Back in the day when I was showing my work, they all had names. I’m not sure how I started that but I do remember having the names of some of my work changed by my quilt mentor, Merry Silber, in order to comply with the requirements to participate in a show.
Falling Water was changed to Whatever Happened to the Rainforest, Phoenix Rising was changed to Joseph’s Coat, and there were others too numerous to remember.
The first quilt I entered into a show, all on my own without Merry being the director of the show, was Sufficient Unto the Day. I was in a happy place, content with my life, in the moment and confident in my skills. This was also the first quilt I sold.
The photo is odd because it was taken while the quilt was hung at the show. Getting the quilt to the show had been difficult. I was running late and asked my then 9-year-old son to go grab a pillow case to put the quilt in. When I got to the show and pulled it out of the pillow case, it was covered with feathers. Seems he had no idea where to get a pillow case (I was such a hands-on mother he never changed one himself) and so grabbed one off my bed. I asked for tape at the show and spent a long time de-fowling the quilt.
The judging was harsh and I got nowhere near even placing. Little errors were pointed out ….. I don’t remember what they said and truly, it didn’t matter to me. I had worked a couple of months on this quilt, from dyeing all of the fabric myself, to drafting the pattern and piecing it by hand. Then I made the lovely mistake of putting 100% cotton batting in it, not knowing that needling through that batting was going to be amazingly hard.
The pattern is an old Amish quilt pattern and I used navy, fuchsia and purple as my colors. I quilted it by hand in navy thread. I ran out of that and went to the quilt shop only to find it closed and no one there. Hmm. The shop was moving and I was stuck. I finally found some 100% cotton quilting thread and continued on.
A few years later my friend, the quilt shop owner, hung my quilt behind her counter for all to see. We worked out a price of $1500 and that she would get 20%. Pretty generous of her, that was.
I was amazed when she called and told me a doctor’s wife who also quilted was in the shop. She had just purchased a lovely home in Grosse Pointe Shores and had a feature wall at the top of the huge circular staircase. She wanted my quilt.
The interior decorator helping the doctor’s wife with the home put me through all sorts of hoops like sewing on rod pockets so it could be hung. She drove me crazy I must say.
The sale was pretty close to Christmas. I called Mom and Dad and asked them if they wanted to meet us halfway, in Fort Wayne, Indiana. Funny story, as we didn’t know anything about where we were staying. Dad chose Motel 6, not having any idea that this was the local bordello. It was a loud night with drunks and their dollies screaming and laughing in the hallway till all hours. From then on out, I chose any hotel we were to stay at, anywhere.
I’ve named every quilt I made since then. I’ve made over 100 quilts so getting inspiration for the name can be a challenge. I’m thinking about giving them numbers ……….