We met on the Mountain top. I pulled my car in front of Ellen’s and we got out, both thinking the same thing. It felt like we were making a drug deal.
But it was all very legitimate. We were meeting half-way, and that just happened to be on the road to Merck Forest which is at the top of a mountain, so I could give Ellen the two wall hangings I made for her.
I don’t take a lot of commissions. But there are some people I know I work well with, that like and respect the work I do. Ellen is always a bit hesitant to ask and it always takes me a while to get back to her.
I’ve learned to give myself enough time (which varies) when considering a commission request.
I’ve worked with Ellen before. This past Christmas I made quilts for her four children. And when she told me what she was thinking of, a patchwork of whites and cream colors, I liked the idea of it.
I spent the past few days making Ellen two wall-hangings from many of the old linens that people have sent me over the years.
And as sometimes happens when I take on a commission, while I was working on the wall-hangings, I got a couple of new ideas for something I want to make next.
Superstitiously, I won’t write about it now, but I’m eager to get started on it.
I left my studio forgetting to take a picture of the second wall hanging when it was all done, but have this picture of it before I put the backing on it.
I finally found a place for the old hand sewn linen sleeve, with a broken bone button and someones initials on it. I don’t remember who I got it from. It came in a box of linens someone sent me. But I’ve always wanted to use it and I knew Ellen would appreciate it.
When I first emailed Ellen a picture of the wall hangings , she said it reminded her of a ladies church picnic. I took this to mean it was fussy and stuffy, (and I’ll admit I was a bit put off) but she explained what she meant, and that made all the difference.
“I grew up in a church community and the church ladies were the best part. Their sorority felt like a secret club in the patriarchal space.. They were a variation on the beauty shop ladies. When they came together they whispered and giggled, sharing recipes and child rearing tips and what felt like grown up womanly secrets. They were the only part of that church I’ve happily kept all these years.”
Sometimes commissions are just commissions, and sometimes they open up a new creative path. That’s what happened this time.