I have a theory that creative souls are impatient souls. But when in the process of their craft, reach inside themselves and tap into a different part of their true soul... that part that is patient and soft and accepting.
That’s the gift that my sister, Cheryl Morgan, an impatient soul to be sure, possesses. Her quilts, traditional and classic, employ minute stitches that for these sore eyes are hard to fathom.
See, I am so impatient that I can’t even imagine the kind of skill and focus that it takes to make one of Cheryl’s quilts. My straight stitches are irregular, not precise like are hers. Beautiful pairings of color and pattern, exact shapes of leaves, animals, birds and bows or geometric forms like the Gordean Knot are just some of her specialties. How does she do it?
Cheryl lives with her husband, Russ, in Pleasanton, CA. Daughter Katie and three grandchildren, Justin, Kayla and Brody, live nearby, a fourth, Riley, lives in Arizona. During COVID, the Pleasanton community has hung their hand-sewn quilts on bushes and trees, a kind of Saturday -across -the -fence get together with social distancing. So inspiring and a perfect environment for my sister. It’s a good place.
Cheryl has belonged to a Wednesday quilting group since 2006. it was started in 2005 by Tere Piper, who worked at the local Village Quilt Shop, where the group used to meet. The shop has now closed, and they now congregate at the local library, the numbers of the group fluctuating from15 to the current 9. These women not only have their creativity in common, but have supported and helped each other through health issues and the loss of husbands and children, Cheryl’s son John among them. Friendships have strengthened in this kind of contemporary quilting bee, with each woman working on their own projects.
So important is the group to it’s members that during the COVID shutdown they still have met by Zoom each Wednesday. It’s been my honor to be part of the group each time I visit Cheryl’s family in Pleasanton. And each time I come away ready to shake up my own craft, and inspired by the friendships I’ve made with MaryAnn, Marcia, Susan and Lyda.
Cheryl calls me the artist in the family. And I beg to differ. The line, shape, color, texture. The patterning. It’s all there in Cheryl’s quilts. She’s every bit the artist. I hope she sees that in the creativity of her own work.