It's funny how so much of what we do requires a certain mindset - one that is positive; an all-systems-go sort of outlook. July 2016 found me having sad news to face, and it has been difficult to focus my attention on both quilting and blogging. Just to try to get July tucked away and move on to a happier August, I will share the sad news with you readers; not to garner sympathy, but more just to move on and adjust.
In the photo above, Mary is showing off a quilt she was preparing to bind. This was taken on one of the trips to sew at her barn.
What a wonderful lady, and no truer friend could you find. While I did not know her as well as other quilters in my extended circle of friends - she was as genuine as could be. She announced back in January that she had been diagnosed with a particularly aggressive cancer and would be suspending her barn gatherings; soon she announced encouraging news that the diagnosis was not as dreadful as earlier suspected. Well, 6 months later, we learned of her passing. Apparently, it was aggressive, and many quilting friends were caught unawares. Here's a link to another blogger's tribute to Mary.
While digesting this news, our own family was dealing with a tragedy - the death of my Aunt Margaret - or Maggie, as she'd come to be called. Maggie is my mom's younger sister; the one who helped out so much during my grandmother's final months in 2015. After retiring in the spring of '15, helping with Grandma's affairs in the summer of '15, and moving with her husband, Uncle Nick, from Kansas back to Ohio in the fall of '15, Maggie began to have some mysterious health issues - mostly sleeplessness. The real alarms began this past May, when by the end of the month she was in the hospital and being tested for all sorts of neurological problems. The preliminary diagnosis was rapidly progressive dementia. Later, after some very specific test results, we learned a name for this disease - CJD, a terminal condition with no known treatment. She died on July 20.
Above is Maggie with her son, my cousin Sam at his wedding (1997), one of hundreds of pictures we enjoyed in a slide show at Maggie's memorial service yesterday. One of her very dear friends who came all the way from Wyoming made a few remarks and ended with this Native American prayer, which was particularly touching:
I give you this one thought to keep -
I am with you still - I do not sleep.
I am a thousand winds that blow,
I am the diamond glints on snow,
I am the sunlight on ripened grain,
I am the gentle autumn rain.
When you awaken in the morning's hush,
I am the sweet uplifting rush
of quiet birds in circled flight.
I am the soft stars that shine at night.
Do not think of me as gone -
I am with you still in each new dawn.
And now to my ambivalence about quilting and blogging.
My focusing issues have been exacerbated by troubleshooting how to quilt the big commission I need to be finishing. I've felt in a quandary for weeks now. Ugh!
I do think I have turned a corner, however. Elisa's quilt is beginning to come together more successfully, and an end is in sight. Above I have one of the sections in a prepping stage on the kitchen counter. I pressed the backing and stretched it out using painter's tape to keep it secure. I then pressed the top to the batting, and I used a lot of spray starch to give it some stiffness. Then I pinned the three layers together. I've been quilting and having some pretty decent success. (I will keep quiet about any "unsewing" I've done.)
Let's look forward to August, and see if I can get my mojo back!
Happy Quilting, Friends!