Wednesday, 1 December 2021

Busy Hands


 Here's where I will be selling my fabric!
I will also have some of my earlier quilts there for sale at VERY reduced prices.
I'll try to post pictures of what I'll be selling later today, or tomorrow.

My Hand Dyed Fabrics!


I've been busy dyeing fabric!  The quilt top above is made entirely of hand dyed fabric created last week.  I'm still ironing it this week ... about 60 metres of it!
Below, are three of the rinses sinks. I think I filled the three sinks four or five times!
I'm loving the results though!








 

Wednesday, 17 November 2021

Finding Comfort in Dying

At the moment, this is still a work in progress.  Today, it will go to my quilter, Deanna Gaudaur ( quintestudios.com ).
Soon it will come home and go through a regular cycle in the washing machine. It will fray and soften. Then, this quilt will tell the story that I want it to tell.


In early January, I was diagnosed with Liver Cancer. At the time, the prognosis was pretty bleak because of my age, and talk centred around treatment to keep me comfortable and to extend my life for as long as possible.  Generally, the expectation was two to five years.

My head and my heart went to some interesting places during the weeks that I ‘lived’ with this diagnosis. My emotions were wild, but my head and my heart calmed me and brought me comfort.

I have crammed a lot into my seventy-one years.  
For the most part it has all been good.  
I have loved and been loved. Generously. 
I have cared, and nurtured, and been kind and giving.  
I have experienced that same goodness from others.
In my life my focus has been on creating positive energy. 
And positive people have surrounded me.
I have laughed lots. And I have made others laugh.
I smile whenever I can. And many folks smile back.
I have lived a happy life and I think I’ve made others happy.
There are folks who will remember me. 
They’ll smile as they tell my story.  
My quilts will trigger memories for a very long time.
I will be remembered.
I will live on.
I will be ‘eternal’.
And I am comfortable with dying.

Now … my prognosis changed drastically once I met a Doctor who convinced the transplant team that while I may be over 70 chronologically, I am significantly younger physiologically.  That got me onto the National Transplant List.
And my fabulous daughter, Kate, stepped forward and became my liver donor.
My prognosis now is twenty years. And I am so grateful for those extra years.
But I’m also thankful for the few weeks when I was able to find comfort in thoughts about my own death.  Because of those weeks and that process, I look at life and how I need to live it … differently.  
It’s all good.




 

Friday, 22 October 2021

A New Home for 'Surviving January'


 I recently sold my Surviving January quilt to the folks at the Eddie Hotel and Farm, here in Prince Edward County.
This is it, hanging just inside the front door.
I couldn't ask for a better home for it ... or a more stunning setting!
It looks fabulous there!

Thursday, 7 October 2021

MY NEW BACKPACK SHOW … ‘I Have Something to Say: speak your truth, even if your voice shakes’

 I am back to taking bookings for my Back Pack Show!!

Yeah!!

My Doctors have given me the go ahead, since there is no actual travelling involved.  

So far, I have been booked for Halifax, NS … Lethbridge, AB … Orange County, California … and maybe Haliburton School of Art and Design (if it runs next summer).

I’ve revamped my Back Pack Show and added many of my newer quilts.  After the year that I’ve had, my quilts more than ever, seem free to speak my truth … :-)

I’d love to visit your Guild, Shop, or group!

Cost is just $250 and you are free to invite as many paying guests as you'd like!

Contact me at b.stearman@hotmail.com





Quilts=Art=Quilts 2021

I am beyond excited that this quilt, ‘Finding Comfort in the Unknown’ was one of 72 works, out of 328 entries, selected for the 2021 Quilts=Art=Quilts show at the Schweinfurh Art Center in Auburn, NY.

You can find more information about this show here.



Tuesday, 5 October 2021

I Have Something to Say!

I am SO excited to be doing a version of my NEW BackPack Show as part of this event.

Of course we will follow all Covid Protocols, but I’ll get to see you in person … and you’ll get to see and touch quilts!
Here’s hoping that at least a few of you are in the area and able to attend!
😊 


 

The Soulfood Art Event @ The Eddie






These quilts will be on exhibit, and for sale at this show.









