Hannoch and I met 23 years ago. He had a little boy, I had a little girl. We took the scraps of our lives, put them together and made a beautiful new family.
Now my little girl is married and has two little boys, and Hannoch’s little boy is newly married too, but that’s another story…
After we met and got married, Hannoch told me that when his son, Shaul, was two years old and his family fell apart, he wrote a story to light up the darkness around him. A story about Naomi (Na’ama in the original story), a hardworking seamstress, that is charged by her boss with making a special bed sheet for a special boy, Shaul. Naomi is stumped by the request at first, but then has an idea: she will decorate the sheet with pictures of animals. She goes to the zoo, where she encounters animals who evade her request under various pretexts. She doesn’t give up and eventually collects the pictures and makes the sheet.
After hearing the story, I explained to Hannoch that actually Naomi makes a quilt, not a sheet, and we went on with our life.
Fast forward to three years ago: Hannoch tells me that he dreams of publishing the story of Naomi. We start looking for illustrators. Then it dawns on me – if Naomi makes a quilt, wouldn’t it be a wonderful idea to illustrate the book using quilting techniques and to finally make Shaul’s quilt? So I started my journey to illustrate the book. It was difficult as I’m not an illustrator and my drawing skills are rather basic. Using pictures for reference I managed to create a couple of illustrations, struggling with textile technique as well.
But when I got to the animals, I was at a complete loss. It just didn’t work. I procrastinated and was in pain over it. A year ago I set a deadline: the book will be Hannoch’s 60th birthday present in July 2018. But setting a deadline does not an illustrator make… It was weighing on me more and more. And then after a conversation with a wise friend I understood that the book is more important than who illustrates it. I searched for an illustrator, found the very talented Tanja Russita, and contracted her to draw the illustrations with water colors. Then I had the illustrations printed on fabric and made the quilt!
Yesterday we started a crowd funding campaign to finish the book and publish it. It’s a dream come true. Well, almost. We keep our fingers crossed for the campaign to succeed…
And now to the title of the blog post. Only in the last years we realized that Hannoch wrote the story of the slightly naive, endlessly optimistic Naomi and her quilt about me. He actually invented me and brought me to (his) life. And now I took his dream and made both the book and the quilt real for him, closing this wonderful circle.