Tuesday, May 29, 2012

What would Winston do?

If you've been following this blog from the start, you know that my dad was a proud veteran of WWII. He told a lot of war stories, and at least some of them were true.  Among the historically accurate ones was the saga of bringing my cousins each a "little bell of San Michele" in lieu of the Italian baby he had promised.
Today, the daughter of one of my cousins sent me a photo of the bell my dad had given her mom, with a note explaining that she had taken it from her mother's jewelry box when she was little, but had not known the story until she'd read my post about it. My dad's legacy, she said, was alive. I was so happy to see it. I can just imagine him buying it, protecting it and ferrying it home.

This -- and Memorial Day -- got me thinking about WWII. Which got me thinking about Winston Churchill (and wondering who babies were said to look like before him). Which made me consider him saying, Never, never, never, never give up. Which brought me back to my striped diamond quilt.

(I'm reading a book about the brain and creativity -- "Imagine," by Jonah Lehrer -- and without getting into which little brain flaps lit up as that transpired, I am reassured to learn that the somewhat far-fetched connection between WWII and my striped diamond quilt actually reflects the workings of a sane, healthy brain. That should quiet you doubters at least momentarily.)

After posting the striped diamond patches here, I had put them away, sulking about my relative lack of talent. I was listening to NPR while working on The Wild Things and the batik/Kona commission (which I would refer to as BK, except it makes that creepy Burger King king pop into my certified fine mind) when Winston Churchill's name came up. (This kind of thing freaks me out: I'm thinking about Winston Churchill and they start talking about him on the radio. This is how I killed the composer Aaron Copland. I heard it was his 96th birthday and I thought, Wow, I didn't know he was still alive. Three days later: dead.)

Anyway, I had decided to apply the ol' Churchill pep talk to the striped diamond quilt and was just rearranging the pieces when the guest on a panel discussing the Mideast quoted Churchill as saying something to the effect that 'success is the ability to go from failure to failure without loss of enthusiasm.'

Don't give up, even if you fail, and do it cheerfully? Heck, that sounds like me (or a character from "Oklahoma!").

I had wondered here if I should just substitute solids for some of the striped fabrics, and decided to make a few samples. Then I thought about replacing a few more striped fabrics with prints. Finally, I narrowed the color palette. It's no longer a facsimile of the quilt I saw, but it's "me" and I'm a lot happier with it.

The first three photos show the layout.

This is how much I've sewn together. Matching those points is a time-consuming task, but the end product should reflect the effort.

1 comment:

  1. That's definitely the way to go, looking good now!