Thursday, July 29, 2010

Listen to Your Mother! — Jean Ray Laury

from the quilt "Listen to Your Mother" by Jean Ray Laury

TQHF 1982 Honoree Jean Ray Laury started designing and making "modern" as well as whimsical quilts in the late 1950s. You can see her very first quilt here - "Tom's Quilt".

Photos by Karen Alexander

TQHF Honorees left to right: Jean Ray Laury with her signature red glasses, Yvonne Porcella (middle back); Bets Ramsey. TQHF Honoree Joyce Gross is seated in front.

The above photo was taken at the San Jose Textile and Quilt Museum, San Jose, California, Oct 2009 during the AQSG seminar.

The Alliance for American Quilts selected Laury as one of its "Quilt Treasures" and filmed her in her home for posterity. She is one of only 14 people to date in the quilt world to be thus honored.

So much of Laury's work is tongue-in-cheek humor with a message. She often delivers her message with "spoonful of sugar" that leaves you smiling and remembering the message long afterwards!

Her series on aging on display at the AQSG seminar is one of her more recent pieces.

In 2003 Jean donated her personal papers on children's books to the Arne Nixon Center for the Study of Children's Literature at Henry Madden Library California State University, Fresno. These papers are available on-site for research.

Here are just some of Jean's many books on display at the 2009 AQSG seminar where Jean was the Keynote speaker.

Her four delightful children's books are:

Sunbonnet Sue Goes to the Quilt Show (Fresno: Hot Fudge Press, 1985).

Sunbonnet Sue Makes Her First Quilt (San Francisco: The Quilt Digest Press, 1987)

No Dragons on My Quilt (Paducah: American Quilter’s Society, 1990)

14,287 Pieces of Fabric and Other Poems (Hong Kong: C&T Publishing, 1994)

These are "must have" books in any child's library! Most of Jean's books are still available directly from Jean's website or thru on-line used book dealers.

See a related article here.

Karen B. Alexander
Quilt Historian