Saturday, March 31, 2012

Come On A Tuesday...

When you say something out loud then you know it's true.

I received an email a few days ago that the dear, sweet, obstinate, opinionated, sometimes cantankerous, and always, always, delightful lady that insisted I come to her quilting group many years ago, had passed away.

That email puzzled me to no end and many times I looked at it, trying to figure it out.
Today I told my husband the news,  and then I cried; and I knew when I said it out loud it must be so.

Colleen knew me from the needlearts guild and kept telling me I should come to the Tuesday night quilting group; the Wednesday night group was more formal (they had matching napkins at tea-time) and dressed up a little, but the Tuesday group were just busy quilters, trying new things, excited for new books and patterns - it was the heyday of the quilting revival - 

Come on a Tuesday, anytime after 7...

Finally, I went, and I never looked back, until the day I left the Yukon.

What a wonderful gift she gave me.... this quilting thing I do.

I could tell you so many hilarious stories about Colleen... my favourite though, was her penchant for going on quilting excursions. She would sign up for this or that course with this or that famous quilter, pick up, pack up and head off into the land of plentiful fabric (which was anywhere south of Teslin, Y.T.)
and embark on creative journeys that made each of us green with envy.

And she would come back some weeks later with nothing to show for her efforts.... nothing at all...

Colleen really didn't want to make anything anymore - she had decided she was too old for all that nonsense - she just loved the classroom environment. So she would spend the day (or days) helping anyone who wanted help - un-picking mis-sewn seams and so on, always dodging the quilting project... until the day she met up with Philomena Durcan (of Celtic Flowers fame)

All of Colleen's usual excuses were water off Philomena's back... she was able to fend off every one and even provided Colleen with her own, hand-dyed-by-herself- fabrics that were simply amazing because Colleen had-forgot-hers-at-home...

and Colleen came home with an applique-in-progress

she flung her purchases on the floor for all of us to peruse, and under the stack of lovely fabrics and books,
I spied something that looked suspiciously like a work-in-progress...

I pulled out it out from under, lifted it up for all to see and asked 

"and what pray tell is this?"

She was almost sheepish in her mumblings and I asked again..

"Is this from your class?"

a mumbled "yes" and I burst out laughing

"What happened?" I asked

"She made me" was Colleen's reply, "that woman  - she made me do that", and all twelve of us howled with laughter...

Philomena Durcan wouldn't have any of Colleen's excuses and provided her with everything she needed to take part in the class.

Colleen had met her match.

What a wonderful soul she was... such spirit and spunk... the kind of person that shared her opinions... and was always ready for yours

"I pray that risen from the dead,
I may in glory stand.
A halo perhaps, upon my head,
But a needle in my hand."
- Eugene Field

She would want that needle so bad...



Bead and Needle said...

What a great memory you were left with...and I SO love that little poem at the end of this delightful tribute! I'm sure she's got lots of needles - probably helping others thread them, but she's got them! Have a wonderful week, Jillayne...Tanya

Draffin Bears said...

Dear Jillayne,

So sorry for the passing of your dear friend. Sounds like she was a great inspiration with getting you started with your quilting and all the beautiful creative work you do.
So lovely that you had her as a Mentor.

Hope you are enjoying the weekend

oldgreymare said...

What a lovely tribute to a departed friend. I hope to be remembered with as much love...

Marj Talbot said...

Nice story about a nice lady. As I sew I often think of my mother. She was a fine lady and a fine seamstress - always making something and always from patterns that she fashioned herself. She taught us to sew, knit, crochet, all with great patience and words of encouragement. Thanks to these lovely ladies, we are able to share in a comforting and rewarding hobby. Thanks for sharing this story.

Sherry said...

Your friend sounds like a very special lady who loved to help and encourage others. It is always hard to lose people who have touched our lives in such a wonderful way.

Laura said...

You Tuesday Night quilters had something very special... I hope you're able to find something like that again, wherever you end up! ;) Beautifully written tribute to Colleen as well. XO

Diane said...

Jillayne, I've known women like this. There are all too few of them! I adore their outspoken attitude because it's laced with just the simple desire to encourage others to not be afraid to reach for the fulfillment of their potential.

What a beautiful story you've told about a beautiful woman and relationship. She has obviously touched a lot of lives and how she has enriched yours to the point that YOU now pass it on is even more beautiful.

Hugs! I'm sorry for your loss, but happy for the gain you received from her because you've shared it with me many times.

XO Diane

Suztats said...

It's sad to lose a valued and loved friend, but how wonderful that she left you with so many happy memories, and shared her skills and knowledge. Our journey is made more meaningful by the friends we meet along the way. Hugs and blessings,

FlowerLady said...

Dear Jillayne ~ So sorry for your loss. What wonderful memories you have of your sweet friend.

Love and hugs ~ FlowerLady

MosaicMagpie said...

A beautifully written tribute to a dear friend. Friends such as Colleen come along just when we need them the most. She was just the friend you needed to lead you into quilting. Other friends may have asked you once or twice to join them and when you didn't, they would have dropped the subject. Somehow Colleen knew this was what you needed and persisted in getting you to where you were supposed to be. I thank God for people like that in our lives, without them where would we be? As one of the other commenters said she is probably threading needles in heaven for other stitchers and keeping them all on track!
Love to you and I know you are thankful for Colleen not giving up on you.

Petite Michelle Louise said...

so sorry to hear of your friend's passing. what a wonderful gift she gave you...the love of quilting. your hands will carry on her work. blessings...

Alisa Noble said...

I am sorry for your loss, but oh, what a gift that memory must be to you, Jillayne!

Dorthe said...

Dear Jillayne, so sorry for you, you lost a dear friend.
She has been a wonderful woman, and such a fantastic friend for all whom was near,-your memories about her, are beautiful, and filled with joy.What a fantastic gift to have left you, and I guess many others.

Lynn Stevens said...

I'm so sorry to hear of the loss of your dear friend. It sounds like she touched many lives.
How wonderful that she introduced you to quilting.
A lovely story too.
Hugs Lynn

Createology said...

Jillayne dear those are memories so wonderful that you are able to keep of your dear friend and mentor. Her antics met her match and she shared with your quilt group what she had created. Lovely poem and so befitting. May your love for quilting always remind you of someone so unique and special. Blessings...

Abby's Paperie Garden said...

I'm sorry for the loss of your dear friend. Tuck those beautiful memories in your heart and soul....they will comfort you.


CosmoGirl Carla said...

Oh, Jillayne, so sorry about the passing of your dear friend. She sounded like a real firecracker. Sounds like you have some great memories to remember her by.

My deepest sympathies to you.

Michelle May said...

Sending hugs for your heart. We are touched by so many wonderful people in our lives. It's so hard when their light leaves us.
Thinking of you.