I’ve been working in textiles for a while now, specifically, completely hand-made art quilts, with the main attraction being hand embroidery. Anyone who hand embroiders knows how time intensive it can be. For a while now, I’ve been so damn busy, I have not had time to work on the current project, the Tree Quilt. That ends up being a bit depressing, because I’d like to just be able to work on it and get finished. 65 years ago, a woman started an embroidery art piece, and has now finished it at age 90.
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TROTWOOD — During the two years Cincinnati native Priscilla Faulks studied at the Cincinnati Art Academy, her medium was painting and her favored subjects were nature and portraits. But, after returning to her grandmother’s house at 25 in 1950, she was inspired to start a life-sized Jesus — which she finally completed in January, just a few weeks after her 90th birthday.
Now, the framed embroidered “My Jesus” is on display at Victoria’s Restaurant at West Third and Union Road in Trotwood.
“I wasn’t religious, but my grandmother, who raised me, was a highly Christian woman, and I was living with her when I was inspired to draw Jesus,” Faulks said. “Grandmother had saved government potato sacks from the Depression, and I asked her to sew them together to make me a large canvas that we tacked to the wall.
“I drew the Jesus, and she was elated. Both she and my mother were seamstresses, and they taught me. I made all my own doll clothes. I decided to use embroidery on the piece.”
Faulks began the work, then got married and had two children. She rolled up her Jesus and worked on it when she had time. Her first husband, injured in WWII, eventually died of his injuries, and she returned to school at Wilberforce until she re-married and had two more children. She was widowed a second time two years ago.
Hired as secretary for McLin Funeral Home by then-Ohio House Rep. C.J. McLin, “I’d take Jesus to work, and when I wasn’t busy, I’d work on him,” she said. “At night, I worked on him to relax, then roll him up and put him away. The more I worked, the more I wanted to finish him.”
Finally, on Jan. 5, she completed “My Jesus,” and approached various places to have it displayed, but was told that, at 4-feet-by-6-feet, it was too large for most spaces.
Faulks is thrilled that her Jesus is finally finished and now has a space where it’s appreciated, with an accompanying explanation of her long-term project.
“I’m happy, elated and relieved,” she said. “It took so long, just one stitch in, one stitch out, for 65 years.”
That is a seriously impressive piece of work. I think I better get back to work. I don’t have 65 years.