Gaslight - Domestic Abuse Quilt Series #8

Gaslight, finished size 16'' by 16''


Gaslighting is defined by Miriam Webster - " to attempt to make (someone) believe that he or she is going insane (as by subjecting that person to a series of experiences that have no rational explanation)" and by the Oxford dictionary - "Manipulate (someone) by psychological means into doubting their own sanity."

Abuse is about power and control and gaslighting is an abuser's way of gaining control over their victim's memories and sanity. The abuser controls what the victim thinks by giving an alternative "truth" that the victim eventually believes.

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An abuser can gaslight a victim by questioning their memory of an event (saying something didn't happen that actually did, lying about key facts or details, etc.) or by creating conditions that cause the victim to believe their memory is unstable (cancelling a doctors appointment the victim made, hiding important objects like keys or phones, rearranging a living space or adjusting lighting, etc.). 

The gaslighting techniques are used to try to make the victim doubt their own thoughts, memories and actions. Soon the victim is scared to bring up any topic at all for fear they are "wrong" about it or don't remember the situation correctly.

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Gaslighting can even beget more gaslighting: an abuser might hide an object or cancel an appointment without the victim's knowledge and then "help" the victim find the misplaced object or sort out the situation while berating them for their poor memory or inability to care for themselves.

From the National Domestic Violence Hotline:  "Gaslighting typically happens very gradually in a relationship; in fact, the abusive partner’s actions may seem harmless at first. Over time, however, these abusive patterns continue and a victim can become confused, anxious, isolated, and depressed, and they can lose all sense of what is actually happening. Then they start relying on the abusive partner more and more to define reality, which creates a very difficult situation to escape."

Domestic Violence knows knows no boundaries when it comes to race/gender/sexuality/age/socioeconomic status/geographic location/culture.  

Remember, it affects ten million in the US every year.  If you or someone you know is experiencing domestic abuse, please know that the folks at the National Domestic Violence Hotline (1 800 799 SAFE or are ready to listen and support you, as well as refer you to a local program or organization. If you observe someone being abused, you can also call the hotline.  A good samaritan call can save a life!




All of the quilts in the Domestic Abuse series so far can be viewed here.


Read more about each quilt:








A Tisket a Tasket, a Tiny Little Basket

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I've tidied in the studio and put a few of my works in progress on the design wall. I like doing that so that I can think about them while I'm working on other projects. Sometimes they speak to me. This week the little baskets I started last September were calling my name.  

I pulled out the Oakshott cotton scraps and started working on them again. 

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The handles are made from a 1/2'' strip of bias. I fold it in thirds and baste down the middle. I tuck the ends of the strip into the seam of the basket top and the background. After the block is finished, I will hand applique the handle down.

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These little two inch baskets play nicely with the leftover two inch stars that are also on the design wall.

Log Cabin Blues

I love snuggling under a warm quilt filled with a wool batting. The wool makes it extra warm for Michigan winters. The last wool filled quilt I made for our couch was a little too short. When I would pull it up to my neck, my feet would stick out of the other end. I needed a bigger quilt. 

The inspiration for the colors in the quilt came from a stack of old jeans in my sewing room. I pulled out all my blue solids and a gold that is reminiscent of the jeans top stitching thread.

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The binding used up the last of the scraps from making the top. It looks like I need to replenish my blue fabric stash. 

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I love the back of the quilt almost as much as the front. 

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When I'm not snuggling under this one, I'll be using it as a teaching tool in my log cabin and improvisational piecing classes. 

Finished size: 49'' x 69''

More from the Renwick

As I mentioned yesterday, we stopped by the Renwick Gallery when we were visiting family in Virginia. In addition to the nutshell dioramas I saw a couple  of other pieces I have been eager to see. 
First was the quilt by Sabrina Gschwandtner made from vintage 16mm film.

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The docent told us that the color film is from a documentary on the production of different fibers and textiles. 

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The images that look like planets are actually a view of a single fiber through a microscope. 

