Tuesday, April 23, 2019

More to Say

You know when you feel something deeply but you can't quite put it into words right away? That's how I felt last Thursday as news about Gwen Marston's passing was trickling out. It was serendipitous then, that the Michigan issue of Quiltfolk arrived the same day. I'd ordered it a short time before, as I knew Gwen was ill, and I really wanted to read the article about her, and it in some small way provided comfort. [If you haven't had a chance to read it for yourself, Quiltfolk generously offered the feature for all to read here.]

I sadly never was able to take a class from Gwen, but treasure the time I heard her lecture and share many of her quilts. I was able to experience her wisdom and her humor. I met her after, and expressed my gratitude for her sharing herself and her work so generously. It was a small moment in time, but I am thankful for it.

But then after my Bee Sewcial Homage quilt was complete earlier this year, I was able to share it with Gwen via email and she was obviously pleased. She'd actually heard about it from others, and was happy to hear the quilt's story from me directly. She said, "This quilt speaks very clearly of adventure and not only your adventure but everyone who participated in it." That reference to adventure was meaningful, as I had heard Gwen herself say that her 'sketches' were a way to risk an adventure, and that was exactly what I'd wanted my bee mates to do in making their blocks for me. And that's precisely what I did in puzzling them together into a whole.

I was so glad to have brightened Gwen's day (her words) by sharing the quilt that she herself had inspired. Our short correspondence added another layer of meaning to this quilt. And it encourages me still to continue having fun and trying things, to keep risking adventure, and to take heart in Gwen's final words to me, "Keep up the good work."