I’ve been a faithful viewer of Quilting Arts TV for some time now. But until 2013, most of my art quilts lived in my imagination.  I had lost my father that January of 2013.  By that summer, I knew I wanted to do a special project to honor him.  It would be extra special to complete it for the Great Darke County Fair, so many others that knew and loved him could enjoy it too.  It wasn’t about competing for a prize, it was all about honoring my Father.  I wanted to remember his brilliant mind.  He was a wonderful tool and dye maker all of his adult life, but in his last years, Parkinson’s and Parkinson’s onset of dementia robbed him of his precision and brilliance.

After many years of losing him piece by piece, I put some pieces together in an art quilt.  I worked a full two weeks many hours per day.  This was not only an act of love, but an experience of healing. I started with a fabric portrait and hung that on my design wall. Dad and I spent a lot of time together as I worked.  It allowed me to remember “original Dad.” I loved him at every stage of life, but it had been a while since I fully let myself remember who he was in the earlier years.  My dad, Robert Howard Colville, 1938-2013 was not only the definition of precision and exactitude but was a wonderfully supportive husband, dad, and grandpa.

My husband did a great job making a frame to protect it during the fair.  It was a thrill to have it displayed in those early months of grief to help me an others heal. I was blessed to be in the Fine Arts building when Dad’s dear friend and fellow toolmaker Dave Flora came in to see it. I cry as I type, remembering that special precious moment that Dave and Dad and I spent together…a gift to cherish. Dad, you had a beautiful mind.

A Beautiful Mind by Brenda Colville Johnson

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