Sunday, November 27, 2016

Touching a Legacy and a Tiny Mystery

A fantastic book - a favorite
I've already reviewed here
on the blog.
I was very saddened to learn today that quiller Malinda Johnston passed away just a few days ago, on Thanksgiving, November 24, 2016.  I was one of a huge number of quillers that found her work to be inspiring.  Her books simply made me want to quill, and then they did a great job of showing you just how to do it.  She has left behind an incredible legacy that will positively impact paper quilling and quillers for many years to come.

I've already reviewed her book "The Book of Paper Quilling: Techniques and Projects for Paper Filigree" here on this blog.  It will always be a favorite.  I remember opening up the book and flipping through the designs for the first time.  I was particularly impressed by the Halloween design (after seeing me post my own Halloween Sampler here on the blog, I'm sure you are not surprised by this.)  The little pumpkin on that page is so perfectly made, and the swirls in the ghost show impeccable technique.  I decided that no pumpkin could possibly be better than that one, and have rather consciously tried to meet that standard on every pumpkin I've quilled since.

And then years later ...

Pages 78 and 79 of the book, showing the little pumpkin
that I became somewhat obsessed over.
I blogged about attending the North American Quilling Guild Conference that happened in May of this year.  One of the things I didn't mention was that at that meeting, everyone had the chance to walk away with a piece of quilling history.  A number of older pieces of quilling had been contributed to the guild, and we were all given the chance to pick one out for our very own.  I didn't know this until late in the meeting, and so by the time I got to the display there weren't many left.  I walked down the table ... and couldn't believe my eyes.  There was the pumpkin!  The ghost!  And I was able to take them home for my very own!  They are a bit worse for wear over the years, but I am thrilled to have them in my collection.

Actual in-my-hard art is
above, and the book's
image is below.
So that is me with a small touch of a great legacy.  So what is the tiny mystery, here?  It is this - the question of who quilled this piece is not easily answered.  You'd think it would be easy, because on the back of the piece there is a post-it note saying "Designed by Eleanor Baxter for LCC Book of Paper Quilling pg. 79."  But.  When you read the acknowledgements in the back of the book, Eleanor Baxter is credited with the Valentine Heart, also shown on page 79.  (see picture of two page spread, above.)  In fact, no one in the acknowledgements is credited with the Halloween design.  So I'm wondering, did Malinda do this herself, and did the post it note get moved to the back of the wrong project?  Or was there a mistake in the acknowledgements for the book? 

Another picture of book with
quilled art.  Love it.
I suppose I might never know the answer to those questions.  It does not matter to me from one perspective - that I now own this awesome piece of quilling that has always meant something to me.  But it does matter to me because I'd love to give credit where it is due.  In any case, Malinda Johnston created a great book that included this and many other wonderful designs.  And she did a great deal more for quillers everywhere.  I still look forward to quilling designs from Lake City Crafts.

Image Credits:  My pictures of books and quilling that I own.  The Halloween design?  Well, it appears in the book, and could be from either Malinda Johnston or Eleanor Baxter.

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