Without the women in my family, I doubt that I would have chosen textiles and fiber as my preferred mode of artistic expression. My great grandmother and my grandmother were both expert home makers. With small resources they made linens and clothes and they strove to keep things neat, clean, and long lasting. I still remember great grandma Berta crocheting star doilies, slowly and patiently with hands deformed by arthritis and age. My grandmother Elsa took great pride in her linen closet and would often show us the neat stacks of ironed and folded linens during family visits. My mother Mona made clothes for herself and her three daughters. Every spring we would patiently await the unveiling of the new season's outfits, sometimes matching, always elaborate and beautiful. She was also an expert weaver, knitter, and chrocheter... Numerous are the things in my home that are made by her hands. She still has several projects in the works. One of them is an ambitious quilt that we are working on together across continents made from my fabric remnants.
When we were assigned to make a book during my recent workshop at Shakerag in Tennessee (more about the workshop and my teacher Jody Alexander here), I decided to make mine a homage to these three wonderful women. A small ode and keepsake to celebrate their lives and skills. I called it common threads and the book is filled with photos, fabric, and samples of their work. A few reflections are leading the way.
The colors are muted, mostly black and white. I decided to use paper pages onto which the textiles, images and words where attached, which proved to be challenging since the effects on the reverse side needed consideration for each spread. The book is 7" x 7" and has sixteen pages plus cover. I am pleased with the outcome and proud of the heartfelt narrative. And I love the cover—made from an old table linen, stitched and quilted just like a blanket keeping the story warm and safe.