Monday, July 06, 2009

inching closer

When I moved to Sewanee back in 2004 I went from a 2200 square foot house to a 900 square foot cabin. It was clear that some things were going to have to be stored! I had too many craft interests for the space I was about to occupy, and some of those interests would need to be sacrificed. I made the difficult decision to part with my fabric, not because I didn't want access to it, but because there was too much of it.

In the fall of 2005 I came upon this quilt kit in a quilt shop. It was titled "country day," and I immediately thought of my friend Kathy. She was an alumna of a private girls school that had merged with its male counterpart, St. Louis Country Day School (conveniently right next door to one another). After a lifelong association with the school (her own alumni activities, as well as the school of both of her children) she went to work for the school in the Development Office. Of all the connections in her life, Kathy lived and breathed MICDS. The "country day" quilt seemed made for her.

Kathy had just been diagnosed with metastatic lung cancer. Over the years of our friendship I had created several things for her, and she had suggested that my creations had found their way into every room in her house. The possibility loomed large that this might be the last thing I would make for her, and with Christmas creeping up quickly I decided to splurge on the quilt kit and make it for her for Christmas. I would tell her that since the house was already laden with Anne originals this one was intended for the office. It was a sound decision. Kathy died the following April.

Since moving to our present house there still hasn't been room to sew or quilt. Space is still limited and much of my fabric is still in boxes. But I have been missing it sorely, and since getting to know my quilting cyber friend Kim the yearning to quilt has increased. While working in my office (and craft space) to get it better organized and decluttered, having the sewing machine set up has been a priority.

I'm almost there! The office is in much better shape, piles of papers have been sorted, pitched and filed, and most things now have a place "to live." The closet needs shelves, and that is waiting on some available funds, but once I've got the shelves the overhaul will be on its way to completion.

Through Kim I have learned about Quilts of Valor, made for men and women serving in the military, and that is the first project I want to undertake. Yesterday I visited a quilting web site and downloaded some patterns of interest, bringing the prospect of creating closer and closer to reality. The table in my office on which the sewing machine will sit is almost clear of items that still need attention, and then...

I'm so excited I could just plotz! The return to quilting and sewing has been a long time coming, and I've got stashes of fabric calling to be transformed from yardage to usefulness. Soon, soon. Oh, what a lovely day that will be!


Genie said...

What a gorgeous quilt, Anne! I know just how you feel -- one of THE worst things about waiting to sell this house is not being able to keep out my sewing machine. I'm way too new to quilting to reach your caliber -- or that of the friend who was trying to teach me before she died in March -- but it's still something I feel very called to. I want to get settled so I too can keep my machine out and my stash available! Good luck with your Quilts of Valor. As soon as I can, I'm going to work on something for the Alzheimer's Quilt Project.

Jayne said...

THAT is so very beautiful, and I am sure that she cherished it so much. It's so neat to hear the excitement in your words when you describe the feeling of working with your hands and heart to create something. :c)

Anonymous said...

Oooooh, so pretty! Thanks for the mention!

Have you been to the Minick and Simpson website? They have some LOVELY things there.

Maria said...

What a gorgeous quilt. I'm sure that Kathy absolutely loved your creation. And I know, only too well, about missing being able to create. It's a yearning for sure.


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