|Martha sharing a project at a small group gathering|
Through the last thirty years of her life, she spent many hours creating in her studio. She had a job at Jantzen (a Portland based swimwear company) sewing on a production line. I mention this because she liked to sew fast. I think she was the one the phrase "pedal to the metal" was written! Her ability to sew fast, to stitch for long stretches of time helped her create many quilts/projects over the years.
|Her answer to the "What's in My Cupboard" challenge|
She sold some of her projects and sometimes, she was commissioned to make a special quilt. This money would fund the expenses of thread, fabric and pattern for her next project. She stretched those dollars shopping the sales and using discount coupons. She was passionate about making and donating quilts for kids because she felt this population especially needed to be wrapped in warmth and love.
|Her answer to another challenge|
Martha liked working with string and crumb blocks because she could stitch without having to be careful about seam allowances of cutting off points. Remember, I said that she liked her machine in pedal to the medal mode! She also said if you had a fabric that you ended up not loving, it was the perfect one to throw in the string or crumb mix to allow the fabrics you loved to shine.
She loved the rich colors of batiks and paper piecing. Over the many Fridays we stitched together, I watched her pull fabrics from her stash to put into wonderful color combinations. I wouldn't think the fabrics would go together and she would tell me to squint my eye! She loved starting new projects!!!! She especially loved to participate in challenges.
At the end of June, we were talking about our projects and our stashes. She said her stuff would be put into an estate sale. BUT, she had a particular destination in mind for her stash of tools, fabrics, supplies and works in progress. She wanted her fabrics to benefit kids. She said the chair of the stitching comforts committee of one guild she belonged to needed batting and backing. She appreciated how the committee chair used and valued donations to comfort stitching. Martha was impressed too with this chair's connections--I'm not meaning dark or back alley type connections--but how the chair would know an organization that would get the supplies on the street and in use fast.
|Her sewing space without her supplies and fabrics|
Little did I know that would be the last voice to voice conversation we would have. She didn't recover from a fall in her home on July 6. (I missed her graveside service because I was on vacation in Hawaii.) I'm glad we had that conversation. I shared our conversation with Martha's brother who is in charge of her estate. With his support, I did follow through as much as possible on her final wish.
I'm thankful to four guild ladies for spending the time to sort, box and clear Martha's sewing space. In nine hours, we filled seven cars so full of fabrics and supplies that not one more package of needles would fit! I marveled at how Martha packed so many treasures into a room that was about ten feet by eight feet!
Through the sale of some of Martha's tools, the comfort stitching chair has money to purchase batting. The day after the move, guild members cut 100 quilt kits for other members to stitch a comfort quilt for charity.
|Her supplies that came to my studio|
I miss our stitching times. I spent many Fridays stitching on the blue table in her studio while she stitched at the desk. It felt so odd to be emptying her space and to be in her space without her! Although working in her space and following through with her plan for her supplies has provided me with closure.
Her brother gifted me a couple quilts that none of the family members wanted. These will be part of a display at the September Clark County Quilters (CCQ) guild meeting. They are quilts she made as part of the annual CCQ challenge. She was proud of her design in the "I Love Vicky" quilt that she created as her answer to the 2010 challenge. I also have the supplies that wouldn't fit into the seven car loads. I'll be posting about what happens to those items in the future.