11.20.2019

Hello from deep November, where I’m a little bit disoriented to find myself on the downhill slide of this month already.

In terms of the homestead, November means the transition from pigs to pork. We shared six months of daily banter with these guys and they were good company, hanging out with us here on their final morning. But after a wet fall, I was ready for a break from managing mud and hauling heavy buckets of feed.

And of course slaughter day is only the beginning of another long process. Cutting, curing, sausage stuffing, packaging… Nearly two weeks later, Dean smoked the bacon this morning, so after that is sliced and wrapped and into the freezer, I think we will be fully done. Phew. The upside, of course, is a freezer full of fabulous pork, and after several months without our own meat after the summer away last year, we appreciate it all the more. So far we’ve sampled the bratwurst (which we made for the first time) and face bacon and can report that both were excellent.

Deep fall also means more indoor time and I’ve got several new creative projects in process around here, including this quilt.

I started saving worn-out overalls at some point… not because I had any idea of what to do with them, but just because they seemed to hold so many stories of this place and these days of our lives. Then several months back I remembered the quilts of Gees Bend, and suddenly it was obvious what the overalls needed to become. I started cutting a few things without a plan and ended up creating the center panel. Then it had to sit for awhile before I was ready to start cutting into the Carhartts. There was more cutting without a real plan… I would work on it for an hour or two until I wasn’t sure what to do next then set it aside for a few days or weeks and when I returned, the next step was there in front of me.

And somehow it all came together into something that feels right. It’s just a completed top at this point, so I’ll have to figure out how I want to back and quilt it next. So far, I’ve really enjoyed it – it’s been both challenging and freeing to let the process guide me instead of my usual way of working from a pattern or clear plan.

There’s a metaphor there begging to be drawn out, but I’m going to leave it and just admire this bright and foggy November afternoon.

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