October 02, 2014

A sadness

This beautiful woman, my grandmother, my favorite quilter and undoubtedly my biggest fan, has died. She introduced me to quilting, taught me to thread a needle and make bread. She loved and laughed and encouraged my wild adventures (and even took some with me). Her name was Mary Ann, and I will miss her so much.


There is no good way to write a post like this but I have talked about her so often on this blog, dedicated my book to her, and written an article about her (that's what she's holding in the picture), there is no way not to talk about it. She has been a force in my life and her loss takes the wind out of my sails. I really don't know anyone quite like her, she was special. 

Before returning home after her funeral I went through her sewing room to see what needed finishing. On her design wall she had a quilt block from an improv sewing day we had together last year. 


She had three unfinished quilts, intended for my youngest sisters. Her sister (also a quilter) and I made plans to finish them. And I labeled her quilts. There were 29 of them that I knew to be hers that had neither name nor date. I made my best guesses for the year, and I suppose I know better than anyone else now so it will have to do.  


I loved getting to see her work again. I was inspired all over, just as I had been over a decade ago when she showed me how vivid quilting could be. I enjoyed speaking with her quilting friends at her funeral, it was such a joyful and fulfilling part of her life, as it is for me.


My heart inclines toward her often and I have to remember that she is gone, will always be gone. I can only remember her, and carry forward the gifts that she gave to me. Even in my grief I know how lucky I am to have known her and received her love. 


Thanks to everyone who's left loving comments on this post. It is so nice to have your understanding and kindness. I have responded when I had an email address. 

45 comments:

Patti said...

I am so sorry for your loss. Keep her in your heart, talk to her often.

Patchwork and Play said...

My deepest condolences on the loss of your grandmother. This is a beautiful tribute to her and she will always be with you in many ways!

Molly said...

So sorry for your loss. Your grandmother was an amazing woman.

Kathleen said...

What a lovely tribute to your Grandmother..She will be in your heart forever and you will take her wherever you go...hugs

knettycraft said...

I'm so sorry for your loss... but she will live on in every quilt and even every bread you make. I'm feeling with you.

beth lehman said...

what a gift she was to you!! to have had such a great relationship and for her to have taught you to quilt are things i know you will always treasure.

Gene Black said...

Not only was she a beautiful woman, she left behind a beautiful legacy. May her memory always inspire you.

Terry said...

I'm so sorry for your loss, but what a wonderful quilting legacy she left behind.

Michele Bilyeu said...

Your grandmother was so beautiful. And I am so deeply and truly sorry for this loss in your life. Isn't it wonderful how her gifts, her love, and her talents now live on in you, your loss, and your quilting? ((Big, big hug))

Material Girl said...

I'm so sorry for your loss. You were lucky to have had someone so special. I lost my wonderful grandmother 26 years ago and still miss her.

Elsa said...

Oh Christina ~ I'm so very sorry to hear of the loss of your beloved Grandmother. Sending you lots of love and light. I love the quilts she sewed ~ especially the last one pictured ~ she had talent!!!

Zenia Rene said...

Thank you for sharing. Sounds like an amazing woman. What wonderful memories to cherish. I'm sending a hug and prayers of comfort your way.

MaryLee said...

I don't know you but I recognize your pain and I send ((hugs)) through this virtual medium. I lost my father in 2011 and wish so much, almost every day, that I could pick up the phone and talk to him. What I have come to realize is that I know what he would say and that has become a comfort. He is with me just as your dear grandmother is with you. How fortunate you are to have had her teach you quilting. I've learned from YouTube and Craftsy and would much rather have learned from a beloved family member.

Micki Clemens said...

I also am sorry for your loss. I never had a GM and so am a little envious. I am sure you will have some very sad days, but I am also sure she is watching over you. God bless both of you.

Brenda said...

My condolences on your loss. Thanks for sharing your memories with us.

Elaine M said...

Very sorry for your loss. Wonderful post, wonderful quilts.

Debbie said...

aww. So precious. I am deeply sorry for your loss. How lovely that you were able to spend time labeling quilts, and seeing what she was last working on...

Lani Glasser said...

I am sorry for your loss. What an inspiration she was though, you were so lucky to have had her influence!

What Comes Next? said...

beautiful tribute, so sorry for your loss

A Nudge said...

So sorry for your loss. Your post is a tribute to Mary Ann. Quilty hugs.

AnnMarie said...

I am so sorry for your loss.

Marlene said...

