April 2001, 20" wide by 30" high, © 2001, Maria Elkins, All Rights Reserved.This quilt was inspired by The Proverbial Challenge. Quilts for this challenge were to depict "proverbs, wives’ tales, and things your grandmother would say."
The challenge made me think of one of our family’s favorite sayings, "Always establish who’s at fault." It began back when my sister, my two brothers and I were all teenagers. We would often end up arguing about small, insignificant things. My father always happened to come into the room just then and he would say with a smile, "Oh yes, we must be sure that we always establish who’s at fault!" As the youngest of seven siblings, he had learned the value of living in peace and harmony, extending grace and goodwill towards others, and looking at the world with humor and wit. His amusing comments taught us the futility and foolishness of blaming, accusing and holding grudges.
Years later when I caught my two daughters bickering, the same admonition sprang to my own smiling lips. My kids enjoyed the irony of the phrase and soon it was popping up regularly. But the real fun began when we observed human nature and started adding corollaries.
The design for this quilt was created on my computer using a variety of fonts. It was printed out in several different panels using a color inkjet printer. The seams are hidden along the lines of the notebook paper. The quilting resembles doodling in the margins and additional quilted messages encourage the viewer to read between the lines. "Can you believe that they would do that to ME!" is quilted next to "Recruit others to your side." "I don’t know if I can ever forgive you" surrounds "Never forget."