This week I’m highlighting a couple of quilts I made a while ago, but failed to share here. They still matter to me so I want a record of them. This one matters because of what it meant while I was sewing it, and also who I gave it to. I finished my My Flight II Quilt top back in 2015, made with the still-gorgeous Winged fabrics by Bonnie Christine.
This quilt is my Circling Swallows block doubled in size. I want to revisit this beautiful design – watch for more in 2020.
As I pieced this quilt top I thought about women I know. On the outside, we sometimes seem SO different, but when we open up and see beneath the surface, we have more in common than not. I pondered unity, the power of working together, the importance of love and acceptance.
I quilted it in a spiral and hung it on my wall, a reminder of the kind of person I hope to be.
Then a family from Nigeria walked into church one day. We met, introduced our kids, and started spending time together. They come to the US every year or two for about six weeks. Our friendship grew, and they became like family before they went home.
When it was time to say goodbye, I was uncertain we’d ever see each other again. I needed to send her home with a gift, something to remember our connection by, and it needed to be a gift of self. I went to my wall and took my precious Flight II quilt down, added a label and sent it to Nigeria with her.
Gratefully, we’ve kept in touch. Now we spend time together every time they come. Somehow the timing has allowed us to share precious family milestones with each other. This year I got to attend her birthday party, where I heard her grown children stand and offer tributes to their mother that made me cry. I hope my children will speak so positively of me someday. Franka is an amazing woman who leads her family in powerful ways. She’s not ashamed to say what really matters, or to encourage people around her to be their best selves. I find myself striving to be like her.
So these photos make me smile as I think of a quilt, and a dear friend – far away and yet not so far at all.