Monday, August 29, 2011

Good Things Come to Those Who Wait

Two years ago, when I was the program chair for our Little Balkan's Quilt Guild I was excited to discover a quilter named Carlene Buck who made such intriguing and imaginative quilts.  I booked her for a trunk show in August 2009. Unfortunately Carlene got sick and had to cancel.  And since programs are pretty much booked a year in advance it wasn't until this month that we were able to reschedule Carlene.

But, WOW!  I knew I'd love her quilts and the stories behind them, but they surpassed my expectations.  What a wonderful night we had. You can visit Carlene on her website, Quiltbabble to learn more of the stories behind some of her quilts. 

Two quilts in paricular were the reason I first became interested in meeting Carlene.

Armistice..Mom I'm Home
Armistice...Mom, I'm Home (front) Quilt by Carlene Buck

The with open arms
Armistice...Mom, I'm Home (back) Quilt by Carlene Buck

This is Carlene's quilt representing the soldiers returning from the Vietnam war.  Some returned whole..others were missing pieces of themselves...and some didn't return at all.  Mothers welcomed their sons home with prayers that this would never happen again  (and unfortunately of course it has).

Another of Carlene's quilts is truly a masterpiece.
Holocaust: A Hate MovementHolocaust: A Hate Movement  Quilt by Carlene Buck

This is the explanation sheet Carlene passed out as she talked about her quilt

Holocaust:  A Hate Movement 

Carlene Buck visited Israel in 1992 with her church group from the Des Plaines First United Methodist Church,
Des Plaines, Illinois.    

At the encouragement of a Jewish friend,
she requested the guide take them to Yad Vashem,
Israel’s Holocaust Museum located near Jerusalem.

Carlene was very touched by the sculptures,
photos, documents and exhibits. 

She knew God wanted her to make a quilt about the Holocaust and later visited the National Holocaust Museum in Washington, D. C.

All details (blocks titles, layout, colors, fabrics, quilting design, wording on blocks, etc.) were inspired by God.

She chose the block names from Barbara Brachman’s
Encyclopedia of Pieced Blocks.   

The top border fabric represents ashes blowing in the sky. 
The bottom border represents ashes in the furnaces. 

The right border represents small tendrils of life growing from the ashes.

The hand quilting reflects the barbed wire fences in the camps. 

The bright pastel print fabrics of the 1920’s and 1930’s
(on the left side of the quilt)
 suggest life before the Nazi Party took control. 

The solid colored fabrics depict the loss of joy
and the struggle to survive. 

Black represents hate, red represents loss of life, orange fear, and brown the Nazi uniforms. 
Blocks which have been pieced backwards
(with seam allowances on the surface of the quilt)
have the opposite meaning of the historical block name. 
[Like Peaceful Hours and  Peace and Plenty]

You can view a slideshow of the photos I took that night on my photobucket site
click here

Please don't miss the opportunity to see Carlene's quilts in person if you get the chance! 


Barb said...

Enjoyed your post!

Anonymous said...

Enjoyed the show and wide wide variety of styles.

caitlinp said...

Love the quilts.

Kelli said...

amazing and sad at the same time. thanks for sharing. she has amazing talent.

Crispy said...

Wonderful quilts, well worth the wait for your group to meet her.


jacqui-bug said...

Mary that was an amazing explanation of the Holocaust Quilt. The thought and depictions gave me a lump in my throat. Thank You so much for sharing. The lady has an wonderful talent.

Me and My Stitches said...

What a great trunk show - thanks for sharing.

Sunna Reyr said...

Thank you for sharing the show and the tale of the Mom and Holocaust quilts.

Would that shirt Tom is wearing not be the most wonderful quilt fabric??? I love it. LOL.

Cindy Kiel said...

Carlene is not only a talented quilter, but an outstanding teacher. I started quilting about 15 years ago and Carlene has been a great mentor. Her talks are always fun too!