2012 Quilt Festival in Galway Last summer, I painted, “The Lesson” for Jim West and the 2012 International Quilt Festival of Ireland. The festival was held in Galway, Ireland, in early June. Its theme was “Passing on the art of Quilting” and my painting shows an older woman (Mom? Auntie?) giving a quilting lesson to a pre-teen family member. We attended the festival and this image was everywhere, from commemorative posters and prints to huge banners at the top of Shop Street in Galway... not to mention refrigerator magnets and mouse pads! It was an amazing experience, the crowds were huge with attendees from all over the world… and the quilts -- my God! -- were mind-blowing!
At the opening reception we sat at a table with the oldest and the youngest quilters in Ireland. When the darling 7-year old child, Maeve, from Limerick, was introduced to the audience she was gracious and composed. When asked, “How long have you been quilting?” she answered, “All my life.” The crowd went wild. Then the oldest quilter, a charming 94 year old from Donegal, was helped to the stage. She was introduced and asked, “What advice do you have for Maeve?” She said, “When you start something, finish it.” Now those are words to live by. I’ve got them taped up on the wall next to my easel.