 

Canada Day 2021


*215 pieces of orange fabric 
*Quilted using text from the United Nations definition of genocide, entered into force in 1951


“Genocide means any of the following acts committed with 
intent to destroy, in whole or in part, a national, ethnical, racial or religious group, as 
such: 
(a) Killing members of the group; 
(b) Causing serious bodily or mental harm to members of the group; 
(c) Deliberately inflicting on the group conditions of life calculated to bring about its 
physical destruction in whole or in part; 
(d) Imposing measures intended to prevent births within the group; 
(e) Forcibly transferring children of the group to another group.”





 

Saturday, 21 August 2021

More Kind Words From Someone Who ‘Gets Me’


 I just LOVE the fact that these words came in a handwritten Thank You Note!

The young woman who penned these words is a favourite of mine. She’s one of those young folk who help me believe that all is right with the world, because someday, this woman, and folks like her … will be in charge!

Monday, 16 August 2021

Finding Comfort In the Unknown … the finished piece

 I started piecing this quilt to keep my hands, my head, and my heart busy during the two weeks leading up to my Liver Transplant.  I was filled with so many thoughts, feelings, emotions, scenarios and I just decided that I needed to find a way to be rid of all of that, and to focus on finding comfort.

This piece brought that comfort, and continues to fill me with comfort.

It is non-conventionally pieced using traditional Japanese yarn dyed fabrics. I didn’t use traditional seamed piecing because I wanted the quilt to fray and soften and have the comfort of my oldest and softest blue jeans.

While I was in surgery, my quilter, Deanna Gaudaur ( quintestudios.com ) quilted it for me.  

As soon as I got home I washed it, dried it, and then spent the night wrapped in its comfort.

It is perfect.







A Needle Pulling Thread - Issue 56

 I am excited to have a quilt featured in A Needle Pulling Thread  again.

This time it is in Brandy Maslowski’s column More Joy, Less Overwhelm.

I first met Brandy when she interviewed me for her Quilter On Fire Podcast series.  She is a fabulous woman and a real asset to the quilting world.

What I like best about her column though is her description of me as a quilt maker …

‘Bill Stearman is a Quiltmaker living in Picton, Ontario who turns a difficult conversation on its head, makes it into a quilt and tells a beautiful story.’

I LOVE that!  Someone who gets me.

Thanks, Brandy!



Thursday, 4 March 2021

Forever Changed

 



‘Forever Changed’

 

1:50 pm, January 5, 2021 … “You Have Cancer. Liver Cancer”

 

And with those words, my life is forever changed.

 

The doctor kept on talking. I know that he did. I heard his voice. But I didn’t hear a word that he said.

 

I didn’t hear him say …

“You’re lucky. We caught it early.”

“We caught this before you developed symptoms. Before you got sick.”

“Continue doing what you are doing. It seems to be working.”

“Stay positive.”

“We’ll get you into ‘the Centre’ as soon as we can.”

“There are excellent treatment options.”

“Your prognosis is good.”

 

Instead I heard the word “cancer” and everything went dark.

 

I had to sit down as his voice droned on.

I could see my family crying at my funeral. I sensed their sadness. I felt their loss.  

I understood their disappointment. 

I sank into my own darkness until it enveloped me. 

 

I wanted to cry. I felt like I should. But I couldn’t.

My body went numb.  All that I had were my thoughts.

 

I thought about my kids becoming the head of the family long before their time. 

I thought about my Grandkids and about how much they still needed me; about how much I still needed them.

I thought about my husband and the loss and the loneliness that he’d know yet again. 

I thought about quilts not finished; quilts still growing in my head; quilts yet to be started; quilts with so much left to say! 

I thought about daffodils and new gardens and walks by the water and the sun on snow and the birds at my feeder … and slowly I became aware of my doctor’s voice … 

 

I heard him say …

“You’re lucky. We caught it early.”

“We caught this before you developed symptoms. Before you got sick.”

“Continue doing what you are doing. It seems to be working.”

“Stay positive.”

“We’ll get you into ‘the Centre’ as soon as we can.”

“There are excellent treatment options.”

