When my dearest friend, Jane Bonin, died the last year, there were a few things in her apartment that she left to me for sentiment’s sake. I had decorated her apartment when she returned from her tenure in Africa as Director of the Peace Corps in Niger.
Being an intellectual and a historian, Jane was passionate about all things French and revered things with history to them. We decorated her lovely Georgetown apartment condo to read classic elegance and old-school and finished it to look like an ancient villa. I had faux finished the walls with a hand rubbed golden glaze to give it the old plastered look, and all the pieces in it were chosen to accent comfort and function rather simply be stylish.
This screen was a piece she had toted around for ages. No one seems to know exactly where it came from. It has obviously seen better days. there is water damage to the bottom of the fabric and wood structure and the current fabric is dry rotted.
Another good friend of mine, Jen Athanas, owner and artist extraordinaire of Jen-A-Fusion, often gives me surplus fabric to quilt with when she is downsizing. She gifted me with this gorgeous red and gold upholstery Brocade (previously used as curtains from a Washington Redskin player’s home I am told!)
There is a lovely braid on the fabric where it connected to some gold silk that is already removed that will be a great edge accent for the screen.
As I began to uncover the screen I realized that perhaps this had been a piece that belonged to Jane’s mother or even her grandmother at some time. There were layers of fabrics on top of fabrics, all dry-rotted, as it had been recovered several times.
I have completed two of the panels so far, and hope to get the third done this afternoon.
I finally got to finish the screen this weekend. (All but adding the brass upholstery tacks that I am waiting on…)
Giving this piece new life and having it my home, will help me always have a little piece of Jane with me. It gives me great joy and comfort, not to mention inspiration, as she was the person who pushed me to consider using my quilting talents for income for the rest of my life.
Create Beauty and Fill the World with LOVE!