This week I found a lovely dark star material for the back of my mermaid quilt and serendipitiously found a panel of Laurel Burch fabric on a remnant table. Laurel Burch has long been a favorite designer of mine for her gorgeously vivid colors and imaginative designs. Imagine my delight when I found her mermaid patterns all across the country in quilting and fabric stores two years ago. Today, few fabrics stores carry her line, giving conflicting stories about when they will carry her fabrics again. I went online to find her site and learned of her death, far too young of an osteoporosis-related illness.
Burch painted her vivid designs first; others translated them to fabric. Her book, Legends: 9 Quilts Inspired by the Earth, Sea and Sky, is filled with her imaginative paintings and patterns, each challenging the artist within the reader. If I could, I would ask her:
Where did you find your gifts?
When were you drawn to the sea,
the swirling sea filled with
mermaids, sea horses and
those giant fishes,
orange and red and blue?
When did they come to you,
in some mysterious watery night
filled by the light of a floating purple moon?
Or did you look within to find
a cosmic earth mother,
a goddess muse who led you to paint
every flower, bird, fish and creature of the sea
in those healing colors
that shout affirmation,
celebration, and love?
I only know as I trace each line,
your gifts humble me.
Your mermaids gaze from my quilt
a testament to art,
and when I sleep,
I dream of your purple moon.
Image from Laurel Burch's site at: http://www.laurelburch.com/