Friday, July 3, 2020

Stars of Solace

Audition Block

Ready to Piece

Just Playing with HSTs

Mom was exasperated.
Can I have just one room that is clean and uncluttered?  One room where I can seat a guest?
Is that too much to ask?

Design Wall

Two Rows = Half Done

Yay for the Flimsy!!!

Mom is an early riser and by early afternoon she needs a nap. If mom was taking a nap in the bedroom, we girls would take our toys in the drawing room and play as quietly as possible. And although we kept the noise level to a minimum the clutter and the mess was a different story.

And Finished!!!


The drawing room (formal sitting room) had to be the nicest and cleanest place. This was where the best family pictures belonged, my sister's artwork and my debating trophy was displayed with pride. The sofa and the table were wiped every day, making sure that there was no dust lurking in the crevices, that the carved wood was shiny.

Most guests never saw the rest of the house.

Star of Wonder

Star Bright

Star Light

Star Shine

Star Mine

I feel like that is America to the rest of the world.  The outsiders only see the drawing room. In fact, many Americans would rather not focus on any other part except the face they show to the world - human rights champion, bastion of democracy, leaders in research and higher education, and the land of opportunity.

Backing & Binding

Angles and More


Christmas in July?

So Shiny

More the Merrier

And America IS all that. That is why I wanted to come here and many still do.
But once I got a glimpse of the mess and filth in other rooms, be it the treatment of the Native Americans, Japanese internment camps, or the long history of slavery and lynchings which has morphed into police brutality and mass incarceration of the Blacks, it became clear why most Americans would keep the door shut on these rooms.

Light & Shade

I love this Glass Sculpture (art or just another phallic symbol)

Sun's Embrace of the Stars

Let there be light!!!

Today these rooms of mess and filth can no longer be our private shame.  The doors have burst open. The more we try to hide these ills the more they fester.  But accepting our past and facing the truth is just the first step. I recommend Michelle Alexander's book  - The New Jim Crow - Mass Incarceration in the Age of Colorblindness. It is an eye-opener.

Orange and Green Echoes

Do you see the blue lights in the background?

It was fortuitous to find this spot of dark orange flowers with dark green leaves and almost fluorescent foliage that matched perfectly with the colors of the quilt. I disregarded cars whizzing past and pedestrians trying to maintain safe distance from me as I tried to keep the shadows out of the picture.

About two years ago, we (two friends and I) went to see the Cherry Blossoms in Washington DC. The National Portrait Galley was a short walk away and the portraits of the Obamas were newly unveiled. We battled the crowds and the long lines to see them.

But that was not the highlight of my day. This was.

You may want to learn more about the artist Titus Kaphar.

This young artist's work is extraordinary and incisive.  It peels back the curtain (literally and figuratively) so that we may see what lies beneath.  I am not the only one who is impressed.  Titus Kaphar's painting is the cover of Time Magazine. 

As quilters (artists) many of us want to focus on just the beauty and keep our eyes closed to the horror and filth. Kaphar's work shows how one can do both - portray the grief and loss with beauty and sensitivity.

Stars of Solace - 64" by 80"

Having a spotless past (or a home) is not the mark of greatness.  Embracing our messes is just the beginning. How we take responsibility, accept our mistakes, right the wrongs, and clean our houses (not sweep it under the carpet) is what really matters. Are we up to the task?

As I gathered the quilt and walked back to my car, I noticed the orange umbrellas, orange menu holders and green chairs on the patio of a local restaurant. It was too tempting to pass. The umbrellas, the chair and the grass - all there to match my quilt.

Orange Umbrellas Frame!!!

 And then it got even better - a blue beer truck in the background. I am downright tipsy!!!

Every color came to the party!!!

Stars of Solace will be sent to Bernie for Mercyful Quilts. I will be sharing with all my favorite linky parties - see full list on the sidebar. I'd love your insights on both starry quilts and murky truths.


Angela has announced the RSC color for July - dark blue.
I was hoping for yellow and dark blue feels like a bruise...

Here are my picks

For the Picket Star Quilt Block

For RSC Project #2

 Linking with Angela's Linky Party.


  1. Your words resonated and touched my heart. Thank you for sharing them.

  2. What a beautiful quilt for Bernie's Mercy Hospital charity quilt program, Preeti!! You found all the best places for your photo ops, too.

  3. what a beautiful post - you say so much of what a lot of us feel - and the quilt is wonderful too

  4. Very well articulated, Preeti. The paintings are enlightening. Stars of Solace will be well appreciated and kindly received, I am certain.

  5. Your post was wonderful, how many of us feel. I love the quilt, perfect size for a Quilt of Valor--will be wonderful in red/blue/white. Are you offering a pattern?

  6. Beautiful quilt Preeti and you found some wonderful places for your photos, perfectly matching colours. The portraits are amazing, I enjoyed reading your words,,if only the world would learn from past experiences.

