I started quilting in my first year of sobriety. I actually learned a few years prior, but that first year, I took a class, made a small wall hanging and then was off to the races. Cutting up fabric and putting it together again, I made quilt after quilt. I can get a bit obsessive at times.
When mom died, I inherited her fabric stash. It was a stash to beat all, and in the last 10 years I have yet to go into a fabric store for so much as a spool of thread. Just guessing, I bet Iâ€™ve put together at least a dozen quilts with her fabric, machine and scissors.
Some where along the line, I started to put a quilt together when someone I loved died. It was a way for me to grieve them. I hate to say it, but with the exception of one quilt in the last 10 years, all have been made in the memory of someone I loved.
Last week, when it was clear to us that we were not moving off Bowen Island anytime soon, I started thinking about making another quilt. Then I heard the news of Ron Gregory dying and two days later the news of Steve Stoddards death.
Ron was a student and I didnâ€™t know much about his life other than he loved tai chi and was a gentle man who called me â€œteacher.â€
Steve on the other hand was a force and influence in my life.
So this weekend I gathered blue fabric out of the stash, and without a plan, started a double whammy quilt.
During the big purge Ken and I had when we thought we were moving, I gave away most of the quilt books I had. I realize now that I used these books to gather ideas before setting off on a quilting adventure. This weekend, I just set off.
Cutting squares is usually a good place to start. Big ones, then little. Then more. I cut large squares of dark blue fabric and small squares of lighter blue. Then I put them together â€” didnâ€™t like it. Ripped them apart. Sewed again. Ripped again. I stared at the fabric, moved the squares around, turned them to make diamonds, thought of Ron and Steve. Thought of Steve. Sewed, pressed and sewed. Thought some more and then ripped it all apart again. Then cut some more, sewed some more, pressed some more and last night, ripped it all apart again.
Grieving isnâ€™t a project, it is a process.