It’s been a while since we got together and here we are at the beginning of September 2016.
Where does the time go? You blink and a week goes by, another blink and it’s a month, then you blink again and it’s another year! It’s as quick as that! Or is it just that I am getting old? Who knows? Did you know it is a year since the SAS was formed?
Anyway, the passing of time has made me reflect on how far I have come in my quest to be a quilter and all the inspirational people who I have met along the way.
This time last year I was just a ‘hanger on’ going with my good friend June to quilt shows, admiring all the lovely quilts people all round the country had made and envying them their skills. Remember June? She was the one who started my inspirational journey by retiring and joining two quilting groups, The Quilters’ Cupboard and The Usworth Quilters’
She was to be my first inspiration, making me quilted throws for my settees then a wonderful ‘Star Quilt’ for my 60th birthday. Thanks June
It was on one of our jaunts to a quilt show that I met another inspirational lady, her name was Lilian, she was part of the Usworth Quilters’ group. The group would put on trips to various Quilt Shows and on these journeys the ladies would swap ideas and share their plans for the next quilt to be made with the fabrics they had bought. Now all these ladies had with them quilted bags which they had made themselves. My friend Anne (another novice quilter) and I both admired the bag that Lilian had with her and we told her so. We said how clever she was to have made it and how sad we were that we didn’t have those skills. Do you know what she told us? She said, “It’s easy, you can do it, I’ll give you the pattern!” Anne and I laughed, shrugged our shoulders and said almost in unison, “I don’t think so!” To this Lilian replied strongly, “you CAN do it.” True to her word she copied us both a pattern and we enlisted June’s help to get the material and follow the pattern and guess what? We DID it, we both made a bag and we felt so chuffed with ourselves. Take a look at Anne’s bag, mine was sent to the Philippines as a gift to my son’s Filipina mother-in-law who is a skilled seamstress and seemed very impressed!
It was Lilian’s firm belief in our ability to make those bags which fuelled my inspiration to learn how to quilt, however Lilian has inspired me on another level. It wasn’t until I got to know her better that I realised what a strong woman she was. I would see her on the trips to the various quilt shows and couldn’t help noticing that she had mobility problems. I was told about her struggle with polio as a child which left her hands and legs weak, yet she managed to turn out the most beautiful and delicate quilts. No wonder she was so vehement about Anne’s and my ability to make that bag! Sadly Lilian succumbed to another long and debilitating illness (liver disease) and she passed away on the 25th of March this year. She is greatly missed. I am inspired by her inner strength and ability to carry on against the odds and would like to pay tribute to her life here by sharing the thoughts of her family with you taken from the Order of Ceremony, (Celebrating an Amazing Woman’s Life) Thanks Lilian.
I cant’ believe as I sit here writing to you that a year has passed and I am making quilts!
Some to donate to Quilts For Comfort, I am now onto my third quilt for them! I think you have seen the ‘Miracle Quilt’ made by Anne and me, using the stich and flip method of using up scraps from everyone’s stash. Thanks Everyone.
Then there was my first solo quilt, the Dresden Plate design taught to me by another of my inspirational women, Joan from the Usworth Quilters’. Thanks Joan.
My third quilt was inspired by Jan, yet another of the Usworth Quilters’ group. She brought a lovely toy train appliqued quilt she had made for her Grandson to show us at our regular Wednesday SAS group. I loved it and Jan showed me how to master the art of applique. I am not quite finished this quilt but I can’t resist giving you a sneak preview of my progress, I am so pleased with it. Thanks Jan
I have also just finished my’ Memories of Manay-as’ quilt which began life in the fishing village of Manay-as near Badian in Cebu, Philippines. I took some batik charms squares away with me and hand sewed nine patch blocks, much to the amusement of the curious natives! I am sending them a photo so they can finally see what it was all about!
Reflecting on this past year I feel that to be inspired is GREAT so to be able to INSPIRE others must be absolutely INCREDIBLE!
I found this poem once when I was searching the internet for messages to insert into greetings cards, which I love to make and I think it sums up how I feel.
I am constantly inspired
By those people in my life;
By the way they keep going…
By the way they deal with strife.
By the dreams they are creating.
By the smile in their step.
Real life inspiration…
It’s the best sort you can get!
Well until the next time, bye for now, Jan