  7. Your post took me on quite a journey. Your words-reflect the feelings of many of us who were born here. Your photo locations-you took advantage of those marvelous locations to show off your fantastic quilt. The quilt-love the colors, design, and my favorite binding....stripes. Thanks for sharing. Barbara

  8. That's an awesome quilt. Love all the great lucked out with great backgrounds.

  9. This is a wonderful post,from the portraits, to the quilt, to the donation of the quilt. Thanks for sharing all of this.

  10. Beautiful post and very beautiful quilt, Preeti. Your photo sites were serendipitous! But I especially enjoyed learning about Titus Kaphar and his works. What amazing talent. Like you, I had been hoping for yellow for RSC’s July color. But looking at the bright side, we’re done with all the blues until 2021.

  11. Love the photo opportunity... perfect

  12. What a bright and happy quilt - perfect for the charity program! And great photos - sometimes the best shots happen by accident :) xo

  13. You should stick to quilting on your Quilting Site....your views of our great country are very sad...guess you drank the kool-aid. Unsubcribed.

    1. Sad, indeed!!! What is even sadder and pathetic is this - when we refuse to face the truth we are condemned to repeat the ills of our past.
      Your comment/reaction does not change the past of this "great" country. Slavery was real. Japanese internment camps were real. Jim Crow laws were meant to inflict terror on the Blacks. Lynchings of young Black men was real. Racial segregation has morphed into mass incarceration of Black men. These are facts not opinions. If we do not accept these facts we cannot pretend that we have any interest in promoting racial equality.

  14. Love your quilt Preeti! And the dark blue blocks are lovely. Have a great holiday!

  15. Thoughtful essay, beautiful photos in just the right settings, lovely quilt for a needful purpose. Well done.

  16. What a beautiful post, the words and photos!

  17. You always have the perfect words to explain the painful things that we must all face. No more sweeping them under the rug. I love how you carry us along with photos of your beautiful quilt, too. It's a perfect one for Mercyful Quilts!

  18. Your quilt is gorgeous! I loved your photograph journey for this quilt! Happy 4th.

  19. Thank you for sharing your thoughtful post. Shortly after the portraits of the Obama's were hung, my husband and I also stood on the lines to view them. The straight lines leading to the President's portrait made the actual viewing time short and formal. Viewing Mrs. Obama's portrait was more informal. We stood behind ropes that formed a semi-circle around the portrait. A little black girl asked a female museum worker, "Is that lady a queen?" The woman replied, "No she was the first lady of the United States and everyone loves her." The girl turned to her mother and said, "She's beautiful, I wish I knew her." I didn't hear what her mother replied, but I hope she told the girl that she was just as beautiful.

  20. Thanks for a great post. I think I'm going to head off and make a few of these star blocks!

  21. I love your quilt and all the fun photo stunts that you managed to pull off. Thank you for sharing your love of our country and the messiness we need to understand, expose, and reshape into a new way of being Americans. No more under the rug, let freedom ring and justice for all be the reality we live, not just a phrase.

  22. I always find understanding and comfort in your insightful posts! You have always been eloquent....the comment about debate trophies, proves it! Your quilts are works of art and your generosity is inspiring.

    I thought the same about dark blue.."black and blue, like a bruise". And I'm sure Angela just "picks colors out of a hat". But we seem to be on a dark path. I hope to add some light to my month, in the form of "Walking the walk, not just talking the talk"

  23. I love this quilt! And your analogy of the house is just right. As they say, "sunshine is the best disinfectant." The more we know, the more we can do. Here's to some lovely sunshine today, for us and our country. Happy 4th!

  24. Your star quilt is a beauty, and deserved every one of those fabulous photos. You did a great job with the photoshoot, but your story was the best of all. I have an awful tendency to untidiness, and usually live in a bit of a mess for a while, until one day I can't stand it any longer, and dig out. I think that time has come, not just for the US, but for many countries, to clean out the filth and misery that have accumulated. Like a sewing room, a little mess is inevitable, but from that mess can come much beauty and inspiration, if one only stops to look for it. Possibly a scrap quilt would be a better analogy than a melting pot, for all the people who make up our great countries. Each one is necessary to make a wonderful quilt, and each deserves respect and fair treatment. Take care.

  25. Congratulations on this lovely quilt and on this post. Well said. I love the analogy of the dirty rooms behind closed doors and the state that the US is in. It is so true. Well done; well said. ♥ ;^)

  26. Another thoughtful, and thought-filled post, echoing a lot of my own. I'm reading The Skin We're In by Desmond Cole, enlightening and horrifying both. This is a lovely quilt to send to Bernie. I, too, was surprised by the dark blue! I had thought it would be purple or yellow. :-)

  27. Thank you for this post. You are right, we have never come to terms with our past, especially as it relates to racism. It is more than time to do this. Let's open the windows and let the sunshine in, and admit the truth, good and bad. And then let's get the metaphorical mops and brooms and clean it up.

  28. Such a beautiful quilt with great photos. We always had to keep the “front room” clean too.

  29. Thank you for this striking post. I am hoping that we can clean out all those rooms, throw open the doors and windows, breathe in the fresh air and show a new face to the world without any concealer. I’m enjoying your quilt in the wild. Great eye for the setting. Mercyful Quilts will be thrilled. Looks like you made dark blue work for you with all of those tidbits of color in the fabrics.

