybe after I bring my before and after Debbie Mumm or Thimbleberries or whatever it is, fabric, I will get six more! Or not.  Of course, this means I have to find it.

Thanks to all of you who sent me jpgs of your various series! I have lots to choose from as I write my next lecture. And there are more coming, I think.(jpgs, not lectures).  Big day tomorrow - 'nite.


Eva said...

What a delicate matter it is to integrate letters in a quilt! In most cases, they seem to be so strong that they conquer the whole piece. A liberating act to remove them. And an amusing lesson on a familiar word.

Anonymous said...

Break a leg, kiddo! Full circle to go back and do a presentation.

My life is full of schmutz lately. I need a personal maid to dust out my brain.


Libby Fife said...

I like the part where you are "too far from a quilter." Good luck with it but I bet once you teach the class and they start talking about it, things will happen:):):)

Gerrie said...

LOL! You brought back the memory of my college roommate using the term: schmutziger Vogel.

Mostly Turquoise said...

Ah Rayna,

Schmutzig, schmutz, like the word but its meaning?? In Dutch we say: smoezelig, groezelig... removing the text improved the work, imho!!
in a pretty 'schmutzig' world (aaro the recent flooding...)

Gail P said...

thanks for "schmutz"! definitely fits my week. what a workout removing the text, but it was worth it! You rock, just wait until those who don't attend your class find out what they've missed!

TALL GIRL said... me schmutz seems more like mutz than book but whatever...when our daughter learned to read it was phonetically. she kept referring to spic-ahs. i would ask her what she meant and she grabbed a jar of cinnamon and said spic-ahs!

...schmutz...schmutz..schmutz, I love it!

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