Claim to Fame

by Mary Boalt

It is a privilege and an honor to work alongside Christine, Sandra and Heidi. They are incredibly talented women with many outstanding accomplishments to their resumes. These are women I would normally consider intimidating. Yet they are among the nicest, most kind and helpful women I’ve met. They’ve written articles for popular textile magazines, owned a fabric store, have lines of patterns and books and can boast over award winning quilts. Me? Not so much. I got nuthin’.

Sandra mentioned recently that one of her beautiful quilts, Zahra, will be touring. Isn’t she striking? What beautiful, intricate details. And to think of the days of painstaking work that went into creating just those eyes!

That’s when I  remembered that I do, indeed, have an accomplishment.  It, too, toured for about a year along with many others. It measures 8 1/2 X 11.  INCHES!  Tiny. Minuscule. Hardly worth mentioning. And since I know nothing about quilting, I was shocked when it was accepted. Actually, I shocked myself by participating. The challenge of a self portrait got me out of bed and working on it at 2:00 a.m. Not because I knew what I was doing, but because I had a story to tell.

Unlike the beauty and soulfulness seen in Zahra’s eyes, mine just has the look of a crazed lunatic in need of a straight jacket. Side by side, you can begin to understand why I feel I am not worthy to be among these women!  Oy! The woefully lacking skill level! But I had fun making it. And it’s 3D. Are there extra points for that? The story below explains the fish Afro.

The fish stamp is still in my collection.

And somewhere along the way she has lost part of her earring. But I am grateful to Quilting Arts magazine for having accepted my mini self portrait and for taking it on tour.

But wait! There’s more to the story. Sometime after shipping this off to Quilting Arts, a raccoon came to visit my outdoor water garden/fish pond. All that remained the next morning were a lot of fish scales drying on the deck and some crunched up blue shells. And the pump, aimlessly spewing water. To this day I remain angry with the raccoon but grateful to the fish for their inspiration and an opportunity to be published.

19 thoughts on “Claim to Fame

    • Thank you. I agree. Although I don’t make deep soul searching statements, I do see things that strike me as funny.
      We all need to laugh more, right?

  1. Don’t underestimate your talent … all those beautiful garments. My friend lost her fish to a blue heron. Love your quilt.

    • Thank you for your vote of confidence on my clothes. My neighbors also lose their fish to a heron. It’s a wonder it sees the pond as it’s under a wooded area. Their phony heron statue was supposed to do the trick in keeping herons at bay. But alas, they still suffer losses.

  2. Mary you’ve got to be kidding. You are SO talented and amazing. Love the colors, style and whimsy of this piece. First I smiled and started laughing. Thank you for that.

    • Yes, I do know that it’s a big deal to be in Quilting Arts and I did brag about it at the time. And then I sort of forgot about it until I went to PIQF and saw it displayed in their booth. Then I was happy all over again. Moving into senility will be easy for me! ha!

  3. Mary, I consider you to be one of the most talented sewists I have ever met, and certainly an equal in our merry band, Artistic Alchemy!
    Big smile….

    • I am just continually amazed at the three of you. How hard you all work at your craft. You all get the recognition you deserve.

  4. Alas, but that I should have but an ounce of your fabulous talent rub off on me in September:) I will be ecstatic.

  5. Mary, I sound like a broken record, but you have written yet another fabulous post!! Your work is exquisite—in creativity and in sewing/painting expertise. You’re a delightful writer, too, and I always look forward to your posts! (CB here)

  6. Mary: That’s a wonderful piece and great story! And, it is a big deal to have your piece in Quilting Arts!! I always enjoy your posts. You are quite a talented writer in addition to your other creative talents.
    I look forward to seeing you in October!

    • Hi Suzanne! Oh thank you. I didn’t know you were following us at Artistic Alchemy. Yes, I know it’s a big g deal to be featured in Quilting Arts magazine. Perhaps next month I’ll write about my other “Claim to Fame”. I’m so looking forward to seeing you in October. It’s been a long time!

  7. Love both! Your self portrait is full of humour, colour, expression, and fun. You are right in that it brings to mind someone in a rather manic state – that’s great! It’s expressive; it is full of personality. The colours are so wild and vibrant. And you’ve been featured in Quilting Arts – very accomplished, indeed.

    Zahra is a completely different piece, no doubt about it. So intricate. The eyes. Wow. The hair. The lips. Beautiful.

    • Thank you for your response. Yes, Sandra and I have created portraits at the opposite ends of the spectrum. I see you have created one also. It’s darling! I just read one of your posts about the Lilly beetles…hilarious! You are the kind of writer I aspire to be like. I will enjoy following you.

      • Thanks so much. My profile quilt was my entry in the Ponemah Beach Thera-Piecers’ Selfie Quilt Challenge last year. It was fun to make.

        I’m glad you were able to laugh at my lily beetle pain. You either laugh or cry, right?

  8. Thank you Christine. I thought the blogging part of Artistic Alchemy would be my biggest challenge but I found it to be quite fun. Who knew? I’m glad you’re enjoying it and hope I’m keeping you entertained.

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