Time Out: Intimate Apparel

All work and no play is no fun at all.  Joan and I took some time out to see Intimate Apparel on the Granville Island Stage.  Joan had seen a writeup in the local paper and  the accompanying picture showed  rolls of fabric stacked on shelves. That was all we needed to know before booking two tickets. The story takes place in 1905. Esther is a 35-year old African-American woman who sews lingerie and corsets for rich women while dreaming of opening up her own salon to pamper those who aren’t allowed in white salons. Esther starts receiving letters from a fellow in the Caribbean. Romance follows, right in one door and out the other. Anyway, front and centre on the stage was a beautiful old treadle sewing machine and a bed covered with a patchwork quilt. This was one of 4 stage areas with the  most intriguing being the merchant’s shop. This was the place where rolls of fabric were brought out and displayed throughout the play. Silks and wools and beautiful brocades. It was a feast for the eyes, just wish I was allowed to touch the fabric! Back to the romance and the bed. Esther’s new husband is in need of money and so she begins to give him some. Where does it come from? Why inside those patches on her quilt. She has been saving half her earned money for her dream salon and sewing it into those patches. Needless to say the quilt was eventually torn to shreds in the doling out of her dream. Move forward to the final act and we see Esther at her treadle sewing machine calmly starting a new patchwork quilt with the scraps from her paid sewing. With all the calmness of a great seamstress she continues working and dreaming towards the day she will open her salon. As has been said before: When life throws you scraps, make a quilt!

At the Merchant's

Happy quilting…Valerie Raye

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