Monday, February 26, 2007

Your Body of Work

One of the neat things happening in my design class these days is that each month, a member brings in as many of her quilts as she can gather to hang a one-woman show. We spend time looking at the artist's quilts and talking about them. I'm new to this group, so it's a wonderful way to get to know these new friends. Only two women in the group are professionals (they teach in local shops) and I don't think anyone has ever had the opportunity to see all of their quilts hanging in one place. It's a wonderful and satisfying experience. So far, each quilter has expressed anxiety ahead of her show that she won't have enough to show, and then as the walls are covered and there are quilts to spare, draped over tables and chairs, we all marvel at how much beautiful work the quilter has accomplished. It's a powerful experience, I think, to see the result of such effort over time.

It's been very interesting, too, to see definite themes in each quilter's work that the quilter herself didn't recognize.

Our discussion yesterday led our teacher Marilyn to ask whether we'd kept a specific list of every quilt we'd ever made, including the very first one, and where it is (or where it went). None of us had such a list.

So, this morning I sat down at my computer to try to piece together such a list. The more I thought, the more quilts I remembered. My goal is to track down as many as I can to get photographs, if I don't already haved them. To my great surprise, I've come up with a list of over 50 quilts, most of which have been made since 1999.

So--I challenge you today: Make a list of EVERY QUILT YOU HAVE EVER MADE. And go ahead, count the quilt tops that you've not quilted yet. They're part of your body of work, too. I bet you'll be surprised at how much you've accomplished!

On a tastier note, Judy asked me to share the "Enchilada in a Blender" soup recipe that is a favorite in my house. So, here it is:

Sedona White Corn Tortilla Soup
aka "Enchilada in a Blender"

3 Tb. Olive oil
2 seven inch corn tortillas, cut into 1 inch squares
1 ½ Tb. Minced garlic
2 Tb. Minced onion
1 ½ tsp. Minced jalapeno pepper
1 pound white corn kernels (I’ve used regular frozen yellow corn)
1 ½ pounds chopped ripe red tomatoes (I’ve used canned chopped tomato)
1/3 cup tomato paste
2 ½ tsp ground cumin
1 Tb. Salt
1/8 tsp. ground pepper
½ tsp. Chili powder
1½ cups water
1 quart chicken stock
24 blue corn tortilla chips (optional garnish)
2 cups shredded cheddar cheese (optional garnish)
½ cup chopped fresh cilantro (optional garnish)

1. Over medium high heat, fry tortilla squares in olive oil until they begin to crisp and turn golden yellow. Add garlic, onion and jalapeno; cook 1 to 2 minutes, until onion becomes translucent.

2. Add half of the corn along with all other ingredients (except garnishes), reserving other half of corn to be added at the end. Bring soup to a low, even boil. Boil for 5 minutes.

3. Remove soup from heat. Use a hand held propeller blade processor, food processor, or blender to process in batches to the consistency of a course puree.

4. Remove to heat and add reserved corn. Bring soup to a boil again, being very careful to avoid scorching or burning.

5. Serve, garnished with blue corn tortilla chips, cilantro, and grated cheese.

From California Pizza Kitchen Cookbook


  1. Keeping a list is a good idea. I only started quilting a short time ago so mine are all on my blog. Now if I were to list all the clothes I have sewn it would fill several volumes.

  2. My list is even simpler than Joyce's! Only two and am working on my third. But I am learning lots of things from more experienced quilters - like put a label on every quilt and photograph every quilt before it begins its journey (if it's further than the couch!).

  3. Anonymous4:11 AM

    I keep a scrapbook with a photo of every quilt I've ever done, who I gave it to/made it for.

    I love looking back through the pages...

  4. I would love to do this...typepad offers a fee-based service to turn blogs into books...ummm, it is very very tempting to do this!

  5. I've been crafting all my life, and so many things I have given away and I am sure I don't remember them all. When I started quilting, I did track all of them. I finish a little less than 70% of my quilts. I guess I should say, I have finished quilting about 70% of my quilts. I'll get to the rest eventually. It is a fun list, especially to see how long its been since its been started.

  6. I would love to be in a class like this - to see other's whole body of work, and see their progression from the beginning - and to find out what others see in my quilts.