I know, I know. I said I was finished gathering unwanted textiles.
While I'm not "officially" accepting more contributions to the Inheritance Project, I'm not saying "no," either. If someone sees value in my work, would like me to be the final inheritor of a rescued or abandoned piece of cloth, is willing to take the time to send something to me here in Alaska, share what they know about the object, start a conversation and a relationship and maybe have a cathartic experience in the process...I'm not going to stop that person. No way, no how.
The Stripper Jacket.
A few months ago, Carol sent me "a stripper jacket," an article of unknown origin she'd located in a drawer. It was carefully wrapped in tissue, clearly cared for at one point, by someone.
The evening jacket (it's not actually a stripper jacket...although, how would I know this?) is a frothy concoction of fragile mesh, embroidery and soutache braid. The center back is damaged and the bottom edge indicates it was separated from something at some point. I entertained the idea of wearing it to the Quilt National opening, but I settled for wearing it out on my deck instead. It doesn't really fit.
Carol's piece, "No Means No," part of her "Defining Moments" series, was selected for the 20th Quilt National Biennial. She delivered an eloquent, poised statement about the personal history embedded in this piece, with a bravery that comes from a life lived and decades of separation from a single moment, despite a smoldering anger. Those embers flared while she built this piece and followed Brock Turner's 2016 lenient rape sentence. She drove that narrative into this provocative work.
About 110 years old...could be...
This unfinished quilt top, made by Ann's grandmother, is a continuation of this generosity.
"My Grandmother Ruth Akers Dory started (the quilt) years ago, when she was a pioneer at the Lake Ranch, outside of Austin NV. She worked on it through the years, but kept putting it aside. Grandma Ruth and Grandpa Ray ended up in Austin with the Dory's General Store. Everyone used this store for miles around, they had everything but groceries. Fabric salesmen would come in and give her sample books, a lot of the fabrics in this quilt top came from that book."
I love that this quilt is made from fabric samples, and yes, it's possible there are portions that are over 100 years old, but there are also fabrics that have a 50's or 60's vibe. Which tells me Grandma Ruth picked this up and put it down for decades. Decades. And it's enormous, well on its way to fitting a queen-sized bed. Each of those hexagons is sewn together by hand.
I'm honored and blown away to receive such a labor of love. Thank you.