In Memoriam

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.

I painted the flowers with very diluted acrylics onto a piece of fine cotton fabric, then stitched them in place and cut away the excess.  The lettering was worked in the same way, with threads couched around the edge for definition.

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.

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7 Responses to In Memoriam

  1. jenclair says:

    A touching tribute that honors both your Auntie Pauline and yourself. A beautiful way to remember…

  2. Sandra says:

    What a lovely and touching quilt, Kaye. In every stitch you expressed your sadness, gratefulnes and love for your auntie. She must have been a very special person. Cherish your memories.XXX

  3. Karin says:

    This is a lovely piece and a wonderful way to remember.

  4. Ro Bruhn says:

    What a beautiful way to remember you aunt. I'm sure it helped the grieving process.

  5. ancientcloth says:

    What a beautiful and lovely way to remember your aunt. The good memoriesare always in your heart and this beautiful tribute to her.Very touching…Thank you for sharing this.

  6. Judith Eddington says:

    What a beautiful idea, it made me feel tearful and joyous all at once.

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