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Molly Upton's Letter Home (Cambridge Mass, 1974)

Marginalia Transcribed
Hello Uptons -- life in Cambridge is grand. We are very busy. Hope you come see ourwork and home soon. OOXX Sue.

Dear mom dad and souci,

My life sure has taken a new turn! Living in this area is a whole new way. It is wonderful. Sue and I after many days of rushing around from place to place looking for what we might see in the way of jobs came up with a monster plan that cannot fail. Sue talked to her parents the other night and explained it to them and I gather that they passed (it) on to you in its simple form. We are going to make 20 patchwork quilts in the next two months. We sat down right after we thought of the project and made two quilts out of some of the scrap material that we had lying around which turned out to be really exceptional ... more like exotic design paintings with beautiful color combinations. We are now both almost finished with our second ones which are even more incredible than the first ones. They have each twelve squares with various borders-and each square is an entirely different pattern that we made up as we went along. In that quilt we used some minute pieces of material-less than an inch square, we used pockets and ribbons ... ah yes so the is an investment. Sue and I went down to Chinatown in boston where the materials district is and made some insane bargains for old material ... woolens and tweed for less than 50 cents a yard! 150 feet of assorted maddress (sic) strips for 50 dollars, and several yards for free for buying such large quantities. We have been using this polyester that comes in rolls especially for stuffing quits, but we figure that we could saves our selves on that stuff by contacting the manufacturer in Ohio. Sue and I figure our expenses between now and the end of march we will each 500 dollars that includes the rent, food, concerts transportation, materials and other misc. stuff. We checked out the quilt situation in all the little shops in the area. There are only a few shops that have quilts (hand-made) and the ones we have seen are really poorly designed and made. We have seen that type of quilt selling for 200 bucks. We took our quilts to the stores and they were very inthusiastic. But wait until you see these things ... we are planning to find a gallery that will show all twenty in one place. You see if we put hem in the shops they would go one at a time, and the power of twenty different ones all at once would be lost. So, on with the plan ... we plan to make five each, so that we have ten all together, ... and show them to the different galleries in the area (which there must be at least a hundred of) lots of the galleries in the area are gauged around the craftsmen in the area ... lots of pottery, weaving, silverwork, glassblowing, etc. showing these days ... and it is certainly to our benefit that we are totally original in our idea ... although women have been quilting for centuries, we are taking a whole new approach which came to both sue and I quite naturally. We are so good for each other when we are working ... help each other make lingering decisions ... while we quilt we talk about the different possabilities within that form of artwork-(artwork) with color, shape ... and especially texture which is really fun. when our business gets going we can branch out into wall hangings, may stretched like a canvas (the way tom and judy stretched that purple and green merrimeko material that they used to have hanging over their bed) and get this one-patchwork FLAGS on long carved sticks for little kids to play with ... we would make up our own flag designs.
                      oh it is endless ...
it would take pages to describe to you all the ideas we have brewing. So I'll wait until you come to visit. When the twenty are completed, we can take color slides of them so when they are sold we will have them for memory.