this is the first farmhouse quilt i ever made. it was may of 2011. i had an idea. i had scraps. i worked away certain i could turn my idea into something lovely. but wondered if other people would love my vision like i did. and somehow, just a few weeks after i listed it on etsy, it sold. i was excited. i felt like my idea, and my way of making this scrappy quilt, was valid. i would keep at it. and then, the woman who purchased the quilt emailed me. she told me that after hours of poring through etsy, she kept coming back to this quilt. and when she saw i was from kingston it seemed certainly meant to be. for she was looking for a wedding gift for a family doctor who lived in kingston. she mentioned her name and i recognized her as my grandfather's family doctor. he had died a few years before just a couple months shy of 105. i was thrilled that the quilt was going to her. really thrilled.
and yesterday, a year and a half later, this little story continued. we had our sale at the studio. a sale i didn't feel very prepared for because of the past couple weeks with edgar. but i had been able to finish edging the latest farmhouse quilt that has been professionally quilted and it was spread on the bed upstairs being admired. i felt like yesterday was the launch of this latest incarnation of the farmhouse quilts. the birth of a new direction. a woman and her husband came in, talked with me about this and that, and looked around. eventually she turned to me and asked, 'are you elmer willis' granddaughter?' i nodded, and asked how she knew my grandfather. she told me her name and as she was adding that she was my grandfather's family doctor, i was already tearing up. she related little stories about him. she remembered him. and remembered him well. and then she mentioned the quilt. and that it is beloved in her home. that it travels from room to room. her daughter had snuggled under it with her boyfriend, watching a movie the night before. and she herself had been wrapped up in it that morning. i couldn't stop the tears welling up. i hugged her and thanked her for telling me all this. i often think about that quilt....my firstborn farmhouse quilt that went off on it's own quite early, to someone who felt a bit like family because of their association with my grampa, but who i didn't know and never expected to meet. and learning that it is truly loved by someone who cared for my grandfather, is just so special. it was a good day.
Photographs Made With Pens
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