Quilts are People Too

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    Have you seen this thing? So amazing. On mornings that I wake up to sunlight and it isn’t because I accidentally slept in, I like to try and spot new fabrics that I haven’t spent some time considering yet.  My mother, Marian, made this quilt and to do so, went searching for the perfect fabrics at three different quilting stores to get just the right combination.  Have you seen many quilting stores around? The answer is no, which means she was really on a hunt and had to travel out of state to satisfy her vision of what was meant to be for this piece.

Vibrant Hydrangea

Vibrant Hydrangea

   Growing up people would always ask where I got my “artsyness from,” as if it was a genetic trait that was passed down.  As an artist educator I am convinced that it is not genetic, although perhaps it is based somewhat on learning styles.  A more visual learner may gravitate to the visual arts, but ultimately art is an area of interest just like soccer is; if you are really interested in it you will naturally take the time to perfect the craft.  Olympic games aren’t won based off of whether or not somebody’s parents were interested in the sport. I digress, my mom and I would always respond to that question with “Oh well, my mom’s Aunt Nellie is a painter,” or my mother would get a spark in her eye and say, “Ed used to draw cartoons for me when we first started dating,” but we never answered, “Marian is artist,” and this became an obvious oversight once I started in art school.  I remember walking through the fibers department one day and it all just made sense.  I don't know what combination of nature vs. nurture led me towards an artist life, but let’s just get it out there people, whether I am an artist because of genetics or not, Marian is an artist! That should really be the title of this post.

Marian's signature patch that she puts on the back of each piece.  This photo also shows a great detail of the Batik fabric on the right (my quilt!).  Read more on this amazing process involving wax and dye here:  Batik

Marian's signature patch that she puts on the back of each piece.  This photo also shows a great detail of the Batik fabric on the right (my quilt!).  Read more on this amazing process involving wax and dye here: Batik

Marian gets an idea or an inspiration, alters it’s composition until it suits her standards, gathers materials, slaves for months, and then throws the completed pieces to people in trash bags saying “oh yeah, I forgot about these.” Artist friends – How perfect is that? Marian spent TWO YEARS creating those four quilts and in the end she almost forgot to give them to us on Christmas day as planned.  I really love how she was able to spend so much time on these pieces and not have them become untouchable.  It’s sometimes hard to value your own work the way it should be but I think my mom has found the perfect balance.  These are amazing works of art, but they are supposed to be cuddled in, used for picnics, drooled on, and thrown over your unmade bed to make it look all taken care of. We can love them and appreciate their artistic integrity, but we can do that from our beds and couches instead of having them be destined to hang on a wall. I'm glad somebody reminded her about them on Christmas because these quilts have really sparked an interest in learning to make them for me. I've actually spend about 13 hours working on one of my own in the past couple of weeks.. but more on that later!

Meghan, Kevin, and Peter seeing their quilts for the first time.

Meghan, Kevin, and Peter seeing their quilts for the first time.

Family on Christmas post quilt unveiling! 

Family on Christmas post quilt unveiling!