Indeed. I found this card from Molly among some saved birthday greetings. How ironic. I think I need to copy it and post it in every room. Carry it in my wallet. Stick it to the computer screen. All of you who commented that you, too, need to do some spring cleaning...life cleaning? Don't wait until you have to do it. It does feel good to pare down, despite the difficulty of discarding, but it's tough to do it all at once. After 5 days, I'm about half done, but I'm already on a first name basis with the girl at the Goodwill drop-off site.
I told you I've unearthed some forgotten gems and this is one of them. My first wall quilt...designed to be displayed...a prizewinner in a Syracuse craft show in 1978. After the show, I stored it away because the colors were garish and new cottons (Jinny Beyer's, Jeff Gutcheon's) were finally being introduced for quilters. To me, this quilt reeked of *what was available in the 1970s* which, to us at the time, was pitiful. I loved making this piece and couldn't wait to work on more *art quilts*, though that phrase wasn't yet in the vernacular. I subscribed to Fiberarts, which was then a black & white (!) newspaper (got rid of those during the last move) and couldn't wait to hear more about the new show that Nancy Crow and her pals in Ohio were planning...Quilt National.
As you can see from the first catalog cover, I may have been in the running in those first few years, but life got hectic (kids arrived, ETC.) and I lost all competitive urges. Anyhow, back to the quilt. I had forgotten about it until I pulled it off of a closet shelf, folded up with a very faded log cabin from the 1980s. *Shudder* Those 80s' prints turned positively gray after any time in the light and despite narrow logs and heavy, fine handquilting, that one was deposited in the trash....where I briefly considered putting this one.
I paused. It did have a certain life to it. Despite the 70s' prints (or maybe because of them), it sparkled. I could actually recall finding some of those prints, in dress fabric shops, in JCPenney's. Always on the hunt, just as quilt shops, a novel new idea, were starting to appear on the scene. Yikes, the large quilting stitches...
Long story short (too late for that?), I quickly flipped from disdain to really liking this quilt! It is so *of its time*...a real snapshot of 1978. The fabrics, the tentative colorplay in a traditional block pattern, the new, novel idea of designing a quilt to hang on a wall. I am so happy now that I never used it, it's so fresh and bright. It's like a museum piece to me...a little jewel, a snapshot of my beginning as a quilter and, in some small way, part of the initial little ripple that grew into a textile arts tidal wave.
My discovery couldn't be more timely. It's caused me to seriously rethink my stash. Ironically, the whole *stash mentality* started with some of us early quilters because we were always scrounging for particular colors which only showed up as fashion trends dictated. Clearly that's no longer the case. And though my preference has always been for a jumble of color, pattern and scale when I'm piecing, previously only possible by amassing a stash, recently I've found myself grabbing newer prints almost exclusively. As I said before, this quilt is so *of its time*. I like that. I think I'll be making another big haul of donation fabric to Project Linus this week.