Monday, October 15, 2012

Sister Support

Sister Support. Stitched words: We jumped out of a plane.... to celebrate reaching our weight goals! Xylene photo transfer on tea-stained muslin. Hand stitched. 25" x 31" unframed; 31" x 37" framed.  Click on image to enlarge.

When I was thinking up "decisions" for my "wish list", I tried to imagine choices I've made in life.....and choices I would NEVER make....unless someone had a gun at my head....and even then, maybe not. Jumping out of an airplane is something I WOULD NEVER DO. Yet, plenty of people pay for just this sort of thrilling opportunity and I even knew one such person....Doris!  (

Once upon a time I was a full time custom picture framer running a very busy shop of my own with about ten people on pay roll and in sore need of more help. I prayed.... literally to GOD...for "someone" with experience to apply for a job. Doris just happened to live in my neighborhood and just happened to drop in to my shop asking for part time work. She was a graduate student in Art History and arts management with a BFA in Art & Design who had worked in a frame shop back in Iowa. She was the answer to my prayer and was hired on the spot.

Years later, Doris is back in Iowa, a quilter (neither of us were quilting when we worked together), and a blogger (I'm not sure there were blogs back then!). She shared with me some photos.... jumping out of a plane! I wrote to Doris about sharing this decision and learned that her decision was deeper and more meaningful than a simple rush of excitement while plummeting to the earth.  Thus, the portrait went from a daredevil decision to a story embracing several options. Doris and her sister decided to lose weight.... to go on a diet.... to finally achieve a healthy figure. They decided to support one another through these weeks and weeks of calorie counting. It is important to have such encouragement and accountability. Once they reached their goal, they decided to jump out of a plane to celebrate. This portrait is about all these decisions.

I hope people seeing the work think about their support systems, about how they support others and how they celebrate their accomplishments. I hope they think about their diets and the daredevil things they might or might not do! I loved stitching this piece and included "heart shaped" buttons in all four represent the love and support that sisters often share. I know. I have three myself.

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