In Memory of Kathy; In Honor of Susan
I come from a family of strong women. Grandmothers, mother, aunts, sisters, cousins—all strong in different and amazing ways. Our two daughters followed along in this tradition. Until she suffered two overwhelming and devastating bouts with depression, our oldest daughter Kathy accomplished more in her 47 years on Earth than most people do in a lifetime. Our youngest child, Susan, is the woman I admire more than any other. She juggles careers as a therapist and a part-time university teacher with mothering her two active boys, being a devoted wife to a wonderful husband, and somehow has time to be on a tennis team and participate in competitive races.
Thus I chose to symbolize my strong daughters as athletes. Kathy ran in several New York marathons and kept on running almost daily for twenty years. As a way to memorialize her sister, Susan then began running as well, participating in races with her husband and two sons. As a teenager, Susan was on her school’s basketball team and played one year in college. Because I am probably the most un-athletic woman imaginable, these athletic abilities of my daughters have always astounded me and made me proud.
Of course, their other accomplishments out-shine their athleticism, but depicting a runner and a tennis player was easier than depicting a woman standing before a crowd, speaking out for human rights; or one sitting counseling a troubled soul; or a woman in a courtroom or a classroom; or a mother performing all the myriad duties of motherhood joyfully—images of these overwhelmed my abilities, and so I took the easy route with this quilt.
My Strong quilt is dedicated to my beautiful and strong daughters—Mary Katherine and Susan Christine. Their pictures are on the quilt’s back—Susan on the left, Kathy on the right. The backing fabric is a commercial one depicting young women swimmers. There’s an inside joke here: Kathy loved to give people nicknames. One of the perhaps 10 or 15 she had for her little sister Susan was C.O.W., which stood for Child of the Waters, because from an early age onward, Susan loved so to swim! Kathy even made up a song she’d sing to Susan using this nickname.
Construction details: copy-right free coloring book images cut from black felt and fused onto the background with Wonder Under; batik background fabric quilted in a grid before the appliqués were applied.
|the back of the quilt|
|Close-up photos of Susan and Kathy--our wonderful|
and accomplished and STRONG daughters