Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Jane Burke, Inspirational speaker and quilter!

All I can say is "breathtaking." Yesterday morning, I went with my senior quilting buddies to see and hear a presentation by Jane Burke of Oakville, Ontario.
She presented her life story, with its ups and downs, through the story of her quilts. Wow. First she's a wonderful, warm, exuberant lady. She is so easy to listen to that 2 hours flew by. She has had several trials in her life, not the least of which is coping with her husband having Parkinson's Disease. She could have shriveled up from the world and withered away, but instead expressed the stages of her life in her art.
Born of missionary parents, and then serving herself, she has seen an amazing amount of this earth. Her spirit is amazing.
Then you see her quilts. She loves colour and it shows in her quilts. She shows the triumph and the pain in the designs. God has given her an amazing talent.
One particular quilt was "The colour wheel". Yes, it looked like a colour wheel, but as she told us about God being the potter and we are the clay, she showed us the back ground of brown tones representing the clay. Then showed how each "block" of colour was really a pitcher with handle and rounded body, with liquid showing at the brim of the complementary colour from across the wheel. She told us how it represented harmony in this world and how she thought she was feeling at the time.
But then she turned it around to show us the back. It used the same wonerful colours, but this time it was in a pattern called "Broken dishes." "This is how I really felt inside" is what she said.
Later she showed us another quilt, "The gift." She told us how it had been a block challenge - pieces of fabric in a kit with instructions to use the theme "the gift." She interpreted the gift as that which we received through Jesus.
She showed how the cross through the middle was Jesus' cross, the center trapunto "ball" was the earth. Then, if you looked close enough, you could see the shape of the Christmas tree - representing Jesus' birth a Christmas. Breathtaking. But there was more.
When she took "The Gift" and held it in front of "Broken Dishes", it fit exactly over the center, covering all the brokenness . She had not measured, nor planned it that way. But it happened. I wish I could post photos, but since I didn't ask permission, I can't. But I will say, if you ever have a chance to hear her, go. It will be a spiritual event in your life.

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