After a long “intermission” during construction, the Residents’ Art Gallery once again displays the art of some of our talented residents.  Nancy Ruley and Bill Willey, along with help from the Furnishing & Interiors Committee, have agreed to be the new coordinators for the Art Gallery, filling the large shoes left by retiring    ▶︎ Victoria and Gene Shelar,  assisted by  Trix Rumford.  Before long, the Art Gallery will show residents’ art on a regular basis, on an approximately four month cycle.  The inaugural show features works by Jo McMurtry, Nancy Ruley, Victoria Shelar, Ruth Tafel, Louise Tardy, Pat Thomas, and  John Winfrey, and we hope to see the creative works of many of our residents as we go forward.  If you have a creative piece you’d like to share,  please let Nancy or Bill know.

With this overview, let us now turn to a closer look at Louise’s contributions, which are, in fact, gifts to KaLex, and not merely loans to the Gallery.  Louise has stitched six beautiful artistic needle point renditions of The Creation Story from the Bible, designed by Alex Beattle.  I recently had a conversation with Louise about these.

art gallery weaving

Q:  Louise, the series of six needle points are beautifully designed and stitched.  Tell me more about “your story” in needle work and how you came to work on these designs of The Creation.

A:  I’ve always loved working with my hands.  When I was four, my mother drew a picture of a cat which I happily embroidered and later gave to my doctor.  He got tears in his eyes with my gift.  I was touched that my young efforts meant so much to him.

As time went on, I sewed all my own clothes, even making coats and jackets.  I just enjoy any type of sewing and needle crafts.

Q:  There are many of your quilted pieces in the hallways here at KaLex.  Were you also quilting while you were sewing clothes, working as a nurse, all while living on your busy farm on Toad Run?

A:  Oh no, I took that up later when a friend asked me to a quilt guild meeting.  I like to hand quilt.  The rhythm of quilting is satisfying to me.  I don’t like to do the sewing of pieces to make a quilt top, just to do the quilting.  (An interviewer aside:  As a quilter, let me say that those who like to hand quilt are definitely in the minority.)

    My friend was going to teach a class on Bargello.  I was intrigued by the pattern so joined the class and made the piece that is now hanging in the hallway on the T level.  From there, I went on to trying more, different patterns that I liked.

Q:  When did you begin to do needlepoint?

A:  I began after I moved to KaLex in 2008.  Nancy Epley invited me to the “sewing group” which still meets.  Since I couldn’t take my quilting frame to meetings, I needed something that I could carry with me, so I thought I’d try needlepoint.  I went to my neighbor across the street who showed me the basics, and that was the start.  I found a wonderful source for painted can-  ▶︎ vases.  I’ve taken the catalogue to family gatherings and have asked my nieces and nephews what they would like me to make for them.  To date I’ve done dozens of pillows for them and other people.

I saw “The Creation” series at a church conference center, and again, later, in a pattern book, and I decided that I’d like to stitch these beautiful patterns.  I began last November and finished in March, and gave them as a gift to KaLex.

Q:  Thank you so much for sharing your many talents with all of us here at Kendal.

– – Written by Resident Dianne Herrick for CONNECTIONS