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Close up of the rectangular units of the quilt. The zigzagged stitch threads the unique piece of the multicolored quilt together. Each individual rectangular has a few words embroidered across the surface.

Mom & Me & Mom

Taylor Jenkins

Cotton, embroidery thread, natural dye, fiber reactive dye, 2022

Growing up, the most important relationship I had was with my mother —and that sentiment continues to this day. She showed me how to navigate the world as a Black woman, often unseen, overlooked, or misinterpreted. In retrospect, I was learning how to move gracefully through the inevitable highs and lows that life brings. Mom & Me & Mom is a batik quilt-top. Handwritten on the pieces are fragments from letters originally written by my mother. Instances of hardship, healing, and intense joy prior to and in the midst of mothering her children are imbued into the textile. The text is honest and vulnerable; however, hard to digest and understand outside of the original context —akin to the complexities of mothering. The process of re-reading, tracing, and then rewriting her handwriting allowed me to see my mother and our relationship from a new perspective. I also learned how to manage the inevitable expectations I would have for myself and others outside of our mother-daughter relationship.