My brother's wife died Christmas morning -- unexpectedly, quickly & much too soon.
She & I were alike in some ways -- both stubborn, opinionated & bossy -- but very different in other ways. She was boisterous, spontaneous, gregarious; she lived life turned up to 11. Me? I rarely turn it up to 6. Over the years, because of our similarities & our differences, she sometimes made me pretty mad (I'm sure I made her mad as well), but I always loved her because she was lovable. I hope she always loved me.
The 2 days she was in the hospital, being 800 miles away, all I could do was keep my phone close, worry, weep & regret that I was not near enough to help support my brother & say good-bye to my sister-in-law.
To keep my mind & hands occupied, I sewed. I picked up a couple of projects at hand & sewed & sewed & sewed. I sewed until I was exhausted.
I began the cake stand blocks late last year. I quickly set them together that weekend.
The other project I worked on was one using parts from a scrappy little top-let that I got at Quilt Festival -- an irregularly-shaped thing of 22 6-sided wheels made with 50s era fabrics. I had taken the wheels apart, but then what? How do I make a quilt from 22 wheels? I had decided on how I would set them together & had cut some muslin triangles to fill in the gaps. I was sewing triangles to wheels, when I nearly literally gave myself a shake.
"Why are you being so cautious!?! It's only fabric! It's only color! LET GO!! Turn it UP!!!"
So I pulled out a vintage floral & pinned the wheels to it. They seems to float about the flowers. Without much thinking, I cut triangles & strips & sewed it all together.
Neither is finished, but each was a lesson in spontaneous sewing using my new motto: What would Jennifer do?