An NPR radio show this week asked this question: if you could go back and talk to your high school self, what would you say? Most men who called in urged their teen selves not to be afraid of the popular girls (bad advice: be afraid of them. Be VERY AFRAID). Women callers didn't care about the popular boys. They wanted their girlselves to stand straighter, stronger and with their true selves facing outward.
I thought about this a lot these past few days. So my advice to teenage me? In the lunchroom, concentrate less on where you sit and more on what you eat. If you remember, I explored this concept as it relates to stitching here, in my blogging infancy. Three years later, I find myself completely comfortable and at home anywhere in the stitching lunchroom.
Here's one side of me. Remember this?
I turned it into a gift for an amazing young woman who I taught to read Hebrew. She just recently converted to Judaism.
The embroidery is the Hebrew name she chose for herself, words that perfectly match the glow you feel in her presence: Shayna Or, or "beautiful light."
I feel so self-expressive and satisfied weaving these bits and pieces of scraps. But sometimes, the occasion calls for more than that. Here's Stefanie's chuppah (fermenting here):
Sometimes, I just have to follow rules. Liza and Kaffe invited me yet again to create a quilt for an upcoming book. (The one that will follow the book coming out in September 2016, for which I created this. So we're talking about September 2017, which feels like a date in a sci fi movie about the far distant future).
The quilt inside me was already named. "Auntie Em." Lots of little squares echoing Depression-era Kansas, like Auntie Em's faded old house dress. But the design itself eluded me. After listening to me whine one too many mornings, Liza kicked my butt to a magical place called The Quilt Index, which archives more than 50,000 quilts from the past. And I found her.
Same stitcher, different stitchings. Something my teenage self would never have been able to understand. That's why, while my heart goes out to that kid, I really and truly like the old lady version a lot better.