When you see a friend in pain, it hurts. It hurts so badly and you just wish you could carry the load for them, or at least a portion in hopes that their burden is more manageable.
Two months ago one of our guild sisters, Leandra (The Zombie Quilter), tragically lost her 20 year old daughter to a motorcycle accident in the wee hours of September 19. Our hearts ached for her and we wanted to do what we all do best; make her a quilt. Time was of the essence and our guild is quite large so we needed a quick and easy block that was on the small side so all of them would fit. It also needed to be scrappy so that virtually everyone could participate without having to run to the store. We noticed that Leandra had a Pinterest board called “For the Love of Purple” and we found a simple and smallish heart block here by Cluck Cluck Sew. So our plan was to create quilt of purple hearts! Our board members approved the plan and information was sent out within 24 hours. Our goal was to have the quilt completed and to give it to her at our next meeting on October 7. I knew our guild members would not disappoint! We could do this!
Why did I know we could do this? First of all, our guild members, and quilters in general, are such loving and caring people. And we love to comfort people with our quilts! I also knew we could do this because in October of 2012 Judy lost her life partner and we made her a beautiful quilt in just a few weeks and without her knowing it. We even swapped blocks right under her nose at one of our sew days!
The day after the email went out the blocks started arriving. Every day blocks were being dropped off or coming in the mail, many with sweet notes of sympathy. As the collector of the blocks, I have to say that the sentiment of each and every block was so loving. I could just feel the love that was going to envelop Leandra and her family when she would be presented with the quilt. It was such an honor to be the one to collect the blocks!
All in all, we received 48 blocks, one short of a 7x7 grid, but that was no obstacle as we felt that an empty block was symbolic of the loss of Caitlyn. Beth embroidered her name and three butterflies in the space so that it wasn’t entirely empty, just as we are sure that while there is a huge hole in Leandra’s heart we also know that it is filled with so much love at the same time.
I want to take a moment to publicly thank Leandra and the opportunity to work on this quilt. Caitlyn’s death touched me deeply and it has helped to create a friendship with Leandra that I cherish. Nothing will ever make up for Caitlyn’s loss but I know that many beautiful things have resulted from it.
Caitlyn, may you spread your wings and fly with nothing holding you back!