Quilting Memories from Shona Kelly (former member)

My mum was Jessie Daveen Kelly (called Daveen by everyone except the healthcare system) and I think she was member number 16.  I probably have her membership card somewhere in the depths of my family mementos.  She had been recently widowed after some lengthy time caring for my dad who had cancer and she was looking for something to do with her suddenly free time.  Someone she knew took her off to the meeting and even though she was financially disadvantaged she managed to be pretty prolific.  She pretty much only made log cabin quilts – 1 for each of her 21 nieces and nephews as each of them got married.  She also did a few cathedral window cushions and a quilted vest and bag for me.  She LOVED green and I wasn’t always impressed with the combination of lime green and spruce green  .  She only stopped quilting when she had a bad fall and shattered her left wrist so that it had to be fused into a position that wasn’t useful for quilting.  I still remember Mary Ann visiting her in the hospital with a pile of quilts to show her.

When my marriage started to break down, I moved to be nearer to her and she encouraged me to join the evening group which had just started.  I think I started with the first or second evening meeting.  Mum encouraged me to take one of those sampler classes where you learn a different technique each week as she always said she wished she had taken one.  I was sorting some old photos over Christmas and can see just how far I have come from those first, rather ugly, quilts.  Now a days I do more art quilting and english paper piecing.  I think Mum would have really liked the EPP but not been too sure about some of the other stuff.

Ever since, I have used quilting to make new friends wherever I moved.  I was a member of the South Australia group and joined the Quilter’s Guild of the British Isles as soon as I moved to the UK.  I am now a Trustee for the Quilter’s Guild of the UK.  I encourage everyone to plan a trip to the UK during the Festival of Quilts which is 18-21 August this year and right beside the Birmingham Airport.  Not as big as Houston, but much more innovative and very different.  You’ll need at least 2 days.