In my lifetime my mother taught herself how to crochet, make latch hook rugs, do hardanger, drawn thread work, and silk flower embroidery. She learnt water-colour painting, china painting and charcoal sketching. She knew how to knit for adults and babies, make clothes, make magnificent quilts, do stunning Jacobean embroidery, Crewel embroidery, counted cross-stitch, Assisi work, Blackwork, stumpwork, and tapestry, and teach, with the patience of Job, others to do the same.
My lovely Ma left us for Quilt Heaven on the 4th November 2012. Quilt heaven, is, by all accounts, a place where the bobbin never runs out on your sewing machine, you always have the perfect colour thread to finish what you're making, you always have exactly the right supplies you need, in a room with the right amount of light, the right height cutting tables, the right scissors and rulers, new blades on your rotary cutter, a Magic Pudding** of fabric, and all the time in the world.
You never, ever, have to stop, to eat, shower, dress, cook, clean, eliminate, buy food, pay bills, buy clothes, drive to hospitals, doctor's appointments, chemo, pathology, x-ray... There's no vomiting, no pain, no struggle to breathe, just peace, quiet and quilting.
I see her now, teaching the Angels to make mitey* corners. Make lots of noise up there, Chook, they need to learn some new techniques.
**For those of you not familiar with Norman Lindsay, here's the story.
*Yes I know it's "mitred" but Tractor Jo always says "Mitey", and so it shall remain.