Behind the Seams

By Meghna Datta

Elaine Winston is incredibly talented quilter with an eye for detail. But it is a mistake to define her by her passion for quilting. While Elaine has a penchant for different kinds of creative expression - from playing violin in Croasdaile Village’s Rusty Pipes group to baking and designing clothing - it is what her unique hobbies say about her that truly define her. No matter what she engages in, she makes sure of two things. One, she is always surrounded by people that she loves and cares for; and two, she always makes sure that what she does brings her joy. Elaine endeavors to live each day to the fullest, not knowing what the next day will bring. And the more one gets to know Elaine, the more it is apparent that she truly exemplifies this ideal.

It has been a privilege to get to know Elaine through photographing her life this semester. I am in awe of her quilting skills, I dream about her decadent fig cake, and I laugh remembering how much fun she had while playing violin at Rusty Pipes. Most importantly, though, I feel as though Elaine has taught me so much, as a photography subject and a friend. In her quiet, unassuming way, she seizes each day with creativity, joy, and fervor. Her friends and family, including her husband Al, build off of the warmth and compassion she radiates in conversation and laughter. If I can work towards even half of the spirit she embodies when interacting with the world around her, I know I”ll have lived a good life.