Quilts From A Young Age
As a friend of Karen and her adwebmaster I am always looking for connections and reminders that relate to my friends and clients. When I run across something that reminds me of them I stop and say a little prayer for them. Well that happened to me the other night as I put my little ones to bed and began story time before our evening prayers.
As I often do, I allow the kids to pick out three stories that they want me to read to them and when my daughter presented the following book, I immediately thought of Karen and Quilt’s ‘N Kaboodle.
I read through the story of Mama Berenstain and how she set out to care for her family. She scarcely had any time to fulfill her passion of quilting with all of her daily duties in the home. Well there came a point in the story where they had a tree house sale (garage sale) and Mama decided to put some of her quilts up for sale.
Little did she know her passion turned into profit as many in the Bear community absolutely loved the fine quality, warm, hand crafted, quilts that Mama had made. In fact, she sold out of them that very day.
I thought about the care that Karen takes in the creation of her masterpieces and the impact that they have on those who are blessed by her work. I am reminded of the quilts that are created to commemorate life events such as the team sports t-shirt quilts or the fraternity and sorority quilts.
I thought about some people that I know who make a habit of collecting a t-shirt from every exotic place they travel to, and how that would make for an awesome quilt. I thought about those who have passed away and have had collections of Harley Davidson t-shirts that were used to create quilts for the family members who survive them, and how nice it must be to snuggle up in a warm quilt and be reminded of the comfort that the deceased once brought the family. I think about all of the memories of all the concerts that I went to growing up and how it would so neat to immortalize these memories in a beautiful quilt.Â
I can relate to the excitement of starting my own business. I imagine for Karen it was quite similar to my experience on the day that a passion became a source of income. They say that if you love what you do it is not work. I agree. And so I don’t think that Karen works a day in her life now. Not saying that it is not hard and tedious at times with all of the detail that goes into the intricate designs of her quilts, the application of backing, the meticulous detail that goes into prepping a quilt and all of the details that have to be addressed.
But the final product must bring a smile to her face as I am sure it does for those who are the recipients of these fine works of art. And as I read the story of the Berenstain Bears and Mama’s New Job I thought about how Karen’s family has been so supportive of her efforts and have all pitched in to lend a helping hand.
I see how important family is and how something that you might not expect, something as simple as a quilt can have such an impact on the lives of those who make them and those who receive them. The creativity that goes into each stitch, the way thought that goes into the freehand work that Karen does on her A-1 Longarm Quilting Machine, and the hours spent with each work of art.
Having gone to the International Quilting Festival at the George R. Brown Convention Center in Houston, Texas has given me a great appreciation for the work that Karen and those like her do on a daily basis. It is a fascinating world, a creative world, and a very beautiful expression of the heart from each artist that sets their hands to work.
If you have never read the story about Mama’s New Job I hope you will have a chance to read it. When you do, throw up a prayer for Karen and those like her who express their passion for life through such a beautiful medium of art.
Finally, when you put the kids down at night think about those who you could be praying for. A little prayer goes a long way in the lives of those who tirelessly work at their labors of love, many of whom don’t close down shop until well after you have already gone to bed and are warm and cozy in your beautiful, hand crafted quilt!