Monday, July 20, 2015

Sacred Threads - A Little Bird Told Me

I've been remiss in blogging about this year's wonderful Sacred Threads exhibit. We were out of town for most of the duration of the show, but I was delighted to go Friday morning and record an interview for Quilter's SOS and, more importantly, look at the exhibit. I didn't expect to be as moved as I was; it was a remarkable experience.

As I wandered through the exhibit several other quilters were being filmed for their interviews. Hearing the stories of the quilts in their own words and voices was wonderful. There was also an audio tour, available by phone, and again hearing the voices of the artists made the exhibit even more meaningful.

I had two quilts in the exhibit, California Dreaming, which I've blogged about before, and a new quilt made expressly to enter in Sacred Threads. It's called A Little Bird Told Me.
A Little Bird Told Me copyright 2015 Diane Rusin Doran

Detail, A Little Bird Told Me copyright 2015 Diane Rusin Doran
Here's an approximation of what I recorded for the audio tour for this quilt:

We found out in August 2013 that my mother had malignant melanoma. After months of enduring surgery, infection, infusions, and many hospitalizations for a variety of serious side effects, we knew that most likely she was nearing the end. In May of 2014 I went to stay with her for the weekend, as my father was in the hospital and my mother could not care for herself. She had become more and more forgetful and depressed, but never complained. We finally took her off one of her medications, for cholesterol, and it seemed to really perk her up. She was still somewhat forgetful, but so pleasant to be around. That weekend, to my surprise, she took me up on my suggestion to go for a walk in the park behind her house. It was a stunningly beautiful, perfect spring day, glowing with light and new growth. As we walked, I realized that it almost seemed as if she were already in heaven, and I was visiting her there. It was a dreamlike experience, and I’m so grateful not only that I shared it with her, but also that when it happened I had the presence of mind to recognize the beauty of it. This piece represents the glow of that day. The two birds are my mother and I, both blue as that is the color we both wear so much. As a child, when I asked her how she knew something, she often said “a little bird told me”, so that’s why I chose the birds and the title. The buttercups are a melancholy touch, as she could not remember what kind of flower they were and asked me their name during the walk. 

9 comments:

Sue Reno said...

Very moving and beautiful, Diane, and a gorgeous piece. It stands on its own, but I'm glad you shared the backstory. Congratulations on your inclusion in Sacred Threads.

Diane Doran said...

Thank you Sue, it's a memory I'll always cherish.

Morna said...

Wonderful quilt, Diane, and I loved the story with it. It's such a lasting memory to your mom. I hope to get to see the exhibit but have only been home one day since it opened and am likely gone again this weekend. Wish it were longer.

Rachel Parris said...

Wonderful quilt, and wonderful story. Thanks for sharing.

Vicki W said...

What a beautiful tribute to your mother!

Susan Fletcher King said...

What a wonderful quilt and the back story is so beautiful.

Diane Doran said...

Thank you so much Morna, Rachel, Vicki and Susan. Making it has helped me through some of my grief.

Vivien Zepf said...

This is beautiful on so many levels.

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