No trip to visit my sister, Margaret would be complete without a peek at some of her beautiful quilts. So many of the beautiful things she has made through the years have been given to others and are treasures beyond measure. For many years, she has gathered with a small (7) group of fellow quilters, calling themselves The Sew & Sews. They make quilts for others, for the Mennonite relief sale, and work on their own projects, and always they have beautiful food at their gatherings. They sound so wonderful and inspiring that I could be tempted to move to Canada. It is very obvious that there is a deep spiritual and loving thread binding these wonderful women. Earlier this year, Margaret had surgery to repair some seriously deteriorated discs in her neck. Several days after she was home from the hospital, there was a call from the Sew and Sews saying they wanted to stop by very briefly. Margaret was still very much sedated and not able to stay up for very long, but forever in her mind will remain the joy and awe she felt when they presented her with a quilt they'd unbeknownst been making, for their dear friend. I just had to share some pictures of their masterpiece as it is one of the most beautiful I have ever seen, and it is so obviously made with deep love and appreciation. It was first pieced, then appliqued and quilted. The quilt is much greener than it appears to me in the photographs.
There is no way that my humble photography can capture the beauty of this gift.
The dedication label on the back is so sweet....made with many different fabrics, including wool flannel, and hand appliqued and embroidered.
Sweet bird.....and I love the little dancing mouse.
On that last evening, Margaret and I went up to her sewing room on the second floor and I was able to immerse myself in her talent and creativity. This cat quilt is in process and will be a gift for her daughter.
Most times when Margaret sits to rest, she has a piece of fabric in her hands onto which she's sewing these lovely leaves in applique. Shown here are strips of appliqued leaves hanging on the felt design wall in the sewing room. As you can see, the 4th strip is in process. The wall allows her to move fabrics around to get a look at progress and assess color placement in the project. Right now the green strips between the rows are in different widths just to see which works best. Margaret is a master of applique and there are countless hours in these leaves. Very beautiful.
This will be a quilt for Jerry. Not sure how many more rows of leaves there will be.
This is a William Morris (the father of the Arts and Crafts movement) quilt and was done solely by Margaret over the course of several years. It hangs in their dining room now and is just one of the most beautiful things I've ever seen. The fabrics are all reproduction William Morris, and it is entirely hand appliqued. The lovely and unusual lamp on the table was a unique and perfect find at a vintage shop. The pair of birds make it the ideal accompaniment for the quilt, and the very unusual shape is exquisite.
And now, my beautiful sister, and BETTY....I love this picture of Margaret for many reasons, but most of all because she is sitting in the chair in which our mother spent a lot of time writing letters, and she, too, usually had a cat in her lap or draped somewhere else on or near her.
Our last evening was spent talking a lot about all we had enjoyed, and then we all gathered in the living room to watch a wonderful PBS documentary on the life of Chuck Berry. The music and the conversations generated by our collective memories of those days of rock and roll. It was a perfect way to ease through the pain of having to say good-bye.
Just before we left, Ellie left to go home to Toronto....here she is saying good-bye to Betty. They are true soul mates.
Comfy watching with Brenda watching PBS....I think LM was about to cry knowing he would have to say good-bye to Brenda, too.
And, just as we were gathering up the last of our things, LM managed to capture Betty's heart....it was so sweet, and she has the loudest purr I've ever heard.
Closing in for the "kill"
Thus ends our most memorable and wonderful visit with Margaret, Jerry and family. It was perfect in every way.
Next: We begin the drive home with a stop in Niagara Falls!