Condolences to you Christina. Your grandmother sounds like a gorgeous woman and what a lovely tribute to read. How special to share the gift of quilting with her -she will forever walk beside you on your journey. Hugs.

A Quilter's Mission said...

Oh Christina, what a difficult time for you! What a fantastic legacy to be blessed with. You will see her in your everyday comings and goings. Enjoy those wonderful memories.

Kathy said...

Such a pretty lady. I am so sorry. Talk to her while you quilt. She will guide your hands.

Lara B. said...

Christina, my heart goes out to you and your family. I am moved to tears over the beauty of the relationship you and your grandmother had. What a blessing you were in each other's lives. I can tell you that never goes away, even though the loved one is no longer here. You will see her again someday, that is what I believe!

Mad about Craft said...

So sorry for your loss. May your memories of her always be happy ones!

sandra said...

I am so sorry for your loss but try and remember all the beautiful gifts she left with you and and all the wonderful times you had with her will be memories you will always have. Blessings SANDRA

P. said...

I am so sorry to hear that your grandma passed away. What a lasting legacy she has left, though, in both the tangible and intangible. May you be comforted by your wonderful memories of time spent with her.

em's scrapbag said...

So sorry for your loss. Your grandmother's work is beautiful. I can see her influence in your work. She will live through you. Hope you find peace and comfort.

Katie said...

My condolences for your loss -- your grandmother was a wonderful quilter and that is a special gift that she has passed to you.

Lisa said...

So sorry for your loss. She is alive in your heart and her love for you will live on.

Sarah Craig said...

I'm so sorry for your loss, Christina - but remember, your grandmother lives on in you - she left quite a legacy behind! She'll be with you always and you'll talk to her often - I know I still hold "conversations" with my grandmother….

Sue Faithfull said...

I understand how you are feeling as I lost my mum only 11 days ago. She didn't quilt but she was he one who taught me how to sew 60 years ago. Your grandmother lives on through you as my mum does though me. Hugs

Celia Ambrose said...

Christina, my heart feels your ache for your lovely grandmother. What a wonderful act of love to label her quilts and plans for completing her quilts.
When the tears come, try to remember there is a chemical in our tears that is healing. I'll be praying for you and your family to have peace and comfort. Her quilt photos are beautiful, and a delight to see her color selections and designs.(celiaambrose@hotmail.com)

madhappycrafter said...

Christina, I hope what your other fans have said will help you find comfort and peace. What honor you do your lovely Grandmum, by keeping her memory alive through loving her amazing quilts. You will be surprised how much she is still in your life, despite the ache of her loss. And yes to what others say here- talk to her, quilt with her, listen to your thoughts let her guide your hands. You will "hear" her speaking wisdom to you; her legacy will continue on through you.

Gladys said...

I'm so sorry for your loss. You search for a star in the sky where you can look and find her every night. She will be there and will always shine for you, next to her memory in your heart. A hug.

Sharon said...

Christina, I'm so sorry for your loss. Thank you for sharing such sweet memories of your grandmother. She will always be in your heart.

Cheryl's Teapots2Quilting said...

So sorry for your loss. My grandmother, and my father are the reason I collect vintage machines. They both wanted me to learn how to sew, unfortunately, I wasn't interested while my grandmother was still alive. Cherish your memories of sewing together.

Estella Star of the East said...

So sorry for your loss. You inherited her beautiful smile, among many other things. She will always live in you.

Terri said...

I am very sorry for your loss. It is so wonderful that you were able to share quilting with your grandmother. I wish I could have shared it with mine. She was an avid old fashioned quilter, but she died when I was I was 16 years old. It wasn't until I was 21 that I made my first quilt. I hope she knows that I eventually took up her passion as you took up the passion of your grandmother.

Lisa Lisa said...

I'm so sorry for your loss, Christina. So wonderful that you have such great memories.

Dawn White said...

Christina, your love for your grandmother shines through in every word. I am so sorry for your loss.

Needle and Foot said...

What a beautiful post about your grandmother. She sounds like such a wonderful part of your life. Her quilts are beautiful.

Flower girl said...

I am so sorry for your loss. Grandmothers are wonderful people. I hope I can be that sort of Grandma for my little grandson. Her quilts are fantastic. What a wonderful legacy she has left you. She will never be far away if you have one of her quilts close at hand.

Willit Neverend said...

I'm sad to hear of your loss. I lost my last gradparent last year. She was a strong, smart, loving, crafty lady, too. How lucky we are to have had these people in our lives, and to be able to keep them in our hearts.

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