A few years ago some of my quilting friends encouraged me to enter a local quilt show. I had only thrown my 'hat' in the ring one time prior to this show, and the results were heady and memorable. I sent a patriotic piece that I had made for my son, who had become a career firefighter that year, to the local county fair. That's right, the LOCAL. COUNTY. FAIR. Oh, and did I mention that this show commenced in 2002? The tragedy of 911 still clung heavily to New York hearts, especially here in Dutchess County, 80 miles north of Manhattan, where we suffered many personal losses. Suffice to say, I won. Oh, I won BIG! Best In Show, Best Hand-Quilted Piece, Judge's Choice Award. I'm sure that I didn't deserve all of that, but it's ok. My karma was about to be leveled in a major way!
Can you tell that this just came out of the cedar chest, without the benefit of a good press? It lives here with me, at my son's request, until he has a home of his own. Harley seems contemplative. He's probably wondering why he hasn't had his breakfast yet. And why that quilt smells a little like Andrew ...
It's fun to look back - I used every technique that I knew - machine embroidery, hand quilting, paper-piecing, hand embroidery - no beading! Anyway, you can see why it captured the Judges' post-911 hearts.
Sometimes I wish that we could return to the feeling we seemed to embrace back then - people were kinder, for a moment in time. You felt it at every turn - on the highway, in the market, at church. It took an unspeakable tragedy to unite this country, but how quickly we have forgotten what that meant. I won't even start - the road rage, the inhumane treatment of animals, the war, the killing fields right here at home - on our playgrounds and in our schools. I am not suggesting that we need another horrific hit - simply, I wish that people would or could TRY to embrace the 'random acts of kindness' that we know to be healing. Restorative. Human. It's a place to start.
I digress. The Quilt Show. It was the Real Deal, with qualifications and fees and schedules. There were a lot of entries and the work was Really Really Good! But more about that, next time.
It's Palm Sunday, so I need to count my blessings and think about the tremendous sacrifice that was made 2000 years ago for me. And for you.