LAUNDRY CAN WAIT!
Another day in Paradise. David’s expected at work at 7. I have a full artCentral agenda.
We’re up at 4:14 for coffee and yogurt and intentions and singing bowl ringing. David makes a cheese omelet breakfast. Now he has just enough time to pack his lunch, have a bit of puppy play and my hug in the kitchen.
Oh, no! The Aussie’s on the loose! She’s charging past the kitchen gate searching for Ding our ancient cat—through the dining room the living room the foyer up the stairs down the hall and onto the bed. Now there are muddy puppy tracks all across our pretty white spread. Well, laundry can wait! We need to keep moving. Hugs, then David’s off on the Beemer.
I tidy the kitchen, give Lasyrenn her training walk and run her a few times through her agility course—over and under bamboo hurdles and down the hay bale and barrel tunnels—then take my place at my studio computer and look at my to-do list.
Write Art Notes, text Bev to check facts. Finish graphics for Membership Exhibition postcards and posters, purchase stamps for invitation mailing. Update mailing labels, ask Lora Waring to generate a new set. Swim laps. Play date for Lasyrenn (with her sister, Roxi). Prep for gallery hours. Set up for Josie Mai’s collage workshop.
“Laundry Can Wait!” is my mantra as I work from one task to the next until time to hug David when he comes home.
Home. I’ve been thinking a lot lately about the arts of home and hearth and how we’re celebrating them this year at artCentral. Josie Mai’s spring EAT ART exhibition, currently at Hyde House, is all about the pleasures of cooking. This autumn’s THE ART OF QUILTING showcases the art of stitching. (Visit www.artcentralcarthage.org/the-art-of-quilting.html to submit an entry.)
Josie makes food-centric art because she loves food. What inspires quilters to do what they do hour after hour—thread to needle and needle to fabric again and again? I ask quilters Jinny Hopp and Ruth Potter to share their quilting stories.
Jinny: “Quilters stitch quilts for the sheer joy of combining color and shapes in a unique creation, to communicate emotion and to honor loved ones. Though they seldom call themselves artists, quilters are artists—fiber artists.
My maternal grandmother and my mother were quilters. They both had a very fine, even stitch to embellish their quilts. They both taught me the sewing skills needed for quilt making. My mother passed on to me several bins of quilt fabric when she quit quilting.
I don't often hand quilt, but I do a lot of designing and machine sewing of quilts. Last year, using Mom's fabric, I made twenty quilts for cancer patients in memory of my sister who died from pancreatic cancer. Vicki Elliff takes quilts to the KU Medical center every Christmas in memory of her son who died from cancer. We share love with people in the hospital cancer unit through the quilts we create. Quilts are about love.”
Ruth: “Both of my Grandmothers quilted. My Mother never did. I was fifty before I started going to Quilt Guild Meetings just to hear the speakers. One day the speaker, Margaret Miller, said, “With my technique seams don't have to meet.” Her book describes her approach as “strips that sizzle”. I thought, “I can do this!”
I signed up for Margaret’s next day class. I don't know how many quilts I made using that technique. Everyone got one for Christmas for several years. Then I discovered attic window quilts showing scenes outside. Oh my! Everyone got quilts again. We were living in Washington State at that time, and each April we'd come back to Carthage to celebrate my mother's birthday and Mother's Day. On our way we'd attend the International Quilt Show in Paducah, Kentucky. I got to thinking about my bucket list and mused, if I could only make a quilt that would be accepted, I would be thrilled. After a few years I made and submitted a quilt. My quilt was accepted.
By then we'd moved to Texas. I wondered if my quilt might be accepted in the International Quilt Show in Houston. I sent in my entry. My quilt was accepted! Well, now the bug had bitten me, and I've been accepted in many shows, even Nancy Zieman's PBS show in Madison, Wisconsin.
The quilt I am showing at Art Central was thirty years in the making. I worked on it for seven years until my hands gave out. A Mennonite lady finished my thirty-year quilt. It's my last hand-quilted quilt. I've loved my hobby.”
David and I have loved this full and happy day in Paradise. The puppy is safely tucked away in her kennel. Chiquita, her companion, sleeps beside our bed. Ding’s curled up on top. We’ll snuggle now beneath our paw-printed spread and a couple of family heirloom quilts. The laundry is still waiting!