Thursday, August 26, 2010

Tequila Mockingbird - by Ska Face

If you play derby, you've heard of Tequila Mockingbird. She skated for the Windy City Rollers as a member of The Fury, one of their home teams. On August 25th, 2007, she fell during a bout and suffered a serious spinal injury that left her unable to walk. Although she went through what all derby skaters fear, every photo I've seen of her shows her sporting a stunning smile. Through physical therapy and an incredible amount of perseverance and hard work, she has regained some movement in her limbs.

Ska Face, her teammate on The Fury, made this square in honor of her. I'm especially grateful to receive this contribution, as the quilt wouldn't be complete without it.

Tequila is still recovering, and her medical care is expensive. Please take a moment and go to and make a donation. We derby skaters (and refs, and fans) have to help each other out, eh?

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Because my husband rocks

Here are some more photos from the show.

Saturday, August 21, 2010

The Reception

Anyone who has ever exhibited knows the "I hope this works" feeling right as the doors open. Will people come? What if they can't find parking? What if they all went to the beach instead?

Well, they came.

Then more came.

Still more.

They brought their kids.

Even little ones.

Really little ones.

They brought their friends too.

Even ones on crutches.

They even brought flowers.

I have no idea how many people were there. People from every area of my life showed up. Tons of my teammates were there, and just as many Cosmos and Pissahs. Friends from before derby showed up. My in-laws were there. Friends from NHRD, PVRD, and CMRD came. Announcers, refs, and volunteers made it out. Potential freshmeat came. Derby widows from every team were there. BDD alumni came. My boss, a coworker, and even current and former students made it. 

At the end, when just derby people and close friends were left in the gallery, I tried to let everyone know that it was time to go home. They cheered "Dread Smash!" instead and clapped for me. Of course I cried. Seeing all these people at the show, in a place where there was absolutely NO parking, in a gallery where it had to be at least 90 degrees with no air circulation and hardly any space to stand.... it was simply incredible.

I'll post more photos as I get them. I also have some new squares to show off too. Please note, that although I showed the quilt last night, the project is far from over. I'm planning on adding more to it, so please keep sending me your contributions. Last night was wonderful, and I hope to keep quilting and exhibiting until I retire from derby. As long as my knees hold out, I hope that will be a long, long time from now.

Friday, August 20, 2010


More updates will follow the reception tonight. For those of you who are wondering if I passed, I did indeed. Now time to graduate.

-- Post From My iPhone

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Thesis defense

Today's the day. They just finished five of the seven before me. I go on around 2PM.

--Posted from my sweet iPhone.

Thursday, August 12, 2010

For those who use FB events as reminders...

Here is the link to the FB event for the quilt. The reception is open to the public, so if you're in Boston next week and would like to have some wine and cheese with your quilt-viewing experience, please check it out.

I have a new square to add to the wall already. If you make a square and bring it with you I'll make sure it gets its spot in the gallery during the reception. How neat would that be?

Monday, August 9, 2010

I give in.

Can't get enough of the quilt? Follow me on twitter.

Sunday, August 8, 2010

A bit of neat publicity

Check out these lovely pieces of internet awesome about the quilt:

Mr. X. Stitch is an outstanding blog about contemporary needlework and embroidery. He did a sweet writeup of the quilt just the other day. I'm thrilled he found my little blog!

Definitely check out this site. I lost myself in the various articles and links I found there, even though I should have been spending time hanging work for the show. Having wireless internet access in the gallery could be quite enjoyable, if somewhat counterproductive...

There's also a great Q & A on the Boston Derby Dames website. Thanks Mona Mour for your kind words!

Friday, August 6, 2010

Done. Sorta.

The show opened yesterday at noon. I did it. This part is over, thank goodness.

It has cost me more than I want to think about right now, money-wise. It's also cost me my computer. My thesis defense is next week, so hopefully this will all have been worth it.

Please come and see it while it's up and open to the public. Here are the deets:

August 5-27, 2010
Reception: Friday August 20, 6-8 pm

Arnheim Gallery
South Building, MassArt

621 Huntington Ave.
Boston, MA
Mon.-Sat. 12-6, Wed. 12-8

... and don't forget that I'm still accepting squares. I plan to continue this as long as I'm playing derby, and I figure I'll retire sometime around 2050, maybe even 2051 if my knees hold out.

Monday, August 2, 2010

Artist statement... kinda sorta.

With Rollerconsolation and our league scrimmage taking up most of my weekend, I feel like I've been mentally away from thesis-land for a couple of days. It's been good for me because that distance helped me turn my stiff, horrible-sounding artist statement into something that feels right. It feels so right I'll even share my draft with you all:

I spend eight hours a week attacking other women on roller skates, throwing myself at them and knocking them to the ground. I spend nights chasing down and check-blocking my opponents, and I endure bruises, broken bones, and the threat of far worse every time I lace up my skates. This is my favorite part of every day, the source of the deepest pride I have ever felt, and the single hardest thing I have ever done in my life. I play roller derby.

This work is inspired by the community I have found since joining the Boston Derby Dames in the summer of 2007. I started the Roller Derby Quilt only a few months after becoming a “freshmeat” skater and I will continue it until I retire. It is a wall of collected cloth built from discarded uniform scraps, booty shorts, team jerseys, and shredded fishnets. It is filled with sweat and memories and a tiny bit of blood. The quilt was born from hundreds of hours’ worth of stitching, pinning, ripping, beading, ironing, and hand sewing. Over a hundred women (and a few men) have added their stories to the quilt by donating blocks, mailing me materials, and quilting sections to form the piece. Hundreds more have accepted my emails and forwarded them to their friends, teammates, and leagues.

Those who are a part of the roller derby community may cross the pink lines and gently touch the quilt. These people are a part of the project and it belongs in their hands. Those who are not are encouraged to read The Game and to take a bout flyer so that they may discover the world that we in the derby community have built together.

This is my tribute to the sport that has changed my life, and continues to reshape me as I strap on my helmet three times a week. It is my love letter and my thank-you card, my archive and my record. This work is my monument to my family on eight wheels. 

There are a few clunky parts, but I'm pretty happy with it. It certainly beats the old version with its copious use of words like "upcycle" and "ephemera." Yeesh. Just because I can write like that doesn't mean it's appropriate for this show. The work is too honest for that, and when I'm being true to myself, I don't toss out the vocab grenades just because they're in my tool belt.