I never met Laura Israel, she died over 10 years ago, but I have a feeling I’m going to get to know her. It’s happened before, a person comes alive to me through the fabric they leave behind. There are stories too, the ones family and friends tell me when they give me the box or bag filled with fabric.
Lindsay emailed me from Louisiana a few weeks ago. Her friend Michael was going through some of his mothers things and when he told Lindsay about the fabric she thought of me. As she sorted through the material, ( lots from the 1960′s) washing and folding it, it reminded her of my quilts. I was hooked when she wrote me that Laura was a fiber artist who had lived in New York. She’d gotten her Masters in Art (focusing on Quilts) when she was in her fifties. Lindsay thought Laura would have loved the material to go back to New York and be used by another artist. I immediately felt the connection and when Leslie said it was Laura who first introduced her to the Gees Bend Quilters I knew it was meant to be.
This afternoon the 30 pound box of fabric came in the mail. I tore into it finding one treasure after another. On top was a plastic baggie with a few pieces of fabric and a note from Lindsay. Now I know Laura had a good sense of humor as well as being creative. Once pockets and a sleeve, I think these seductive ladies will be perfect for potholders. I feel like Laura saved them, all these years, just for me.