When I look at paper, my mind goes blank. When I look at fabric, I see endless possibilities. This phrase is my “tag line” for all the years my mother inspired me.
She crocheted, but went back to quilting. She did embroidery and cross stitch, but went back to quilting. She knitted, but went back to quilting. She did ceramics, but went back to quilting.
She didn’t drive. She depended on old clothes and fabric catalogs for her stash. She made a necktie crazy quilt from her father’s ties. She made patchwork quilts from our old clothes. One of her needle turn applique and hand stitch quilts are made from the quiet colors of a lifetime.
As she got older, she spent more time sitting down. She adjusted by creating things from tiny squares, hexagons, and flower petals. She loved applique by hand. She loved quilting by hand.
She loved nature and when she was able, she gardened. Flowers and vegetables were always in our home. It is not surprising that I majored in horticulture in college. She loved the birds that came to her feeder. Things she loved always showed up in the quilts she made.
She bought a cute little bird for her garden. One day after a rain, I went out to discover a tiny flower petal sitting atop the birds head. I took a picture. I made a sketch. I made a quilt block.
She had a stroke. Thinking and quilting became impossible for awhile. She was determined to heal. Sewing became the therapy for her fine motor skills. I bought her a small felted project. Her fine motor skills became just fine.
When she passed away, I sat staring at four drawers of her lifetime in fabrics and quilts. I knew immediately what the name of my shop would be. I knew she would inspire me. I knew she was the baseline from which I would create. She is in everything I make.
Who has inspired the artist in you?