Last Friday my friend Dottie hosted a small luncheon for a few of her gal pals, including me. Widowed almost 10 years ago, she got a small rescue dog last year named Maxie to keep her company and it has made such a huge difference in how she is feeling lately. There were five of us at the lunch; three women were widowed, I'm divorced, and one woman is still married. Our lives have been changing so much as we grow older but we raised kids together and we forget sometimes that we aren't spring chickens.
I wrote about my friend Larry dying almost six months ago and his widow is Mary Lou. She and I are going to Israel together next Monday and all of us have witnessed Larry's long illness and her graciousness in caring for him. But, how she misses him. Dottie, who hosted the lunch last Friday, came up with the most perfect love/grief gift I've personally ever seen. On the day of the funeral she asked Mary Lou if she could have several of Larry's old shirts which Mary Lou gave her. Dottie made these pieces into a quilt. Here is Mary Lou in Larry's old chair she watches TV in with Dottie's quilt made out of Larry's shirts on her lap.
Dottie asked what Larry's favorite color was and Mary Lou said black. The back side of the quilt is black and logos from old tee shirts from Larry's favorite teams and his favorite hometown restaurant in Ohio are stitched on the back. One of the quilt squares even has a pocket in it.
Dottie, who is a multi-talented seamstress, artist, craftswoman, and miniature maker, is shown here with Maxie. Dottie said she made similar quilts for her own son Jackie, who died more than 25 years ago from spina bifida complications, and for her daughter Patty when Jack, Dottie's husband and Patty's dad, died. She even made a quilt for the Bishop of Chicago. Seems a woman in her church is the Bishop's brother and he frequently receives liturgical stoles for gifts--more than he can ever use. The sister, as a surprise, had Dottie make those stoles into a quilt.
In 2008 I wrote about Dottie's love of making miniatures which you can read and see photos of at When Life is So Big Sometimes You Have to Make it Small.
As I've written here before, my own mom was a quilter and I cherish the few that I have--and the one that my niece Rose made me for Christmas which I wrote about in Queen of Procrastination Down to the Wire on Christmas Eve.