Thursday, March 5, 2015

Footprints Behind Us

Its been said that we all try to leave our footprints or some mark of who we are behind when we leave this plane of existence. Quilters leave fabric, UFO's, WIP's and quilts.

Just before my drive to the big city to pick up the quilting machine, I spent time basting a jelly roll batik strip quilt top.

These batik strips were part of the fabric from my friend Lee's estate. She used to sign up for door prizes, donated lots of money to various quilt guilds, and always seemed to win. My guess is that these strips were a prize because they are not her typical purchase. They were all pre-cut to 2.5" and were of varying lengths (jelly rolls). I just started kept making rows. Then I trimmed the sides and here it is, enough for a lap size & binding.

Lee didn't quilt in this simple style. Her quilt projects were one of a kind, and she made a lot of hand appliqued wall hangings, finding just the right piece even if it meant buying a 1/3 yard to get the one she wanted. Her hand work on all her small pieces was exquisite. She had an eye for beauty.

Though we may not be aware of it, people watch us. Most of my peeps watch me 2000 miles away. I live in Cali and they all live in Minnesota or Wisconsin. What we say and do, or don't say and don't do has an effect. Our words and deeds matter.

What I hope they see is that I keep going, keep doing the things I love, going exciting places, reading, writing, sometimes saying & doing wild things, and yes, quilting.

We never know what another person will take from seeing how we live, and so it comes down to always doing our best, and doing what we love.

Generations change and value different things in life. What worked for women in Lee's generation is not what works for younger people. I hear members of her family expressing the real love for her work now that her job is done. What I know is that her door was always open to me. She listened and helped me evolve in fabric arts. I get this whole concept of "Notes-To-Self" from her, just because she never left any. And when she passed, the women who went through her things spent hours trying to find the value in what they saw, and sometimes missed it.

We teach each other how to live and how not to live; how to make our footprints and how to disappear.