Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Introducing Ruby

Years ago, I asked my maternal grandmother how she celebrated Juneteenth when she was growing up.  Juneteenth is celebrated nationwide now, but it started as a Texas holiday commemorating the day in 1865 when the slaves in Texas learned they had been freed.

Gran laughed her lovely, light laugh and told me about going to visit her paternal grandparents in a little town called Littig.  Littig is one of the oldest black communities in Texas.

My great-great grandparents on their farm in Littig
She talked about going to church and having a picnic, and wearing her favorite red overalls.  My Gran was one of the most elegant women I have ever seen, and the image of her as a little girl in red overalls has stuck with me.

That image has inspired me to write a children's book, tentatively titled Ruby in Red.  I plan to have a doll to go with the book.  I have written (and rewritten, and re-rewritten) the text.  That really wasn't so hard.  I have a template for the doll.  That wasn't so hard, either.

Preliminary sketch of Ruby
Pictures, however, that's been a real journey.  I started out wanting to illustrate the book myself with small art quilts, since art quilts is what I do.

It was hard.  I couldn't even start.

I switched to paper collage.  Hard.

Drawing.  Hard.

Asked my husband (also an artist) if he could do it. Hard.

Back to quilts.  Hey, not so hard after all!

Since mid-January I have done 6.  Number 7 is being laid out now.  Onward!


  1. So are you done with one? Can you show us an illustration that you quilted for the book?--Beth

    1. None quilted yet, but that won't take nearly as long as laying the pictures out. I'm almost halfway there.