there are little shifts that shape a life. and in my life, it's the quilt thing that always surprises me. for most of my life, i didn't notice quilts. they held no appeal to me. i didn't seek the story or notice the artfulness in a quilt. there may have even been a bit of contempt in my youthful artist's sensibilities, considering them folksy and simple, those being characteristics i hadn't yet learned to admire. yet many of my memories from childhood are anchored with a quilt, or the making of quilts. and i remember wandering through an exhibition at the u of michigan art museum in my ann arbor days. it was an exhibition of quilts that i expected to dismiss, but found myself enjoying. the idea, the import, the interest, must have spent years fermenting and settling deep in. so when i was cuddled on the couch with tom, watching a movie (the eternal sunshine of the spotless mind), almost 9 years ago, and my eye was drawn inexplicably to a relatively small detail, a quilt of large colorful squares of vintage fabric, my life took one of those dramatic turns. but i suppose i wouldn't have noticed the quilt and been so pulled into it's design, if i didn't have an internal tug in that direction to begin with. and finally, at 38 years old, i was allowing it to surface. (i searched for an image from the movie. and this is the only one i could find..... i feel like i'm looking at an old friend, a part of my family. although it's been years and years since i've seen the movie or this pivotal quilt.)
if you watch the movie, you'll see it here and there. but to me, it was all i noticed. like a main character. but why? i fancied myself a painter then. i noticed line and juxtaposition and composition. i didn't know i noticed fabric. sure i bought fabric that i would stretch and paint on. and it turned out i had quite a bit, because the morning after the movie, i had enough fabric to cut and sew and fashion a quilt of sorts. it evolved, this first quilt. all my quilts really. they sprout from my head and my hand. and from that moment, a day doesn't pass that my thoughts aren't full of the chaos of pattern and color and managing it all into something a little wild and yet cohesive.