We were shopping the other day. Our last stop was this really cool artisan mall...okay, the last time we went there, it wasn't cool at all. So, we didn't go back. I drove by the other day, declared it cool again from the outside and so we shopped on our way home on Saturday. Unfortunately, between our uncool visit and our cool visit, they'd lost their lease, so there wasn't much merchandise and everyone was packing to move. But, we could tell that for a short time it was a cool place to shop, exactly the kind of place I'd expect in Austin.
One of the first people we encountered when we walked in was an older lady selling quilts. Not special quilts. Not particularly good workmanship. Not particularly pretty. Just an old lady, selling craft fair quality quilts for prices that no one would balk at. I approached her table and saw the hand written sign that said "quilts $40" she started talking to me in a very slow...painfully slow...impeded speech about the holiday quilts I was looking at being table runners. I said "And, they're lovely." and we moved on. What did I need somebody else's quilt for?
But, sometimes, things stick in my head. And, I decided I wanted one of her quilts. No matter what it really was. No matter that I could do better. I decided to go back yesterday and get one. Something. Anything. More to help her than for me.
Because as a quilter, I felt led to help this quilter out. (I mean, we're both quilters. That makes us like family, right?) I don't know why in particular I made my decision. Don't really care why. But, something in me wanted to do this.
Rob and I went to the grocery yesterday morning and he and Sydney were going shopping after that. And, he asked if there was anything I wanted. And, I said yes, I want one of that lady's quilts. And, we both knew it was likely a charitable donation, made in my name, as a gift for the season.
I don't know what they bought me. I know that Rob said the cost was higher than the value of the item. But, I'd rather that those few Christmas dollars went to help out a quilter, who, for all we know, might be rich as Midas. Or, might be a little old lady, on a fixed income, selling her skills for a little extra holiday money. I hope it's the latter. So, that's what it was, and what it always will be, in my mind. A gift to her as much as a gift to me. And, like all good Christmas presents, we're all going to have to wait until Christmas to find out.
But, I know it's a holiday table runner and I'll bet it ends up on my Christmas table at some point. Might be just the thing to cover that stain in my Christmas table cloth.
Take care and have a great Monday. Support the arts if you can. Support the artisans every time you can.