I remember the first time I heard the Mountain Goats. Ten years ago, a friend of mine in graduate school made me a mix called "Apple Holla" for our road trip to an apple orchard in Wisconsin. It had some songs I'd heard before, and some that were new to me. The best mixes inspire listeners to seek out new music, and that's what "Apple Holla" did for me by introducing me to the Mountain Goats.
After hearing the Mountain Goats song "No Children" on the mix, I bought and listened to as many of their albums as I could get my hands on. Eventually I heard the song "Dance Music."
Sometimes it takes time and distance for us to understand relationships in our lives. My father did not live in my house when I was growing up, but that didn't stop him from damaging me and my family. He was a liar and a misogynist, and the worst memories I have of growing up are trying to block out the sound of my mother crying and yelling at him over the phone. Some of us have problematic relationships with our parents, and after growing up to realize all the harm he did he is no longer part of my life. It's for the best.
Lean in close to my little record player on the floor
So this is what the volume knob's for
I listen to dance music
Listening to music became incredibly important to me. I would sit on the floor of my bedroom with headphones on as loud as I could stand, reading lyric books and trying to understand every song I heard so I didn't have to hear anything else. So I decided to make a quilt about this feeling and this song to make something lovely out of something awful.
Is the large black circle a record, or is it a hole from a broken family? Are the teal squares getting darker to represent the volume turning up, or are they getting lighter as toxic and emotionally abusive family members leave your life?
This quilt, like the song "Dance Music," has been in my mind for a long time. I'm glad it's finally finished and it exceeded all my hopes and expectations for how it would look. I'm proud of making something I love so much out of such painful memories.
Fabrics: Black is Kona cotton, purple is from the line Tattooed by Libs Elliott for Andover Fabrics, teal is V & Co Ombre for Moda Fabrics, binding and backing is Widescreen by Carolyn Friedlander for Robert Kaufman.