linkage: Rachel, thank you for taking the time to talk to us about your quilt.
ramara: Oh, I'm glad to do it.
linkage: And are you enjoying your stay at NetRoots?
ramara: Absolutely. I'm meeting people for the first time who I've known online for a long time, and also meeting old friends.
linkage: old friends. And what does the quilt mean to you?
ramara: When Sara first emailed me to ask if I wanted a quilt. I had been thinking that there hadn't been a whole lot of quilts yet. I had been wondering how sick I would have to get in order to get on her list because they were so wonderful. And then she called because there were so many things in my life that she thought that I would be a good person to make a quilt for.
ramara: I look at the quilt sometimes, and I think these messages (and) I don't believe people could say that to me,or I don't believe people could feel that about me. And then I look at some of the fabric squares, and they make me laugh. So I get to cry and I get to laugh, and when you do both of those things, there's a wholeness about it, and that was what the quilt was supposed to do for me.
Not that I had a particular sickness; it's just that my life was very disjointed at the time, and so I was not sleeping in my bed. I had glass all over my bed and all over the floor of my room from a time when my son had tried to break in. And it wasn't right away that I went back to sleep in my bed and got all of that fixed, but the emotional readiness to do that partly came from this quilt because of the things that it put together for me and all the feelings...
Sara posted the first diary, asking for messages. The very next day, my son, who was homeless at the time -- I hadn't heard from him for several months. The very day after that first diary was posted, I got a call from a policeman who told me that he knew my son and was kind of looking out for him to try and see he didn't get into much trouble. He was sort of a hapless person rather than a really bad person. And when I said that I hadn't heard from my son for several months, he gave me his phone number and said when I hadn't heard for a while, I could call him, and he would find out what he could find out. So the magic began as soon as the quilt began.
You know, one of my favorite squares, which is now my Daily Kos avatar, is a bunny rabbit playing a violin. Ann said, "Well, what are your interests?" I said, "Well, music. You know I play the violin and that's one thing." And she found...you know, I think that the actual fabric was probably an animal. It looks like it was a whole animal orchestra, but that she got this floppy-eared bunny playing the violin is just amazing.
The quilt was from my online friends. The cleaning up of the mess was my music friends. And it was just part of this wonderful feeling experience for me.
And it took some months before friends came and helped me to get the glass up, so I could get back to my bed and use the quilt as it was meant to be used. That was just such a feeling of wholeness and completeness.
linkage: Is there anyone you'd like to thank?
ramara: Well, of course, I'd like to thank Sara and Ann whose work on it is just amazing and for finding these squares of fabric that just take me everywhere.
linkage: Well, thank you very much.