There is a Peanuts charter, drawn by Chuck Shultz, Linus Van Pelt. He was known for a quirky need to carry his security blanket. I must have that same quirk in a different form. I don’t carry a blanket pressed to my right ear, but I do have a blanket. In fact, I have six!
This article is going to be show and tell, in some sense. It will be more of a showcase of a very talented artist. I’m a little ashamed of myself for not sharing this tribute sooner. The word smithing to tell this still comes emotionally hard, even after eight years.
My mom Bonnie Jennings was my major artistic influence. I grew up watching her sewing, knitting, crocheting, pretty much anything in that creative form. Mom wasn’t known to always color within the lines though. She ventured off into making Santa Claus dolls, that progressed into other dolls. She eventually acquired a long arm quilter ( overgrown sewing machine in men’s terms)
Mom’s last sewing room was a loft over a oversized 2.5 car garage. There was plenty of room in that creative space. The room was deemed Olson’s room, the long arm quilter had a name. The room held the long arm, which dominated a good amount of space. The table for the machine was 16 feet long and 4 feet wide.
There was also a couple sewing machines, a cutting table, a desk, racks of material, several steamer trunks, and a comfortable seating area. Most defined was also the electric feeling of creativity in the air, from the moment through the door. It was an inspiring place, where many talents blossomed.
I was one of the few males tolerated in the space. Mom always told me it didn’t have everything to do with being her son, to be in her somewhat secret club. I drove a pickup and knew how to keep my mouth shut. I had involvement in a few conspiracies, sneaking home large objects. I kept silent. Mom had a thing for steamer trunks and I didn’t want to end up in one!
This first quilt is called Wild Flowers. It has been on my bed ever since completion in 2011. It’s a little distressed now, but it’s where it was created to be.
This one is a turning twenty design. I have no idea what that term means. This is a good one to see the stitching detail on the back.
This originally was on my bed before I got Wildflowers. It now does duty making my guest room more comfortable
Mom would travel to quilt retreats and she belonged to a local guild. I’m not real sure what went on beyond sharing enthusiasm and ideas. All I remember was she’d come back recharged and full of new creative ideas. She always had more than one project going on.
This quilt is another one of my favorites. I like the color and theme, our family were avid SCUBA divers and that may be my reasoning to like it so much
The next one is always handy draped on my couch. The fact the colors go well with my furniture was a happy accident. The wall hanging I’ll display next demonstrates how well things come together in my living room.
Wall hangings were another demonstration of mom’s artistic expression. The first one compliments Wild Flowers. The other one I have gives impression of a imagined window
One of the blankets I have still travels many miles. Of course there is one near by while I’m at work! This blanket almost didn’t come about. In 2010, when I was assigned my very first new semi tractor, mom decided a bunk blanket was in order to celebrate. The blanket was started, before she became sick from cancer.
My first wife was responsible for the monumental task of closing out Olson’s room after mom passed. Loosing mom was hard enough, a bunk blanket was that last concern on my mind. My ex got in contact with me out of the blue and we got together. I was driving my second new truck at the time.
I was presented with the blanket completed. She had taken the extra time to finish the project without my knowledge. This blanket is special because of the fact two women that were important in my life worked on it.
The blanket is in my third new truck now. Mom may not be around, but her memory always will be.
On a pleasant spring morning, in April of 2014, mom’s ashes were scattered. I created the following poem during the week before hand. I published it to Facebook on the day mom’s remains were laid to rest.
After the sunset
The sunset has past
leaving ashes and dust
from the start, nothing will last
Strong iron eventually shall rust
Your life was an interesting one
that touched many a heart
Creating far more than a daughter and son
your legacies never will part
today, we cast your remains to be free
Well knowing your love shall endure
the beauty of your art, left to see
Is the sign you left us to ensure
You rest on hallowed ground
a secret known by only one other and me
But your memories will abound
take root, to always be