In 2011, a friend of ours, who had struggled with mental illness for a long time, decided life really was just too hard. I cannot begin to imagine what it feels like to live in that grey space of constant despair, and to finally drop into the darkest of dark where hope doesn't penetrate.
We weren't exceptionally close friends. G (the friend) and K (his wife) had worked with hubby on a night-shift job. I'm guessing on night-shift you probably get to know people a bit better than in a 9-5 office job. I know my guard comes down when I'm tired and I can get a bit silly if I'm trying to stay awake. But that was hubby's journey with them, rather than mine.
I introduced K to the concept of quilting. I didn't really teach her anything. I lent her a book and talked to her, but obviously it inspired her to try. The quilts she made from that meagre introduction were a part of my journey to enjoy the art of quilt making; to not be so bound by the 'rules' and what "real quilters" might think. The quilts weren't technically brilliant and would have been slammed by judges at any quilt show, but they were art; they were personal expression; and they inspired me. There's a lot of freedom in that.
Because of that connection, when G died, I decided to make K a quilt. She mentioned considering travelling, so I wanted to keep it travel friendly. I'm not renowned for fast quilt making (I can, I just rarely do). It was nearly two years before I finished the quilt, even though it was reasonably simple. Life has a habit of taking unexpected turns, and by the time the quilt was finished, K had a new man in her life and she was happy again, and I wondered whether the quilt I'd made was appropriate. So, it's sat on my shelf and I've pondered what to do with it. It's quite personal; it's not something I could give to anyone else.
The answer was so simple I don't know why I didn't think of it earlier, and this post is part of the answer. If I can show K the quilt, without me being involved, she can decide if she would like it OR if she would like to give to another of G's friends, who might appreciate it. I'm hoping that by doing it this way, that veneer of politeness (which is all lovely and everything) might be avoided, and honest decisions can be made. I don't want K to take the quilt just because I'm standing right there and she feels she has to. Although I made it for her, I really made as a memory of G, and she feels it would be more appropriate to pass it on to someone else, I'm happy with that.
So, on with the photos.
|The stripes are to fade into the night sky from the 'land' section.|
|What is difficult to see here are the green characters against the grass and bamboo tree background.|
|This is officially my first attempt at curved piecing. I like to think that's a nod to K, and that journey of discovery and freedom in art.|
|The shooting star represents his final journey, and his impact on people while he was here.|
|Not sure if it's obvious, but there is a shamrock, representing G's birth name.|