Detroit, January 2018


The biggest thing I've ever made is a quilt. That quilt right up there! I cut out every rectangle on our living room floor while we watched movies. Tavi and I pieced it in the kitchen, she at the table sewing and me on the floor pressing seams open on our tiny busted ironing board. We tied it on the living room floor, with the corners rolled up, using embroidery thread from a garage sale in the neighborhood that Aisling and I grew up in. The fabric came from all over. Clothes. Bedding. A gift scrap stack from a friend. Calico from my momma's brief foray into making us pinafores as a kid. A hippie skirt from high school. Everywhere. The finished piece fits a queen bed and in our little space it felt massive- so big we never did look at it fully spread out before we mailed it to Detroit. 

Our friend Aisling is making a house. It's very similar to the quilt we sent her- made from old things and new things and pieced together over time with a lot of care and a lot of crossed fingers and friends and family. A house is a lot bigger than a quilt and you never do get to see the whole thing at once. Every time we visit my brain catalogues all of the changes. This time- there are walls where we used to be able to stand (and made damn sure that we did stand, so we could be the only people who ever existed in that space that is now a wall! Wow!). There are newly sanded floors that glow like honey and feel like lake-packed sand under your feet. There are glass panels in the windows, there is a garage. Solid colored walls are appearing and there are beautiful cast iron heat grates and there is beautiful heat coming out of them. 

One day the house will be done (it will, Ais, I promise!) and there will be more drywall and paint and cabinets covering the memories, and I hope they will help make it a tough strong house and anyone who lives there from now until it is falling down again will feel the love that has happened in those rooms before they were rooms.