Friends are like stars … you can’t always see them but you know they’re always there. This little quote has come to mind several times recently as I’ve been making things specifically for friends – but for very different reasons.
First is a birthday present for a friend – a very patient friend who’s been waiting a long time for it. It’s been a challenge at times for me because it’s out of my comfort zone to follow her colour choices, using some fabrics which have sentimental value for her, rather than my usual vibrant bright colours. A work in progress ...
However, I’m finding a middle way between her choices and my preferences and isn’t that what friendship is all about? We may not always agree on everything and perhaps we don’t see some of our friends very often but there is a basic bond of friendship; we will go out of our comfort zone for them and we know they are always there for us.
The second project has been very different – preparing two small squares for a memory quilt for Jan, our friend who sadly died recently. Again, working out of my comfort zone with text and a formal design, I have tried to make the first square influenced by Jan and some of her methods. Beginning with hand knitted fabric, I have felted it on the embellisher and embroidered it with French knots, quoting Jan, “You can never have too many French knots” – I can hear her voice saying it now.
The second square is very much in my own style – brightly coloured and textured with sari silk strips needle felted onto a background and manipulated with machine embroidery and the embellisher to give a raised spiral. I have added beads as Jan also loved using beads.
The big difference between the two projects of course is that I will eventually give the birthday present to my friend, whereas the quilt will be for Jan’s family and friends to remember her and the influence she has had on all of us. Although she will never see the squares on her memory quilt, she will ‘always be there’.
Friends are like stars … you can’t always see them but you know they’re always there.
I leave tomorrow to meet Bernice and Deb to set up our stand at the Uttoxeter Quilt and Stitch Village, where we will be exhibiting Jan’s work in her memory.