But others had and she loved quilting. In honor of her passion, her casket was draped with a quilt that was to be featured in her show. Don't you love that? How fitting. And her family was honored to loan her quilts to the show so that she could be honored in her absence.
This has led me to recall P from our Chicago quilt group (not even loosely defined as a "guild"). P died way too young and suddenly. She was also a wonderful quilter and and I remember smiling as I walked into the funeral home and there were quilts all over the visitation room. What incredible color to compete with the floral arrangements. Her daughters were telling the story of each of the quilts as they visited with those that came to pay their respects. I will never forget the snippets of fabrics and small quilt blocks that were slipped into P's casket -- and even into her hands.
I don't intend for this to be morbid or maudlin -- but rather to celebrate the community and love of quilting that we share. We see it in life and we see it in death.
The following poem was included in DT's memorial card. I have never seen this before and can't give credit where credit is due. There was none in the card as well. If anyone knows the origin, please let me know so I can update with author's name.
Edited 4.19.13. Thanks to Snowcatcher for letting me know this was written by Shutta Crum for her mother. The link is here.
My Mother Taught Me to Quilt
I learned from my mother how to quilt—
how to measure the width and length,
how to find the exact shade of a rainy day
or the hue of a grandchild’s trust.
She taught me that the whole is made up
of the piecings of each day, sewn one to the next.
And to save scraps; you never know when you’ll need one.
She taught me to ease dissonance
into harmonies of pattern, and when to stitch blind.
She told me that the straight grain is strong
but I must learn to work with bias—
for there are days when the fabric must stretch.
And she said there would be rough patches
over which I could appliqué flowers.
Then she taught me how to layer it together—
how to rock my needle, hand-stitching this work of mine
to the warm core and to the hardy backing.
Finally, she taught me to be proud—
to tuck in raw edges and bind the whole with boldness.
This is what I learned from my mother
when she taught me to quilt.
Everyone leaves a legacy....and I think quilters have the privilege of leaving one that will transcend generations. We learn life lessons from quilting (as noted above) and we share that love (and those lessons) with others. Aren't we fortunate?
I hope you have been sharing your life lessons and legacies with those you love!