It’s one heck of a picture, especially if you’re a chick who likes to sew.
I found it quite by accident while sifting through Wikicommons, a clearinghouse for public domain images that is occasionally The Best Thing Ever. I say “occasionally” because copyrighted work (i.e., The Wizard of Oz, images of the quilts of Gee’s Bend, etc.) is, by definition, not in the public domain, so Wikicommons has its limits because those copyrighted images are the ones tends to need most and they are not there. But then you find something like this and it’s just great.
The drawing was made by Frenchman Adolphe Willette (1857-1926) and the description we get from the Wikifolk (via the Library of Congress) says:
“A soldier on leave from World War I embraces a young woman, whose chair by a sewing machine tipped in haste while she answered his arrival. At his heels a small dog begs for attention.”
That dog’s gon’ wait awhile.
My mom and I speak on American quilts and quilters and we often remark on the need for a tune-up of the quilter’s public image. The world tends to picture us as being — how to put it — rather long in tooth and either super docile or extra cranky. (There there are those who fit such bills.) But American quilters are 21 million strong: We’re as diverse a group as that number would clearly produce. There are interesting reasons for the prevailing image of the “little old lady” quilter which I’d love to expound upon at a later time — it has to do with WWII — but for now, l urge you to share this free image with wild abandon. Credit it properly, of course, and pin it and tell your friends.
We quilters are a saucy bunch when we want to be, darn it. We may be ample-bosomed. Long-legged. Firecrackery.* Lusty. We, like the nerdy librarians (who clearly have a good PR machine working for them) need simply to take off our glasses and take out our hairpins to reveal sexy, sensuous kittens with throaty laughs who were just waiting for you to take a little initiative, soldier.
Though… Well, wait till we finish this block. Then take the initiative. Because we just have the one seam left. On this block. Just… Hang on just one second, dear.
*Firecrackery = new word, possibly best word ever