THE WOMAN WHO
Three years ago Perfect Location Realty moved into the Macedonian Tribune building that I manage for the Macedonian Patriotic Organization. A fledging real estate company, co-owners Zack Wilson and Justin Geeting brought a youthful vibrancy to a building which had lost most of its tenants to retirement.
A few months after moving in husband Tom and I were invited to Zack's 30th birthday party where we met his parents Rick and Kathy Wilson. Kathy I came to know as an animal lover with a particular fondness of elephants.
Although she doesn't have any conscious memory of it, Kathy feels her love for elephants started when she was one month old. At this young age she was hospitalized for an ear drum infection. While in the hospital she was given an elephant toy to keep her company.
As an adult she admires these gentle giants for their intelligence, the tender care they show their young and their devotion to family. Elephants keen sense of smell and memories are also qualities she appreciates.
Many years ago when her sons were young she had photographs taken of herself with each on top of an elephant. Her home has elephant accessories, the latest an elephant watering can, a gift from her mother. One can only imagine what the trunk does!
Elephant jewelry is a must for this pachyderm fan. An elephant broach and ring are among her favorite pieces.
So what does a young up-and-coming realtor get his mom for Christmas? Why elephant quilts of course. Twice Zack commissioned elephant-theme wall hangings for his mother. The first was made from a comforter from the mid 1950s. The sparsely knotted piece wasn't being held together very well. Its batting a piece of folded fabric could be seen through the quilt blocks; nothing at all childlike about the back fabric.
Taken apart this born again quilt now sports "Golden Book" character fabric on the back including the Saggy Baggy Elephant. Quilted elephants now parade in the top and bottom borders. Mice, an elephant's nemesis, scurry on the narrower inner sash pieces. You can find a photo of this quilt and Zack's comments on his mother's reaction when she received it at http://www.bornagainquilts.com/index.php?p=39
This past fall I was roaming around Etsy where I found an early 1960's embroidered crib sheet for sale at a reasonable price. More Animals! I purchased this find and showed it to Zack. Not only was it in great shape, it had alternating blocks in need of quilting! It was a pretty shade of blue and I had just the fabric to back it: Saggy Baggy Elephant fabric in blue! Zack was charmed. Hand-quilted elephants now ring the center block. Due to their rectangular shape tall giraffes nibbling at tree leaves are set in the four corners. My fingers flew to get it done in time for Christmas, alas at 2 a.m. Christmas morning I gave up the ghost. A small portion of the border unfinished, giraffes without spots and an elephant label on the back were left undone.
I packed the project into a Christmas box and left a note for Kathy explaining how Santa had a special gift for her to be made by a special elf, but due to NAFTA and overtime regulations it wasn't complete. All she needed to do is give it back to Zack who would deliver it back to Santa's Workshop and the work would be competed.
Now complete, Kathy is thrilled with her two elephant quilts. She loves them both equally even though they are quite different. Kind of like her love for her sons. No wonder she loves elephants so much!
This week Zack and Justin moved out of the TRIBUNE building. Their business and staff have grown and they have found their new "perfect location" at 1416 North Anthony. Best wishes to them.
Lois Eubank is the owner of Born Again Quilts, 124 W. Wayne St.-Upstairs. Don't forget to visit her on Trolley Shopping Saturday, March 31 from 11-4 p.m.