"She who forms the souls of the young is greater than any painter or sculptor."
Saint John Chrysostom
My mother and I shared the love of creating beautiful things. I remember as a child sitting and watching her sew beautiful gowns for proms and weddings. This was the only type of sewing she would agree to make for family and friends because she always felt that if she was going to make something it would be something out of the ordinary and not something for everyday use. I myself began sewing at a very young age using scraps of fabric to make clothing for my dolls and by the time I was in high school I was making my own clothes.
I don't ever remember her making any quilts while I was growing up, it wasn't until I was a grown up with daughters of my own that quilting came into my life. When I began to quilt she also began to make quilts and although she never saw some of my best and biggest creations she did get to see my first ones. Those last few years of her life we shared some quilting experiences together and she actually created Sunbonnet Sue quilts for each of my girls that we lovingly take care of today. I helped her put finishing touches on a machine appliqued butterfly quilt that she made to carry with her to her chemo appointments and I made her a sweatshirt jacket with quilted fans on it for her to wear to keep her warm. She made quilts for everyday use and didn't worry about matching seams perfectly or other things that as a quilter I would never dream of leaving undone today. Those were her quilts and no matter what shortcuts she took or what quilting details she left undone these were her creations and she was proud of them. I still keep her quilts in my closet along with her jacket that I made, I take them down sometimes just to hold them and think of her. These items are the only physical connections I have left with her and I hold those items dear to my heart.
I miss her so very much and there have been times when I felt as if I couldn't get through the day without her to talk to, but at those times I know that she is still here with me. She is with me in every stitch I take when I create a new quilt, whether that quilt is for me or for someone else I know she is proud of who I have become and of what I do. For most of her last year we lived on two different continents but managed to mend many bridges and came to understand one another better than we ever had before. I got to share some final thoughts with her a couple of weeks before she fell into a semi-conscious state, and quietly her soul passed into the night and her body found peace on the morning of March 9, 1996.
I thank God for giving me those last few years with her, he gave us time to heal from old wounds and to find a renewed bond through a common love of sewing and creating beautiful things.
I love you Mom.