Aging’s Fragile Quilt

I just brought home my Paper Quilt that hung in The Terrace Art Gallery’s Member’s Show for the month of August. This project began in the spring during a workshop I led on paper making. It was inspired by a discussion with friends on Aging. This piece is the size of a baby quilt, somehow an appropriate metaphor. Just as we enter the world and need comfort and nurturance, this follows suit as our time diminishes and we become more brittle and fragile. It is a tender time often fraught with ambiguity of what’s to come. How do we traverse this next passage with some measure of dignity when our bodies and brains are continually changing?  As we and our loved ones navigate this terrain, my wish is that all have the support to feel safe, warm and loved.

Front of Quilt: pressed leaves in homemade paper squares glued and sewn together

Paper quilt front outsidepaper quilt back









Back of Quilt
Burlap and lace
with poem attached


Paper Making

in a water bath shredded memories
former letters   discarded envelopes
to do lists half completed

pressed into liquid pulp
skeletal leaves reveal
transparent veins

only yesterday thin filaments
picked beside a well trodden path
misguided steps could disintegrate into ash

do they remember the moment
released from Maple limbs fiery blaze
scarlet skirt circling gnarled trunk

creaking bones scrubbed clean
with winters white attire
trembling fingers still wanting to hold on

paper quilt 1









About Joan Conway

My artistic passions are poetry and collage. But I am curious human, always exploring new mediums, new opportunities for creative expressions.
This entry was posted in Art projects, Collage, Workshops and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

4 Responses to Aging’s Fragile Quilt

  1. Agatha says:

    Aging – theme to scary to explore. But you did it Joan. I bet with laughter. Thrilling poem of yours. Congratulation!
    One question for all – Why do we not celebrate when we crossing from adult to senior? We celebrate when we cross from youth to adulthood. Really it could be very beautiful celebration. With kids present, colleges from all previous workplaces, best memories pull out. After the Celebration is over you would permit yourself to be slow, more sharp, tasting with pleasure new rytm of life.
    That would be after 55!

    • Joan Conway says:

      Thank-you Agatha, Yes very good inquiry into our reluctance to look at, accept and celebrate such a natural cycle. And as always you are the queen of celebrations, wouldn’t it be wonderful if this was indeed a part of our culture.

  2. Kathleen says:

    It was a pleasure to see this quilt in the Members Show and reading your poem makes it even more memorable. Thank you Joan and the paper quilters for two ageless works of art!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s