Patchwork memories.

Patchwork memories. Karen. Gouache on paper. Brandi Malarkey, artist.


“Memories, even hard memories, grew soft like peaches as they got older.”

This is a line from the book Garden Spells, by Sarah Addison Allen. Because it is a sweet book, it has ended up on my “re-read when things are gloomy list”, along with books like Anne of Green Gables. Each time I re-read Garden Spells that line always makes me pause. It resonates.

Right now so many of us are thinking and worrying about our loved ones. How to provide for them in such strange times. How to keep the people we care about safe. So much is happening that is more than we can take in. Several of my more fortunate friends have taken crafting to compulsive levels to channel some of the anxiety that builds up. My Facebook feed is filled with knitting projects, baking forays, and quilting squares.

Quilting is one of those projects that feels like it should suit me to the ground. Piecing small bits of color into a whole? Especially if you can recycle fabrics from other projects? Yes, please! My mother-in-law is an incredible quilter, and has shown me how. However, it turns out that I loathe the quilting process. I do not get as ugly to be around as I get while attempting felting, but we do not like quilting, no we don’t. It’s sad, for I adore the finished projects.

However, the quilting squares are sticking in my head lately, and mixing with the thoughts of my friends and family right now. I don’t often think in full stories, but more often in isolated moments like Polaroid snapshots. A cheerful rosebush outside a dear friend’s former house. Sitting on a shaded bench in Salt Lake City with a friend watching the sun on the flowers. Threatening to steal a rose bush that is surely unappreciated in its current location to transplant in a friend’s yard. Silly little things that stick in your head and all add up to the whole of caring about someone.

So I have put together a few small paintings that are my version of quilt squares. Just small little memories that I have been thinking about these past weeks, and am choosing to share. I hope your memories are as lovely as so many of mine are.

Patchwork memories. Linda. Gouache on paper. Brandi Malarkey, artist.
Patchwork memories. Karen. Gouache on paper. Brandi Malarkey, artist.
Patchwork memories. Lorine. Gouache on paper. Brandi Malarkey, artist.
Patchwork memories. Roz. Gouache on paper. Brandi Malarkey, artist.

11 Responses

  1. I love everything about this, and not just because of the yellow rosebush. It sparks all of my memories of people, too.

  2. Lovely words, thoughts, and memories – and the paintings are delightful! Thank you for sharing with us and reminding us of some wonderful moments in time.

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