This is the back of Carole’s Quilt, laid face down on the backing, a sheet that Carole sent along with the fabric. After I trimmed the few inches off the sides of the backing to fit the quilt I laid the cotton batting on top of it all, trimmed and pinned it.
Then I sewed it together leaving an opening at the bottom about 18″ long.
I turned the quilt inside in, ironed the edge then pinned the opening which I’ll sew after tacking it.
Below is Carole’s quilt ready to be tacked. I’ll finish it next week.
Even the animals are slipping on the ice. Fate’s having a hard time circling the sheep because it’s so slippery. The sun has been coming out and making some of the ice on the paths warm enough to chop up, but around the barn, gate, and feeders it’s still hard and shiny.
Tomorrow Jon and I will go to Brandon Vermont to pick up my wool. Even after so many years of having the sheep’s wool made into yarn, I still get excited every time I pick it up.
Jon and I have plans to take it easy this weekend. The movie Fantastic Fungi is at our independent theater this weekend and we’re planning on seeing it Sunday. So I may not post the wool for sale until Monday. But then, I might not be able to stop myself from putting it out there when I get it.
It probably sounded to Sara like I was begging when I asked her to help me size a photo of my Twin Healing Trees fabric painting so I could make it into a poster and postcards.
I did feel a little desperate. The last time I tried to make postcards by myself I went back and forth with Brad at the printers so many times I almost gave up. It should have been simple, Sara (who is a painter as well as our town’s most popular graphic designer) makes it look that way. But it isn’t, not for me.
And of course, as usual, Sara got back to me with two versions of the image. One with the perfect green border and one without. I thought I’d want the image to bleed off the page, but when I saw the green border it framed the photo so perfect and actually made it stand out more rather than distract from it.
I’ll send the pdf off to Brad and in a couple of weeks, I’ll have 11×17″ posters and 4×6″ postcards of Twin Healing Trees for sale in my Etsy Shop.
I sat at the dining room table trying to get onto Jon’s blog last night after posting the piece I had written about visiting Susan in the hospital. When it wasn’t working I tried on my iPhone, but that did work either.
Then Jon called out from his office and said that Susan had died.
I was relieved that she had moved on and sad at the same time. Then I smiled because I had no doubt that Jon’s blog crashing was a communication from Susan.
How do you know Jon asked me later. “I don’t really,” I said. ” It’s a feeling, something I believe to be true.” I’d experienced this kind of thing before when someone dies. I’d heard similar stories from other people. It makes sense to me.
I don’t claim to know what Susan was trying to say or that it was even an intellectual effort on her part. I just believe it’s a kind of communication. An acknowledgment of Susan leaving and our connection to her.
What better way to get a message to Jon than through his blog.
Jon’s done so much for Susan in these past couple of weeks, much more than I did for her. And as he wrote on his blog, he fell right back into the friendship, the way it was before he broke off the relationship.
I couldn’t do that, but I more than made my peace with Susan and I hope I did something similar for her.
I’m not one to make someone into a saint after they die. I think people are much more interesting and even loveable when I can understand their vulnerabilities as well as the parts of them that are easy to be like.
I don’t know if I could have continued to be Susan’s friend if she lived. I don’t know if I have that kind of acceptance in me. Maybe we could have worked something out if we both really wanted to.
I am grateful that I was able to be helpful to Susan when she was dying. Our relationship, no matter how damaged it was, taught me a lot about myself. And when I sat next to her last night in the hospital, communicating more with my feelings than words, I did feel love for her.
I keep learning that there are all different kinds of friendships and many different kinds of love.
I don’t claim to know, but it feels to me like there is freedom in death. That’s what I wish for Susan, to freely move on to whatever comes next.
I wasn’t planning on seeing Susan today. Honestly, when I said goodbye to her on Sunday I thought it was for the last time. But when the nurse from the hospital called and told Jon there was a marked change in her condition, I knew Jon would want to go to her.
And I felt like I wanted to see her too.
We were on our way out to dinner when the nurse called, so we stopped at Saratoga Apple Orchard and picked up a dozen cider donuts (Jon has been bringing them for the nurses) then had dinner in Saratoga before going to the hospital.
I never imaged that a hospital room could have a cozy feeling, but Susan’s room did. Although her breathing was rough Susan felt peaceful to me. As if her sleep was just getting deeper and deeper. Jon and I sat on either side of the bed, Jon reading philosophical quotes that appeared on the TV screen behind me, also playing soft music.
Flowers, stuffed animals, pictures and cards were neatly placed around the room. Strangely, it couldn’t have felt more like home. Susan looked comfortable to me, well taken care of. Her friend Donna had seen her in the morning. Susan had made eye contact with her and gripped her hand.
She was past doing any of that tonight.
I didn’t try to stop myself from crying as sat with my hand over Susan’s. I doubt she even felt it, but I hoped if she did, it was as comforting to her as it was to me.
We didn’t stay long and we didn’t do much. Susan probably didn’t even know we were there. But it felt good just to sit with her for a while. To show up, to be there for her.
Last week after I named one of my Rabbit Snails Hazel-Rah after the rabbit in Watership Down, I asked all of you for ideas to name my other Rabbit Snail.
I got a bunch of good ones and decided to go with Abrah, an excellent suggestion which actually came from her mother, Maggie.
Abrah Griggs , looks nothing like a snail but depicts herself as a rabbit in her cartoons. She’s an artist who had a talent for capturing the personalities of the animals she draws. Often melding human attributes with animals and vice versa.
Abrah sold her paintings at the Last Bedlam Farm Open House. She posts her cartoons and her inspiration on Instagram. She also created the header for Jon’s blog with all the animals from the farm and is reworking it now to include Zinnia in it.
That’s Abrah, the Rabbit Snail dining with Socrates in the video. Hazel-Ra is the second Rabbit Snail you see in the video, in the company of one of my red shrimp. (You can tell them apart because Hazel-Rah has a white spot on toward the point of her shell.)
You can see more of Abrah’s delightful and insightful work on her blog here.
“Perfect” is what Deb, from The Vermont Fiber Mill, wrote back to me when I asked if we could pick up my wool on Saturday morning.
My friend Suzy, who hand spins and knits all those beautiful shawls is getting some of her wool back at the same time. I’m trading her some of my yellow roving for a scarf she made for Jon’s daughter Emma.
I think it will go beautifully with her natural wools.
I usually can’t wait to organize my wool and get it up on my blog once I get it so even though I usually don’t work on the weekends, I can’t promise I won’t put it up for sale on Saturday or Sunday.