For the next couple of days I have the incredible opportunity to work with quilt artist Sherri Lynn Wood at a bereavement quilt workshop here in town. My close knit community of friends and family has been through the ringer of grief recently and this class is likely be a powerful experience. So much goes into the processing of hard core loss. I am intensely grateful for the fact that I am an artist and can dive into the act of making in order to attempt to make sense of things when a hard loss hits. It is indeed how we have been able to weather the last year and a half or so.
The intention of this workshop is that we can take things that were left behind by those we lost in the form of clothing, fabrics etc and combine them to become something new, a quilt, an object of comfort. I look forward to this. When my friend Pam died of breast cancer, she left for me tons of fabrics and materials which I have used here and there…. I even made a quilt from fabrics she had carefully collected over time. And yet there is so much more she left to me… vintage clothing, more materials. It is time to really dig in and USE what she gave me instead of saving it. I have a few bits of clothing from my grandparents that I plan to use for this project, (they passed within just days of one another), as I want to make use of them, instead of them simply hanging in my hall closet. The spirit of my dearest friend Mia will be sitting on my shoulder as I work at this quilt. She was my biggest ‘fan’. I have an old card I received from her during the time of the difficult trenches of art school that reads ‘you are in school for a reason, believe that you belong there and keep going’. I don’t have any old clothes of Mia’s, only a moonstone that I wear all the time that carries an interesting shared story from my time with her. I miss her spirit everyday.
It goes without saying that Esme’s beautiful presence will be with everyone at this workshop in the coming days. And with her for me at least, thoughts of my father-in-law Larry, cousin Sarah, and Whit, will all be stitched into whatever crazy quilt winds up bubbling up out of this process.
I look forward to sharing it here soon with you…