I parked my car, walked up and rang the bell. I could hear the bark of a dog and recalled times when Cindy would be the "dog-sitter" for our dog, Skeeter. Sometimes she had as many as four dogs and all her chickens and a cat or two and she would still take our Skeeter! Lotsa memories.
Stephen answered the door and led me downstairs to Cindy's sewing room. He works from home and said he had to get back to work but told me to take anything I wanted, except any vintage fabrics because Kaite wanted those and probably I should leave the Halloween fabrics for her, too. Cindy's favorite holiday was Halloween! He moved some boxes and things so I could more easily get at the fabrics. And about that time, there was a "bang" and the poster in this photo below fell over. We both laughed and Stephen said "Cindy's telling you she's here!" And you know, I did feel her presence. I wondered before I got to the house, what would it feel like to go through her things, but I knew she wanted me there and so it felt just fine.
All around her sewing room there were nooks and crannies full of many types of fabrics and supplies. Like most of us who enjoy sewing and crafting, there were plenty of threads, paints, rulers, buttons, etc. etc. etc. I found a basket and filled it with threads and some buttons, bits of rick rack. Then I began opening the drawers filed with fabric and the first drawer I pulled out held these pinks and browns...........
When I had gone through every drawer, I began going through fabrics on her bookshelves and this one really caused a lump in my throat...........
When I saw this bin full of yarn, I recalled the dolls that Cindy designed and made.
After I finished sorting through Cindy's fabrics, I took one last look around the room. This unfinished sundress made me wonder........was it something she was making for herself, or perhaps a dress for Kaite?
And then her thread wall.............
When I got ready to put the bags in my car, Stephen helped me carry them out and load them. I told him I would use many of the fabrics in donation quilt projects, pillowcases, totebags for the women's shelter, samples for my quilt clases, etc. And I would also use some for Kaite. And, I told him there was significance in the number of bags that would make Cindy smile. There were thirteen bags (kitchen trash size bags) filled with fabrics, a nice "Baker'sDozen". It was significant because the first class Cindy took from me was my "Baker's Dozen" beginner quilt class. And it was she, who encouraged me to offer such a class so that she and others could learn the basics of quilting. Yes, if I had never crossed paths with Cindy, I would not be doing so many things and probably woudn't even be blogging so you wouldn't be reading this! Yes, I am so thankful she was my friend!
As I drove home, the day was cloudy and kind of matched my mood but while I was waiting for a traffic light to change, the sky opened up and this brilliant sunshine shown through and it was just like a ray of sunshine, a smile from Cindy. I never quite know what to make of moments like this, but I take them for what they are........just a lovely moment in time.
I had one problem, though, ..........the fabric had been untouched and in a basement room for almost two years. It had a significant musty smell. When I got home, I "Googled" to see what could be done. I knew I had to salvage all this fabric. Vinegar and Oxy-Clean were listed as two ways to wash the fabric. And so, that's what I did. I began washing the fabric and using laundry soap, a large dose of vinegar and a big scoop of Oxy-Clean in each wash. Each load was washed once, then again. I started first with this small flannel bundle. The tag was still on it from a shop in Rochester, MN ........."All in Stitches". We went there together and I remember what a fun day we had. I washed them once, then twice and they came out beautiful and soft. They will be a baby quilt for Kaite in the event she one day marries and has children. I'll make the quilt and sew the love in it that Cindy would have also done.
When the weather turned cooler, I got out my old clothes rack that my mother gave me and put it to work. I washed by colors and am down to just three bags to wash......a bag of reds, a bag of greens, and a bag of blues/purples.BumbleBeansBlog. I told her that I would donate a couple of quilts to Basics, a New York based charity quilt drive. I had thought I would make a quilt in memory of Cindy. These are the fabrics that I chose from my stash. Cindy loved color and often would sport a strip of magenta in her red hair so these fabrics just said "Cindy".
I also plan to make a quilt in memory of my friend Cathy Wright, who died of breast cancer in July of 2009. This is a picture of Cathy with a donation quilt that she made the summer of 2008. We had a sewing day when we made quilts for Iowa flood victims and this was her contribution.
Cathy loved her family, cats and quilting. I offered to make a cat themed quilt for Cathy and had begun to collect squares of fabric from our common quilting friends. But there wasn't enough time to finish it before Cathy passed away. Last year, I added more cat-themed fabrics and thought that one day I must finish it. I had my squares and that crazy colorful cat fabric that I'll use for borders..........
and then in the fabrics I brought home from Cindy, I found that perfect pink floral that I needed for the cat quilt in memory of Cathy. It will be the first fabric used for a donation quilt that comes from Cindy's stash. And then I'll make more. Some will go to Basics and some will be made into quilts for the Crisis Nursery and some into totebags for a nearby Women's Shelter. And some will be used for samples for my quilt patterns. And lots of the fabric will be donated for use by students in a beginning quilt class I'll be offering at our Henderson Library sometime this coming winter. I would rather that Cindy could have used this fabric but she would be glad knowing it will be put to good use in so many ways! What seemed like it might be a sad task will have a good ending.
This wasn't an easy post to do. My hope would be that Cindy would have liked what I wrote. I asked Stephen if it was okay to write about her and he said, "for sure, she would have loved it". I miss Cindy. I miss her e-mails. She had lovely smile and a great laugh. So did Cathy. So did my friend, Dorothy, who passed away from cancer this past spring. I'll make a quilt in memory of her, too. And, maybe, as I make the quilts, the sadness that I feel at their passing will be released and will lead to joy for someone else who dearly needs a quilt that says "Love". And that's the best that can be done for now.
Make this a good Monday!!