On this day last year we said goodbye to my Auntie Pauline, who passed away after a long illness. She was much more than my Auntie: she was my friend and adviser, a wise woman with a kind heart who could do pretty much anything with any kind of needle.
I began this quilt when she entered the final stages of her illness last February. I wanted to make something as a tribute to her life and to celebrate all that she had been to me and to her family.
At first, there were many times when the loss was too painful and I couldn’t bear to look at it, but gradually I worked on it bit by bit, week by week, month by month. As I stitched, I remembered her. I completed it a couple of weeks ago.
It measures 38″ x 46″ and is almost entirely hand stitched; only the basic grid structure was stitched by machine. There are 70 collaged and layered squares, each measuring about 3.5″ – one square for every year of her life. Each square is made from layered fabrics, with lace, beads, buttons and found objects applied.
The words mean something, but that is between Auntie Pauline and me.
I don’t want this post to be about sadness, grief or loss. I am truly grateful that this wonderful, funny, wise, strong, generous woman was such a huge and important part of my life for so many years. I had the best Auntie in the world.