Thursday, September 3, 2009

The Story of Emerald Treasures

Some folks have asked that I post the story of Emerald Treasures so that it might be an inspiration to other artists who have had pieces damaged. I can tell you there is hope even when all seems to be lost. In July, Emerald Treasures was featured in the International Quilt Festival Commemorative Catalogue as one of the Selected Exhibits for West Coast Wonders II. It can also be seen on their website under Vidcasts and Selected Special Exhibits West Coast Wonders II. This is such exciting news to me as this quilt has a story of it's own. Completed a year ago, this month, Emerald Treasures was accepted into the American Legacy Quilt Show in Tifton, Georgia along with it's counterpart "Life's A Beach." It was the first time out for both of these quilts and I was thrilled to hear that "Life's A Beach" placed second while "Emerald Treasures" placed third in the Art Quilt Category. Upon their return home, however, the box got caught in a conveyor belt and Emerald Treasures was badly damaged. The picture above shows some of the damage. Her head was decapitated and large chunks of her shell were missing. There were several holes clear through the quilt. After taking her to an appraiser, the quilt was deemed irreparable. She sat on my table for weeks until I got the call from IQF that she had been accepted into West Coast Wonders II travelling venue scheduled to debut in Long Beach, California. This glimmer of hope that she could be restored helped spur me along. I painted another head and began repairing her shell. I was so lucky to have some of the beads left over from when she was first made. Still, there were holes that extended clear through all three layers of the quilt and a nasty gash near her neck. The holes were repaired with Misty Fuse and the gash was covered by adding a layer of dyed scrim to simmilate a shadow below. At last, she was able to travel once more and for that, I was extremely grateful. I was happy enough to settle for that peace of mind knowing that she could once again be seen and enjoyed by others. Imagine the thrill when one of my dear friends who was visiting the show emailed me a copy of her featured in the IQF catalogue! It brought tears to my eyes knowing that she was being received well and that the extra effort in resurrecting her had paid off. It is only recently, that I am able to look back on things and tell my story with a happy ending. And so there is hope even when things seem otherwise. Happy Birthday, Emerald Treasures! Live long and prosper.


norma said...

I'm so glad that you were able to fix it and it went on to receive further accolades. It's a fabulous quilt!

Leslie Tucker Jenison said...

Yay Barb! I was so happy to see the photo of this beautiful quilt in the Long Beach catalog. I stood before it and told your story to several viewers, who simply could NOT believe that the quilt was as badly damaged as it was. It is a true testament to your skills as an artist that you were (first) able to create such a piece and (second) that you had the skill-set to restore it.