When the Tap is Finally Turned On – Anita LaHay

by Dick Wilbur on May 12, 2016

When the Tap is Finally Turned On

Anita LaHay – Alberta, Canada


Artist’s Statement:

“Water is a precious commodity.” That is what my mother always used to say to us when we were kids in the 70’s and 80’s. This statement is true now more than ever. I have never had to haul water every day to survive but I often think of those who do. Recently the safety of water in our town was compromised and we were under a boil water order. This really made me think about how much we need water and how difficult it is for those who don’t have access to clean water. When thinking about the theme of the quilt challenge I kept wishing that I could think of a solution for the women and children who do not have clean water and must work so hard to get what water they can. I know it will take the work of many powerful people and governments all over the world to create a lasting and viable solution. My quilt conveys what I imaging it would be like for the women and children when the tap is finally turned on. A beautiful rainbow of hope with the women and children dancing and celebrating their freedom from the labour of finding and carrying water.

When the Tap is Finally Turned On - Anita LaHay

When the Tap is Finally Turned On – Anita LaHay

Guest blog post:

When I saw the call for entry on the Quilt for Change website I was immediately inspired. It did not take me long to think of an idea. I wanted to focus on what would happen if the water problems were solved rather than on the problems themselves because I wanted the quilt to be cheerful and inspiring. The water problems the world is facing are very serious, daunting and depressing so I felt the focus should be on the end outcome we all desire – plentiful, clean water for all.

I printed out the submission requirements and sketched my quilt right on the papers as they came off the printer. The first thing I drew was the dancing women and children. I knew they would be quilted and I immediately saw in my mind how they would look. I knew I had rainbow colours of the rain print in my stash and just hoped there was enough. I tried to imagine how happy and joyful the women and children would be to be free of the endless task of finding and carrying water as I quilted them along the bottom of the quilt.

My design is simple, graphic and colourful. The giant tap in the sky is pouring out a rainbow of water which is also a symbol for hope. I quilted clouds in the white background fabric. I used a combination of piecing, raw edge applique and free motion quilting in the making of “When the Tap is Finally Turned On”.

Wouldn’t it be wonderful if the water problems could be solved with the simple turn of the tap? In some cases we can help to solve problems by turning our taps off and not using so much fresh water. I hope this little quilt grabs the attention of some powerful people and inspires them to work even harder than they already are to find solutions for all of the world’s people and animals too!



When the Tap is Finally Turned On - Detail

When the Tap is Finally Turned On – Detail

Artist’s Biography:

Anita LaHay is a quilter and pattern designer living in Alberta, Canada. She has been quilting since 1997 and started sewing, embroidery and cross stitch as a young child taught by her mother. In 2015 she released several quilt, sewing and embroidery patterns in her online shops. She has been blogging at http://daydreamsofquilts.blogspot.com since 2011. Anita is a work-at-home Mom to three children ages 1, 7 and 11 and a wife to her husband of 15 years. She took Journalism Arts in her post secondary education. Currently most of her writing is about quilts. She is a member of the Modern Quilt Guild and the Canadian Quilter’s Association.

Lynn May 14, 2016 at 12:31 am

An inspiration Anita. I am impressed with your positive approach and your focus on hopeful outcomes.

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