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Sweet Memories Scattered Amongst Tempestuous Times

Perhaps, considering the amount of drugs and alcohol I have been saturated in, the title of my post should be “Sweet! Memories scattered amongst tempestuous times!” reflecting my happiness to remember anything at all.

When I was drinking and using I always liked to consider myself, as sick as it sounds, in the process of preserving my body with all that I consumed. Kind of like the fifth member of Mötley Crüe. “Trashley Jackson” shredding the keyboards. :) . (Have you seen Tommy Lee? I was convinced the fountain of youth spewed Jameson.)

As far as Kaitlin’s quilt goes, one direction of the quilting is done and as much feedback I have gotten here, through email and my page on Quilt With Us I knew that the polyester batting was going to be a bit of a challenge to work with. It is bunching a bit in spite of the massive amount of fabric adhesive I used, but I don’t mind the pillowing effect too much. Maybe it will add to the comfort of the quilt? Or I will call it a pillow quilt??? :)



Getting ready to go out and get my coffee (see: four shots of espresso over ice) I noticed that I was noticing things.
I realize how strange this sounds.
What I mean is, I am catching details that would otherwise be overlooked in the blur of intoxication. And they are eye catching for a reason.
They are beautiful.



These hang on my bathroom wall. The top collage is a collection of notes written to me by Brandon. He would leave these messages for me on my bed side or stuck to the mirror above the fireplace in the room that I rented in The Castro. During these times, I was using so heavily that finding Brandon’s notes was all that got me through my day.

The bottom picture is a portrait drawn of me by Brandon. Unaware at the time, he explained to me later that the picture of my heart has barbs around it signifying how guarded and emotionally unavailable I was at the time. A pretty good interpretation considering it was something seen through the bottom of a bottle.



This is a work in progress. I’ll probably remove the picture on the bottom right, but it doesn’t hurt to serve as a reminder of just how miserable I was when under the influence.

The photo booth pictures are somewhat of a tradition with Brandon and I. Whenever, wherever there is one, we try to seize the opportunity to snap a memory. Inside of the photo booth seemed almost like a little escape from the chaos of our lives at the time.

The ice rink photo booth pictures were taken on my birthday, December eighth of last year. I had watched them build out the rink in Union Square and as it rained, we put on our skates and had the entire rink to ourselves under the sparkling lights of the enormous Christmas tree and the stars. It is one of my best memories. Ever.


Tenderloin Textiles

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Comment by Billie Blakeney on April 17, 2011 at 4:33pm
Reading your story is both heart breaking and uplifting as the same time. I wish you well on your journey to sobriety. You have so much to give and a creative outlet such as quilting is a wonderful anecdote to being free from your demons.  It will keep your mind busy and in the right direction. Remember, one stitch at a time to making a quilt complete. So it is with your progress to a healthy lifestyle. One minute, one hour, one day, one month, one year...one life free to live a path filled with beauty and potential. May God bless you and guide as you continue your journey. May your hands create beauty in your quilts for others to receive and for you to enjoy the pleaures of giving.
Comment by Prairie Quilter Jan/NE on April 17, 2011 at 3:21pm
The quilt is beautiful.  The poly batt should be fine.  So glad to hear of your success in changing the direction of your life. 
Comment by Terry F on April 17, 2011 at 12:32pm
I like your quilt.  Are you also planning to quilt across it?  Simple as it is, I've always liked cross hatch quilting.  You did well with poly batting; the last time I tried to use it I ended up taking it apart (painful!) and starting over with cotton.
Comment by Carol Vickers/OH on April 17, 2011 at 8:34am

Glad you have found a creative outlet.  Hope your wonderful progress continues and continues.  You will be in my prayers.


Comment by Michelle K on April 17, 2011 at 6:57am
Great job taking on the quilting yourself...and for sharing your story.  You just keep on letting us know how you are doing so if there is a time you need support we can all be here for you.  As for quilting keeping you busy, oh just wait, you will be up to your eyeballs in UFO's (unfinished Fabric Objects), I think that is what it stands for.  Keep on truckin'
Comment by Irene Gallway on April 17, 2011 at 5:39am
You go girl, your on the road to recovery and you couldn't have found a better hobby to keep you focused. Or a better place to share your story. I'll be praying for you.
Comment by Pam/NY on April 16, 2011 at 8:27pm
Everyone's journey is different and some more difficult. Keep posting and quilting, it will help keep your hands and mind busy!
Comment by Norma, Ont /Can on April 16, 2011 at 6:18pm
Thanks for sharing your story, and your lovely quilt,. I hope you continue making them, and we get to see more of your talent.  keep up the lovely work.
Comment by Shannon, ON on April 16, 2011 at 6:18pm
Great quilt. Good luck on your C&S journey....fabric is a wonderful, joyful addiction :o)
Comment by Barb/WI on April 16, 2011 at 6:01pm
Beautiful quilt!  You really are brave to be sharing your story.  I admire that kind of honesty.

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