“Your prognosis is good.”

 

And with those words, my life is forever changed.



*NOTE:

Green is the colour associated with Liver Cancer.

The paint will have a matte finish once it is dry.





 


Wednesday, 6 January 2021

Quilter On Fire Podcast

https://www.quilteronfire.com/podcasts

If you have about 30 minutes, consider listening to my interview with ...

Brandy Maslowski – Quilter on Fire

Episode # 5


Friday, 18 December 2020

Juried into QuiltCon 2021


Words Found On The Back of a Painting by a Non-Binary, Trans Artist


Artist Statement:

These words are written on the back of a painting that I purchased from a young artist, Spencer Hatch. They created Their piece using acrylic paint and crayons. The paining is as gentle and quiet as Spencer if Theirself.

I think that we have all known that feeling of not fitting in ... on a superficial level. Certainly there are time when I feel like I don't fit in. But I'm not Trans, and I don't identify as non-binary, in a binary world. 
I can't even imagine what this 'wish' must be like for this young artist.

When I look at these words pencilled on the back of Their painting as a sort of secret message ... I weep.

Thursday, 26 November 2020

Sunday, 8 November 2020

Me ... a new one for promotional purposes

 


Photo taken by my husband, Larry Tayler.
Oh how I wish that I had taken the time to shave!  
I never think to do that since no one can tell when I’m wearing my mask.  
Still ... I do like the photo.

And if you are looking for promotional text ...

The Short Version for my BackPack Show
(and my personal favourite)

I Will be Silent No More

Bill struggled with storytelling as a way to make sense of his life for many years. And then discovered his voice in quilt making. 
Fabrics and carefully placed stitches express joy, anguish, hope, gratitude, and love, providing glimpses into deep and important stories; stories that matter on personal and social levels. 
His quilts make bold statements and provoke thoughtful consideration of a variety of issues. 
“With the help of about 20 of my quilts, I’ll tell their stories... my stories. I doubt that these quilts, and their stories, will remind you of your Grandmother’s quilts." 



Saturday, 1 August 2020

30 Dead ... and counting: Systemic Racism in Canada

I wasn’t going to post this just yet.  I’m waiting for professional photographs that haven’t arrived yet, but I could be silent no longer.

Posts were removed today from at the Quilting In Canada Facebook page because they were ‘too political’. They dealt with racism. So I’m posting this with just a poor quality photo taken by me.

This is a very Canadian quilt that speaks to racism in Canada.
It was finished yesterday. (Quilting by Deanna Gaudaur, Quintestudios.com)
The first QR Code leads you to Desmond Cole’s Blog entry ... ‘Remembering 27 Black, Indigenous, and Racialized People Killed By Canadian Police’.
The second one leads to a Canadian documentary made by Charles Officer and Desmond Cole ... ‘The Skin We’re In’.
These present facts, folks.
Let’s be the change!



Thirty Dead … and Counting: Systemic Racism In Canada

I will never again accept ‘tsk tsk’ from Canadians responding to racism in the US. 
Racism is alive and well in our own country, and we need to talk about it!
When I started this quilt, I knew that I wanted to address systemic racism, as I began my own education as a privileged, gay, white, male. I knew that I needed to learn, and I needed to change. 
In order to get a better sense of the Canadian reality,  I purchased the Audible version of Desmond Cole’s book, ‘The Skin We’re In: A Year of Black Resistance and Power’. 
As I listened to him reading his book, I wept openly. Somehow, as an apparently well informed Canadian, I had no idea that this is reality in my own country. 
This quilt, and my shame, grew as I worked and listened to Mr. Cole’s words.
Written on this quilt, in street graffiti style, are the names of the last thirty Black, Indigenous, and People Of Colour (BIPOC) killed by police, or who died while in police custody in Canada. 
When I started the quilt, there were only twenty-seven names.
In the bottom corner is a link to Desmond Cole’s blog where the names are listed, with individual links, so that you can read their stories.
Above that is a link to a CBC documentary by Charles Officer and Desmond Cole, ‘The Skin We’re In’.
Please follow the links.

#saytheirnames #knowtheirstories #blacklivesmatter