My mom is pretty crafty. And I’m not just talking about how sneaky she can be but rather of how she has a mind for sewing, knitting, painting, tracing, stitching and threading. It’s as much her thing and this comic strip is mine. So I thought, why not combine our skills? About a month or so ago, I proposed to my mum that we should pool our talents and create a quilt featuring the characters shown in Just Joel. And I am excited to report that she enthusiastically agreed!
But little did I know then what I was getting us into. After having created a working design for the quilt I had in my head, I realized that this was going to be tricky. I had to give my mom visual instructions on how to make my characters using only fabric. So I’ve been busy breaking down the characters piece by piece into their most basic components. Not impossible, but a new challenge for me. This would be no easy task but I have complete faith in my abilities as well as hers.
So yesterday, she and I were strolling around JoAnn Fabrics matching up fabrics and colors to create the quilt when I noticed an in-store advertisement:
Whoa. $5,000 for first place? So needless to say, my mom and I are gonna’ enter this beast.
To truly understand the significance of this undertaking you have to know something about my mom. Simply put, she is the most humble, gentle and semi-fragile person you could meet when it comes to her artistic craft-work. Her work is as close to her heart as can be. Alone in her craft room she quietly knits and sews amazing handmade works of invaluable awesomeness. This is because she pays painstaking attention to detail in a way that most have neither the passion nor the patience for.
It’s happened more than a few times that someone will discover mom’s superior work and (often naively) offer her payment for their own custom quilt. But what they never realize is that these quilts usually take at least a hundred dollars of material and months to create. I did the math once and calculated that at $5 an hour (well below minimum wage) the value of these quilts settle in the thousands.
So if not money, then to what end? Her creations are usually given as loving gifts to close family celebrating a housewarming or newborn child. Always for FREE without a trace of expectation for anything in return. Well it took some convincing, but it’s time for my mom to get noticed (not to mention time for Just Joel to get a tad more exposure too!). And if nothing else, the collaboration on this project between Mum and I has meant more time spent together on something we’re mutually passionate about. And that’s a prize that’s worth more to me than any dollar amount we could win.
The deadline is late January 2012 so stay tuned for further developments!