The last of the Any Color series for my grandparents is complete.
Red for Basil. Green for Lucille. Purple for Neska. And Blue for Gene.
Spending the last few months creating these has been both pleasant and poignant, a time of joy-filled memories of visits with beloved grandparents but also a time tinged with the sadness that never, ever quite leaves after loss.
The process to create Blue went more smoothly than those before it. Not all that surprising, I suppose. Practice makes perfect (or close to it), after all. However, the knowledge that Blue, the last in this series, was in memory of the first grandparent I lost made me a little weepy. There are tears stitched to, and soaked into, the fabric.
A piece of my heart went with each grandparent when he or she died. But in return, a piece of each of them lives on in me.
Blue is for Grandpa Gene, who lives large and bold in my heart.
June was a crazy month. I had to travel for work three out of the four weeks, two days each week, which should have thrown off my whole schedule. And, to a degree, it did. But it also motivated me to work harder and longer in the available time I did have at home in my studio. As a result, I not only started Any Color’s All Right As Long As It’s Purple (for Neska) in June, I FINISHED it in the same month! It’s the small things, people. Those little accomplishments that make all the difference between continuing and giving up. Celebrate all the tiny victories.
I love the colors in this art quilt. Of course, my love of purple comes naturally. I dug through my jewelry box for the embellishments. Grandma Neska loved brooches; I was surprised to find I had a few that would have suited her. Please let me know what you think.
I’ve mentioned in previous posts for this series that, while working on Any Color’s All Right As Long As It’s Red, in honor of my Grandpa Clark, I realized Red (for Basil) was the first in a series for my grandparents.
This third honors my paternal grandmother, Neska, who loved purple. She wore it in dresses and hats, brooches and shoes. I believe she would have had purple carpets, drapes, and even walls if my Grandpa had been willing.
Neska passed away when I was 10 or 11, during a time when our family lost several loved ones. I wish my memories were stronger, but those I do have are of a woman who loved her children and grandchildren. She called each of us Pet and gave the best Grandma kisses. My grandfather adored her, this woman who worked as a nurse before they married in the ‘20s. She was strong and sweet and loving.
While working on this piece of art for her, I realized the memory, of how much she loved us all, is the only one I really need.
Quilting is underway. Check back in a week or two to see how Purple turns out.
Over the Memorial Day weekend, I found a great block of time to finish Any Color’s All Right As Long As It’s Green (for Lucille). Pieced, fused, minimally quilted for subtle texture, and embellished with vintage clip on earrings and Nonie’s photo, this reminds me of the green carpets in her home.
While I was working on “Any Color’s All Right As Long As It’s Red” in honor of my Grandpa Clark, I realized Red was the first in a series for my grandparents. After a little digging through my parent’s and my own memory banks, favorite colors were recalled so the work could begin.
My maternal grandmother, Lucille, loved green. The carpets in the three houses I remember her living in were always some shade of her favorite color. She was an independent, strong, and stubborn woman — I’ve inherited all of that from her and couldn’t be more pleased. My brother and I were her only grandchildren, so she doted on us, taking us camping in her Airstream trailer to Paraiso Hot Springs. The scent of eucalyptus reminds me of those trips.
I remember her letting herself into our house, a dozen Winchell’s donuts in hand. “I can’t stay; I brought these for the kids,” she’d say as she dropped the box on the kitchen counter, one heel already turned to dart back out the door to run her errands or attend Altar Society meetings or visit with friends.
She also loved music. Or more correctly, loved musical instruments. She owned a baby grand piano, an organ, a violin, an accordion, a flute, and probably a couple more. I faintly recall a guitar. Probably not a Les Paul, though.
Lucille passed away when I was 25. She was the last remaining grandparent and the one most active in our lives. I hope she can see the field of green I’m creating for her.
Come back in a couple of weeks to see how the quilting is coming along.