After I helped my friend Neani submit her quilt entry to Sacred Threads 2019, she challenged me to make and submit a quilt as well. The deadline was less than two months away! I took on the challenge!
I had been thinking about making a portrait quilt of my Dad. I already had the perfect photo. But I had never made a portrait quilt. I enlarged the photo, made a pattern, then another pattern, until I was satisfied. I auditioned fabrics from my stash and found this wonderful gradated fabric with enough tones to work.
The project took on a life of its own as I selected, cut and fused the fabrics. My dad as a young man emerged. Then I started adding thread. Working a bit each day, I watched as he was transformed into the older man he was. His own shirts added the final touches.
The quilt was accepted at Sacred Threads and was on display there during the month of July. The following paragraph is adapted from the text used in the exhibition book.
My dad has been an inspiration to many. Over the past few years of his 95 he developed dementia. Even so he still taught his family and caregivers so many lessons. This quilt is based on a photograph taken just after a haircut last year. His smile is lively and bright! I wanted to capture his spirit in fabric. After I started the portrait, Dad developed pneumonia and passed on surrounded by his children. We are sad to let him go but happy he is at peace and reunited with our mom. Serendipitously, purple is the color for dementia.
I received a wonderful comment from someone who saw Dad’s portrait at Sacred Threads. I have no idea who wrote this. It really means a lot to me. I am grateful for the person who gave me this gift.
“I love his eyes, I feel they tell me some of who he was. Kindness and understanding and love, that is what I see. I lost both of my parents, first my Mom, to Alzheimers. When Dad passed I was surprised to also grieve again for my Mom. It was as if with him still alive, a part of her was still here. Thank You!”