MARY AND MIKE AT SELSEY
Collection: Janet Clench, Italy
Dimensions: 32 1/4″ H x 42 3/4″ W
Technique: Hand and Machine appliqué, Machine pieced and Machine quilted
"Once upon a time there was a little wooden house, very close to the East Beach of a quiet little town on the English Channel. Small fishing boats come and go along the sea front, and the sound of the waves sucking up the pebble beach in summer, and crashing against the sea wall in winter seeped through the windows. Here, Mike and Mary spent their last years of retired life, in peace and surrounded by new friends and a full social life.
This quilt is dedicated to my parents Mike and Mary, who passed away very close to each other in 2003 and 2004, in celebration of the love and security they gave me and each other, and the wonderful tranquility of that little wooden house in Selsey that was my English home for so many years."
It is a very painful process when parents die, as in due course they must, and leaves a hole in your life that can never quite be filled again. Although I grew up in a house in the suburbs of London, my parents retired down to Selsey, and gradually over the years the bungalow became my (and also my partner's) haven of peace and tranquility far from the noisy, hot and bustling Italian life. My old Selsey home has now been sold on, but this quilt successfully captures the atmosphere of my parents and the house, beach and garden, with the symbolism of the open door, my parents seated with my Dad's arm round my Mum's shoulders (he was always there to protect her) and looking out to sea, and those very pretty appliques/embroideries which remind me of the lovely garden they had. I now have a permanent reminder of them and the happy times we spent together in their last years.
Janet is a good friend and her words, to me, are the most appropriate to express our collaboration on this commission quilt.