  30. Know that my eyes are wide open and I am actively working on cleaning up some messes. Great post Preeti!!

    Orange and blue is such a great combination. Thanks for sharing with Oh Scrap!

  31. Lovely quilt, but what got me was your way of describing the United States. Wow. SO true - that we have our wonderful ideals in the clean room for guests, but we try to hide/ignore/deny the dirty awful things from our past and in our present. Acknowledging the horrible things in our past and working toward changing the current bad situations does not negate our ideals - it just means we haven't reached them yet and there's more work to do.

    I watched "Hamilton" this weekend, and what stuck out to me was the portrayal of Thomas Jefferson - darn near a god in our history books. He was definitely a genius, but he was most likely ALSO a cocky jerk who had no issue with viciously attacking political opponents and owning Black people as slaves. People want history to be a pristine fairy tale straight out of Disneyland, where the good guys are GOOD and the bad guys are BAD. It's just not. People are people - good AND bad, all rolled up in each of us.

    And now I will stop before my comment becomes an essay. :-)

  32. grrrr once again the computer ate my comment as I typed it... I don't know... do I need a shaman? I've always known you are a fine writer, but this post is so strong. Said with kindness with an eye to reality at the same time. I'm including a link in my I LIke post on Thursday. Thank you, for being you, and sharing your thoughts with the world. You are beautiful.

  33. Very well expressed blog post! Thank you. I love what you did with the 16-patch! I will borrow that idea to finish something soon!

  34. "(art or just another phallic symbol)"-😅
    Thank you for sharing thought-provoking artwork. To " portray the grief and loss with beauty and sensitivity" is a very worthy artistic goal.
    I love how the environment convered to congratulate you on your color choices.
    I've enjoyed your post, and will be following you on Bloglovin' in hopes of hearing more of your humor and inspiration.

  35. Thank you for saying what needs saying. Sometimes it is hard for me to read quilt blogs because they seem so bereft of the darker sides of reality. It amazes me sometimes that I will write about my fears as a mother of black boys and all people respond is "pretty quilt." Quilting and knitting are an escape for me, but never do I truly get to escape the fact that I live in a country where there are many who hate and fear me and my family simply because of the color of our skin. Thank you for shining a light in the dark.

  36. First - because I love photography - I love the spot you took your photos it - those outside touches really make your quilt pop. Second - Profound thoughts.... And thought provoking. I hope that we learn from our history - and we learn to accept and embrace others. I tell my kids... one person at a time, one person at a time cna make a difference, can change a life, can help us grow. Thanks for being a person like that ;-) Hugs!!

  37. Gorgeous quilt! Such a thoughtful post!

  38. Preeti, you are my soul sister. First of all, I am loving your pared down but oh-so-perfect color and design savvy with Stars of Solace. The little four patch sashing posts (is that what they're called?) are the stroke of genius for me, the way they echo and elevate the 16-patch centers of your star blocks. I love the gentle waves of your serpentine quilting stitch along the block seams, and I adore the diagonal binding that is the icing on the cake of it all. Second, I just finished reading The New Jim Crow myself, and YES!!! It DOES feel like ripping the blinders off, or throwing open the doors of messy rooms we'd rather not acknowledge, or opening that closet at the end of the hall and having a whole mess of stuff that was crammed in there and forgotten come raining down on my head like a landslide. I am recommending that book to everyone, too. Also, Kehinde Wiley (the artist who painted Barack Obama's portrait) is one of my favorite living artists; he is SO original and I find his portraits of ordinary black Americans to be even more powerful than his Presidential portrait. Here's an article with lots of fantastic eye candy examples of his work: However, I hadn't encountered the work of Titus Kaphar before, and it's so powerful -- thank you for sharing that with us. I am 100% certain that, whatever you do with your dark blues for RSC, it will NOT look like a bruise! :-)

  39. You always have a great quilt to share, this is no exception. What really shines are your words and how you articulate. Don't ever 'stick to quilting'. We are much more than quilters. You are much more than a quilter!

  40. I love your post. Thank you very much for sharing your thoughts and presenting them in a calm and loving manner. I also like how you took your lovely quilt and graced it with the outside world. You weren't afraid of getting it dirty. I like that. You're an awesome artist and writer.

  41. Very insightful and well written post. One has to recognize the past, understand the why in order to make the future a better place and not repeat the mistakes of the past. Congrats on a fun and bright finish, love the gorgeous one site shots.

  42. very good post Preeti. There are many things that need to be reviewed, not just in America. Britain was such a big colonial power and I think now we need to look at how we treated so many countries. As my daughter said to me one day, Colonialism was NEVER a good thing. Ah but, .... I went to say. Then I stopped short and thought about it, who were we to say we knew better than the actual inhabitants of any country. I do think we have to look back to look forward, but then I am a history student. On the quilting side, you lucked out taking your quilt for a walk that day! Love the pops of orange

  43. Such a powerful post, so well-presented. Thank you for sharing your National Portrait Gallery experience. Whew! So much to see and absorb. And yes, who among us doesn't need to be doing a bit of house-cleaning?