Saturday, January 17, 2009
A Quilt from Old Neckties
I had a friend named Anna Lee Bush. She passed away several years ago. She was dear. Once very long ago, she gave me a black garbage bag full of men's neckties. She had planned on using them herself, but never did. For some reason, she decided I should have them. Maybe because I am hard pressed to throw things out and she didn't want to either. So, I took the bags and thanked her for the treasure.
Anna Lee was a lot of fun. She was older, wiser, more talented, funnier and just a great person! She made me laugh and also inspired me to do good work. With all the best of intentions, I sorted out the ties and then safely packed them away til I could get to work on a quilt using them. You know how it is...I would think of the ties often, but I never got around to actually making a quilt with them. They were there....in the back of my mind...but I always found something else that "had" to be done.
Then, one day, I heard that Anna Lee was very sick. I called her on the phone and we talked....she, still funny, said she remembered me back when I was "quiet." Well, possibly, because at one time I tended to be quiet....but that time had passed. We both laughed and talked about old times. It was fun. I wished her well and said I'd call again. Then, a couple weeks later, she passed away. After her funeral, several of us from the quilt guild decided to celebrate her life by going to the local quilt shop to buy fabric and to spend some time "remembering." We each bought fabric that she would have liked. I still have my little bundle, untouched, and when I see it, I think of her and smile.
One day after that, I got out the long packed away neckties and made this quilt in honor of my generous friend. It looks like a crazy quilt, but actually, it is just a simple fan pattern, embellished with embroidery stitches and then beaded. You know by now that I love to do both. I decided to use all black embroidery thread and jet beads, just to keep it simple. Alll that pattern in the ties kind of decided that for me. And, I wanted to use jet beads because not only do I love them, but I knew Anna Lee did too...all that drama and sparkle when the light hits them "just right."
I like to write on quilts from time to time, so I decided I would write on this one...in the border. On the bottom border it says:
"In memory of a wonderful quilter and friend, Anna Lee Bush, who gave me much encouragement and a very large bag of old neckties."
And, because I knew she would love this quote from Linda Otto Lipsett (and I do too), I wrote: "It was not a woman's desire to be forgotten. And, in one simple, unpretentious way, she created a medium that would outlive even many of her husband's houses, barns, and fences; she signed her name in friendship onto cloth and, in her own way, cried out, REMEMBER ME." I will always remember Anna Lee. Take care. pat