Thursday, May 31, 2007

Joanna, more to remember

If you read this blog I thank you for putting up with me posting my random posts about Joanna to my different yahoo groups so I can have all my rememberances in one place.
Re: quilt displayed at services
sorry if this does not belong here but i promise to be brief.joanna was a quilting student turned friend. and in her case myvery bestest friend i have ever had in my entire life! the quiltwas made at her request. the ladies at the quilt shop wanted tomake her a quilt but rather than making it for her and giving it toher they procrastinated and it never got done. so on May 5th,Joanna, her mother-in-law, myself, her friend from VA who flew inthat day to visit with her went to Rainbow's End to ... pick fabricfor her mother-in-laws very first quilt... pick fabrics for joanna'svery own quilt at her request made from my pattern magically fastcrazy blocks-the basic method (basically stack n slash with a coupleof twists to give you more flash for your sewing time) and it was torecreate one she had made the summer before as a housewarming giftfor a cousin who's house they stayed at on their dream trip toFinland. The quilt is very much like the original only queensized. my mother who lives not far from Rainbow's End in Dunedin,FL met us there and we had lunch at Jolli-Mons and laughed andgiggled and had the very best of times!On the following Saturday, a group of us got together at the LQS tosew the quilt top for her. We got 30 14 1/2" blocks sewn, trimmedand into a top (sans borders) in ONE day. there were three sewers:her mother-in-law linda who had NEVER sew anything on a machinebefore, the other student-turned-friend and her daughter(7 yo) asthey asked to help, and Caroline (one of the couple's card /gameplaying friends)myself and one person was sick with a cold so couldnot be around Joanna with her immune system so non-existent. webegan shortly before 10 am and finished at straight up 5 pm and agood day was had by all. That was the first time I saw Joanna astruly looking sick. her eyes were a horror movie yellow and herskin a green from her failing liver. :(that week i worked many 8-8 shifts and so on the friday of Mother'sDay weekend I sewed on the borders, pieced the backing, pieced thebatting (we wanted Thermore and that was not quite large enough).saturday i went to another friend's house and used her large formallivingroom floor to roll up and then spray baste all the layers with505 spray and fix. saturday and sunday i quilted it in straightlines until there were enough diagonals and horizontal and verticallines to hold it together with the thermore batting (up to 9" apart)more quilting would have been nice but time did not allow for it. idid quilt the 7" border in a 1" apart channel type quilting so itwould look nice once washed. you know, that old fashioned puckeringlook you get as if you had used a cotton batting? I put the findingto the front with the machine and considered it a night. My dh hadkept saying to me to take a break and I kept saying oh let me finishjust this part here then i'll take a quick break and come back atit. i never took a break except to eat dinner that night.monday, at work i whipped the binding down to the back by hand. Italked to Joanna several times that day and her one thing was "don'teven call if you finish it tonight please" at 7 pm that night ifinished the last stitches on the binding. at 8 pm i left work. at8:15 she was sitting in her special chair with the quilt over herand the biggest smile you could ever imagine on her face. pettingit and crooning over it. when i realised that she had a heating padon to relieve the ache in her belly (we are in florida it is HOT) welaid it on the bed. Joanna got up to see it laid out on the bed andgave me what was to be the last hug I would get from her.tuesday, I spoke with her several times and laughed and joked. wewere all about hte laughter. the last lengthy conversation i hadwith her that day at the end of the call she said okay bye, I saidbye she said Good bye. it took me until the next day to realise shesaid a true good bye to me that night. we rarely said bye when wehung up it was catch you tomorrow, let me know when you get out ofchemo... etc. but very rarely bye. i spoke with her very brieflythat night when she returned a call showing on the house phone whenshe was resting and her dh took the call. i had volunteered to ridewith them on saturday if she wanted company in the "rented van" forthe 4 hours drive to her parents where there was to be a bigbirthday party for her. she was so glad i had volunteered to rideover and entertain her :) her party was not to be. the day of theparty was the day she died. the next thursday, the 24th she wouldhave been see, the quilt is not from her clothing, or even a spectacularpiece, it is just a quilt that she spent the last 5 1/2 days of herlife petting and wrapped in saying "my friends made me this" overand over again. this quilt was mentioned on the "list/carepages"that her dh kept to keep everyone informed and so it is appropriateto display it at the gathering(s) for people to see the last thingthat meant so very much to her.sorry this has gotten long... i loved her so much. she was a partof nearly every portion of my days. she brought out the very bestin me, even the brattie part of me she adored. I asked her once howwe wound up friends. She said, we are kindred spirits. I saw inyou myself. I tried to deny that saying what a mean person i am etcand she would not allow me to say that about myself. truly, theworld has lost a kind and wonderful person that given more time andmore energy would have made a huge difference in so many people'slives.and now that you are this far down the post, i will ask you to tellsomeone today that you love just how much they mean in your life!if you find it hard to begin with words then get the sappiest cardyou can find and send that! that should open the lines ofcommunication for you to say it. joanna was 16 years my junior butnever once did i feel i was a mother figure. i always felt herequal. she just made everyone around her feel good aboutthemselves. I wish for you a friendship that is this deep andtrue. but caution, it will mean a loss greater than you could everimagine should that person pre-decease wipe your tears away and hug on someone you love and go forthand have a grand and glorious day for it is gorgeous outside, evenin the rain and wind or snow....thank you for reading this and for allowing me to share.denise/deBRATi'll try to put a picture of it on my blog, providing there is acopy on my work computer. i think it may have to come from mylaptop which i have not turned on since tuesday at work.

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