Category Archives: Santa Fe Quilt Exhibit


Serendipity. A “fortunate happenstance” or “pleasant surprise”. For me this week, it was a pleasant surprise.

It was serendipity, while shopping at Santa Fe Quilting, that the owner mentioned the Made in New Mexico: Structural Diversity exhibit at the Capitol in Santa Fe. It just happens that BigJ wanted to see the Santa Fe Capitol building, so do you think this exhibit was going to be missed? I think not.

It was serendipity — a pleasant surprise — that I decided to contact one of the artists and ask her if I could post pictures of her quilt, she agreed and we have had a pleasant email exchange.

Presence and Absence

I’m going to introduce Polly to you by way of her description of her quilt. Read it, and then take a look at her work.

Presence and Absence by Polly Summar, 2017

Polly says: “The natural landscape structures the emotional content of this quilt’s story. While making the quilt, I was trying to come to terms with my relationship with my brother, who was killed at 23 by a drunk driver. I pieced a background of fabric squares, sliced them in a haphazard manner and turned the pieces in random directions, just as our lives had been upended when my brother died. With red thread I began to stitch. The green thread came in serendipitously as a relational counterpart. As the process unfolded, the two lives were bound together again, intertwined and inseparable.”

The next two photographs were sent to me by Polly. (My photos were not crisp, and I want you to be able to see the quilt well.)

I was deeply moved by this quilt, the story behind it, and Polly’s talent. I hope you can see it close enough to see her work.

Presence and Absence by Polly Summar, 2017

Look at the amazing stitches in the quilt. So many stitches, so much beautiful work.

Presence and Absence (detail) by Polly Summar,

Quilting is good for the soul. It brings forth many things, a catharsis, or purging of emotions. Healing often comes through the work of our hands, either when we work alone on a project or join together.

By the time you are reading this, we will be heading home. I’ll have more to share with you next week. See you then!