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I found the whole thing to be fascinating.

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The black and white film used for the border of the quilt was from a film about women and fashion. I was interested in how different the piece looked up close and from far away. 

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I was also excited to see Kathryn Clark's DC Foreclosure Quilt.  I saw her Flint Foreclosure Quilt in Lansing last spring.

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I am a big fan of Kathryn's work, and impressed with the research and thought that goes into each piece.

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I enjoy visiting the Smithsonian and wish we lived closer so that we could visit regularly. 

Murder is Her Hobby

We are back from a trip to Virginia to visit family. While we were there we managed to squeeze in a little sight seeing. 
I really wanted to go to the Renwick to see the  Murder Is Her Hobby: Frances Glessner Lee and The Nutshell Studies of Unexplained Death exhibit. Murder is her Hobby consists of small 1/12th scale dioramas of actual murder scenes made by Frances Glessner Lee, the first female police captain in the US. The scenes were built in the 1940s and 50s. to help train detectives and forensic scientists and are still used today. The exhibit is the first public display of the complete series of nineteen studies still known to exist.
Each diorama had a small flashlight that you could use to study the scene. 

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The attention to detail was quite impressive. I particularly appreciated the hand knit articles.

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How about this quilt on the upper bunk bed?

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This site has some great photos with some clues and suggestions for investigators. It's all so interesting, if you are in the DC area this month I suggest you go have a look!

Whole Nine Yards - pdf pattern available

Whole Nine Yards corner

Since my quilt, Whole Nine Yards, was in issue 16 of Fat Quarterly Magazine I've been getting many requests for the pattern. 

Today is your lucky day! The pdf pattern is now available for purchase in my shop here, and on craftsy.

Whole Nine Yards PDF pattern

This queen size quilt pattern is a stunning scrap buster project. It is an original variation of a quilt block called Twinkling Star. This variation has more scrap sections and is pieced as a whole quilt rather than individual star blocks. It is the perfect project for the quilter who has a lot of scraps and loves working with small pieces of fabric.

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Random Triangles

I've been working on finishing projects this fall. Here's my latest finish. 

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This quilt was made from solid charm squares. Each square was cut in half on the diagonal and randomly sewn to another triangle. 

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After the half square triangle units were made I arranged them out into rows without looking at the orientation of the seam or color placement. The result is a quilt with unexpected secondary shapes and patterns like the diamond in the lower right of the photo below. 

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This shape created by yellow triangles adds interest.

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What about this shape made from this arrangement of dark fabrics below? If I had spent time arranging and moving the squares before sewing them together I likely would have ended up with a less visually interesting quilt.

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This is the second quilt I have made using this technique and I am thrilled with both of them. You can see the first of the two quilts here.

The backing is a combination of a vintage batik I got on a trip my family took to Indonesia in 1978 and a red and white gingham. 

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This combination makes me happy. 

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Finished size 43'' by 50''.

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Tools of the Trade

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I've been getting a lot of questions about the tools I use for hand quilting, so here are some details about the tools I used when quilting this log cabin quilt.

Grip it Dots  - I stick one of this on the tip of my index finger. They make pulling the needle through the fabric much easier. 

Gutterman Quilting Thread - my thread of choice for hand quilting. It is strong and has a finish that makes it easy to thread through the needle and pull through the fabric. I love the look of the stitches is creates. 

Roxanne Betweens - I use size 10 betweens by Roxanne. They are strong and have an easy to thread eye and the tip works well for stacking stitches on the needle. 

Roxanne marking pencil in white - this is the marking pencil I use for dark fabrics it rubs off easily. 

Verithin Silver colored pencil - this pencil works well on light fabrics and rubs off easily.

Gingher Stork Scissors - I love these little scissors for snipping threads. 

Thimble - I have had this thimble for more then 30 years. I've looked for another like it but without success. Here's one that is very similar. Make sure to find one that fits snug on your finger. 

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