The letters D & E and a well-placed Fuck You…

That’s right everybody; it’s time for the next installment of the ABCQAL. I think I was supposed to post the letters D & E yesterday actually, but after hiking all over Cambridge to get Bee a pink (not orange or yellow) reflective cycling vest (the small things mean a lot to her in the midst of her cultural dislocation) I was utterly exhausted. Ten miles of walking, an inpromptu birthday party for K, and then a giant tantrum from Bee left me bereft of the energy to even move my fingers across the keyboard.

So, here I am today with the next two blocks…

D, which is for discombobulate, goes a bit like this:


And E, is for efflorescence, which is my favorite word for flowering, is made thusly:


So, those are your next two blocks. Five down, twenty-one letters to go…

Now, about that Fuck You…

The next Braille Quilt-Along is from Jill of Made with Moxie. You can read the whole story of her Braille quilt here, but I just want to add a few words of my own…

I am not a silver lining kind of person. Actually, whenever someone tells me my (attempted) career here in the quilting world is silver lining to my muscular dystrophy I generally want to stab them in the neck with a seam ripper (lucky I rarely have one about). I see it as something crappy that happened, and this new direction is something good that happened. Yes, they are in some ways linked, but the whole silver lining thing just pisses me off. My generally attitude is “Fuck you muscular dystrophy.” Period. The end. Now this new direction is a whole other stage and thing. Not the side-effect of illness, but an attempt to mitigate the crap. Every day I still say Fuck You to my muscular dystrophy, and assume I always will.


Thus, Jill quilt genuinely resonates with me. “Fuck you lymphoma” seems exactly right. And I love that she paired it with personal messages of support and love for her friend (the one with cancer) on the back. It lets the two truths function together (the anger and the support) without trying to conflate them within a single space, much like that whole silver lining thing.


So, Jill, I feel honored that you used the QAL, and Thesaurus, for this quilt. And I love the way you just jammed the Thesaurus all together a zillion different ways. I never saw Thesaurus as a neat and tidy collection; while each of the prints may be relatively simple, the collection was built to be pulled together right up along that edge of overload.

Anyway, the next two letters in the ABCQAL will be up in a day or two along with another quilt from the Braille QAL. Hope someone out there is playing along…


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4 Responses to The letters D & E and a well-placed Fuck You…

  1. 1

    Thank you for the kind words, Thomas. I am flattered. And I love your Thesaurus line all jammed up together. It’s a riot of colors and words and dots of words. Just good shit.

  2. 2
    Jenny Bonynge says:

    I just like reading your thoughts Thomas…

  3. 3
    Andrea says:

    Well this is exciting! You asked if anyone was still playing along – I haven’t been, but I plan to start! An ABC inspired quilt that you help spell out for me? Yes thank you!

    And I agree – that Jill is a pretty rad girl and a talented quilt artist. I admire both of you and your skills!!

  4. 4

    I’m playing along! I just love the idea of the “code” in the quilt. I’m always looking for ways to fit charity quilts into my sewing time and this one is perfect. I can’t tell myself I don’t have time to sew six squares together every day. Thank you!

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