This is a picture of the quilt I made for her way back when. Many years ago her family moved to our little farming community. She quickly endeared herself to all and I referred to her as our cruise director. She loved to gather a variety of people together and feed them and have fun together. "Entertaining" is too fancy a word for what she did--it was just good old down home hospitality. Wherever she went she was loved and cherished. After more than a decade with us she decided they needed to move to Canada to help care for her aging parents. At that point I was in the process of my second "block-of-the-month" quilt and decided it would be her going away present. But the house wouldn't sell and her health was not great. After a couple of years of trying, they took their house off the market. I had finished the quilt blocks, but without the impending move, I set them aside and didn't finish the top. Lo and behold, out of the blue, someone came to them a couple of years later and made an offer on the house. The move was swift and I didn't get the top finished and quilted in time. Later that year a daughter of hers who still lived here was flying up to visit at Christmas, so we rolled the quilt up tightly and she took it in her luggage. I don't know how well it recovered after being so compressed for so long, but she always made me feel she loved it.
When I was making the quilt I wondered what made me choose those fabrics (you can tell I chose them back in the day when the calico prints were rampant), but when I was helping my friend pack for her move I was surprised to discover that these were her bedroom colors--cool blues and greens with a salmony pink. Her bedroom was upstairs at the back of the house and I had never been in it before, so I had no clue. I love the look of cool colors, but usually choose to work with warm undertoned fabrics.
From Canada my friend had sent me the Mitford Series of books by Jan Karon. Upon purchasing "More Nickel Quilts" and seeing the quilt titled "Stars Over Mitford" I had planned on making it for her someday. I waited too long.
She moved back to the States a little over a year ago, but was an hour away in a city where her only son and his family live. We'd had a few good visits together since her return, but not nearly enough. I am so grateful that I had the privilege of being her friend and learning from her gracious, loving ways. Go in peace, Gail.