All posts filed under “Pennsylvania

The Keystone State.

Schwenkfelder Quilt Collection

Lone Star Quilting Lone Star Center Lone Star Piecing

At the end of March, I had the enormous pleasure of spending time at the Schwenkfelder Library and Heritage Center going through their enormous collection of artifacts from the Perkioman region of Pennsylvania. Candace Perry, the collections’ curator, spoke at a local quilt guild’s meeting on the quilts in their collection that I was lucky to attend. Seeing the quilts and listening to her speak about them was really inspiring, both as a photographer and as a new-ish quilter. The texture, personal vision and fine craft of the quilts was incredible to see in person and I was really curious to see how they would work as photographs.

Red Tulips Petal Red Tulips Border Red Tulips Quilting

Ms. Perry was generous with her time and incredibly knowledgeable about the Center’s vast and varied collection. She was very passionate about it and spent quite a bit of time with me picking out artifacts from the collection.

S. Loyd's Orange and Blue Piecing S Loyd's Rainbow Blocks S. Loyd's Red Piecing

While editing the images, I was drawn to the pictures that used the quilts as two dimensional compositions over the ones with the other objects in them. I really was thinking about the hands of the maker and how to convey details that, to me, fascinate me so much in older quilts. The quilting stitches, the piecing, the minor mistakes and the design of each of the quilts are what I look for when I see older quilts. It causes me to wonder about who that person was, what their life was like and what that work meant to them. I felt including the artifacts was creating a false history that I was uncomfortable with.

Rectangular Patchwork Piecing Rectangular Patchwork Backing and Binding Rectangular Patchwork Piecing

That said, I am really pleased with the way the images turned out. I wanted to visually examine the quilts and was trying to find smaller compositions within them. It was important to me to convey the intelligence of their design, the details of the makers’ hands and the way the quilts have worn over the past century.

White Wholecloth PA Dutch Motif White Wholecloth Signature White Wholecloth Heart

I’ve only really included the three best images from the 6 quilts that I photographed. I’ve created a separate gallery on flickr that contains more images that I highly recommend you take a gander at.

Brown and Yellow Backing Brown and Yellow Detail Brown and Yellow Quilting

Backyard Shenanigans.

Long Shadow, Backyard

I turned 28 last week.

As I move farther from my teens and see 30 on the horizon, my birthday feels more like a time for reflection and looking forward, than it does for celebration. I prefer the company of few, of quiet hours at home, of self-care. I kinda of like getting older because I’ve become more at home in my own skin, my own body, my self. In the 365 days since I’ve turned 27, my life has changed enormously. At this time last year, I had just finished moving out of my parents’ house into the house of my partner and I had just left a full-time job to start a business.

The past 12 months have been about learning. How to be open to new experiences, how to be social all by myself, how to run a business, how to meet people, how to put myself out there. How to open my mouth and how to be seen. How to push through self-doubt, how to move on from the labels and the past that I’ve always thought defined my present and my future.

Even though my business did not catch like I expected, I learned that it was okay to fall flat on your face. It’s much easier to dust yourself off and walk away, than it is to wallow.  How to find something else and how to move on. How to walk away from situations and relationships that are bad for the heart, the mind, the soul. How to notice and trust my own intuition.

At 28, I am young but haven’t represented “the youth” of America for a long time and found relief in being left off the hook for being cool.

How to live with someone that was not my parents or roommates, what patience and selflessness really are, how to be a long term partner, how to accept love, how to be vulnerable, what intimacy is, how to effectively communicate. How to give and how to receive.

How to be the leader of a one-human, one-dog pack, relearning the comfort of a wet dog nose and fuzzy dog butt. The value of a firearm. Walking alone in wild places, to the soundtrack of my own footfalls and the rustle of fields.

The value in a regular yoga practice, how strong I am and how strong I can become, what it means to really be present, where breath is, how to sweat. How to be in my body, how to love it, how to take care of it, how to honor it. How to feed myself and others well. How to make yogurt, delicious syrups and preserves from local fruit, cultured butter, my own tomato sauce, my capabilities for baking. How to strike the balance between good housekeeper and good person. How to find wild mushrooms for eating. The basics of beekeeping, the soft hum of a working beehive. How to ignore dusty baseboards in order to find joy and worth in other places. How to find a place to live quickly. How not to move next time. How to pack. How to get rid of stuff. How to untangle sentiment from physical objects.

How to grieve, how to be gracious at a funeral, how to loose someone so important.

New roads, new places, new ways to find home. My internal map, the roads that echo their promise on my palms, has grown and grown.