"What a wonder life I've had! I only wish I'd realized it sooner." Colette

Aug 29, 2015

Fok the Wabbits!

I've been sorta busy finishing a crazy quilt I began 20 years ago following the untimely death of my 47 year-young husband, Tino; who suffered a massive heart attack three months after our wedding.   We'd just moved to Portland, Oregon, hoping for that fresh start; but now I'm the longest widow on the block, or however you put that.

Anyway, I drank Jim Beam and toiled from dawn until I passed out; looking up periodically as O.J.'s trial dragged on, and on, and on.  I cried while recreating in fabric places Tino and I had visited; private jokes we'd shared; dreams cut tragically short.

Believe me, I couldn't have written this at the time. It was truly heartbreaking work and tears still threaten as I remember how I meticulously stitched day after day, simply hoping the pain would go away.  I hadn't quite finished when I hit a dark period, and Sis, fearing the quilt contributed to my mood, packed it up and shipped it off to Mom's.

Where it's remained until I retrieved it a couple summers ago. I don't have the room to properly hang the quilt in my motor home so wasn't exactly inspired to finish the thing; until a friend suggested I look for quilt shows.  I did a search and look what I found:

"Northwest Quilting Expo has brought you innovation, entertainment, inspiration and value for the past 15 years. This year we are featuring quilts and quilting artists from our own backyard:  the Pacific Northwest. Plan to join us September 24, 25 and 26 2015 (in Portland, OR)." 

That sounded right up my alley and FINALLY, a deadline.  I finished in time and sent off my application with photos and 25 word summation (can you imagine...moi...25 words?); but of course I attached a full-blown story besides.

It's my first quilt show and likely my last.  I'm just pleased that what I created to honor my late husband will be on public display in the city where it all began 20 years ago.  My chosen category: "Art Quilt, Non-Representational: original quilts without a defined subject, relying on line, form and color to create the design.  Entries should extend beyond the traditional and innovative disciplines, using personal expression and originality in concept, design and execution."  Mine couldn't be any less structured if I tried.

I'll tell you what, finishing the quilt took all the ability my hands can muster these days, and as I grimaced through the embroidered border I was amazed and grateful I chose this manner of expression at the time.  No way could I create this quilt now.

I shipped it off yesterday and plan to attend the show at some point.  It's a drive and Ego-Amy is demanding I attend the awards ceremony the first afternoon, but I don't know if I want to put myself through that anxiety; been there, done that.

It's too bad people won't understand most of what I portrayed but perhaps that's right, too. Even if I were able to explain, I couldn't publicly do so for the patch shown below (due to my over-enthusiasm):  Het Fokkerei.

Het Fokkerei
So we're all sitting around the Easter table when the subject of eating rabbit meat comes up.  Tino's English was very good, interspersed with quaint flubs, which emerged at the oddest times:

“Are they wild rabbits, or the kind you f__k at home?” Everyone stopped and stared, and even I couldn’t fathom what he was talking about.

What???  He repeated his question. “We don’t (whisper) f__k rabbits at home…what in the world are you talking about?  My Mother's here!"

He explained that in Dutch, the verb to breed is fok; therefore, breeders are fokkers, farms are called fokkereis; on it goes.

I always compare myself to the tortoise rather than the hare.  It usually takes me longer but I eventually reach the finish line.  And P.S.,  I'll post a decent photo from the Portland show.

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