Marianna ~ one of my magnificent mentors,
I started quilting back in 1982; the first class that I took was at a small fabric/quilt shop from a wonderfully kind lady who remains a dear and treasured friend to this day, her name is Ann. Ann encouraged me to join a local quilt guild, it was there that I first met the magnificent mentors. These ladies may not have even realized how important they became in my life as the years progressed. There was Fannye, I have blogged about her and her legacy here before; then there were the Pfafftown Four. The Pfafftown Four were ladies who demonstrated nothing but pure and honest appreciation and love for quilting; Lib, Zola, Natalie and Marianna were masterful quiltmakers whom I admired, respected and looked to for guidance and direction. They quilted with open hearts, always willing and eager to sit and show me how to accomplish any little trick or technique if I even suggested I might want to learn how to do what they were doing. They were just those kind of ladies, through the years I have remained grateful to each one of them for their kindness and enduring friendship. One by one, they've left their earthly homes for a place in Heaven, taking a small piece of my heart each time. On Monday Marianna joined them, what a glorious reunion the magnificent mentors must be having! I attended Marianna's memorial service yesterday, it was a loving tribute to a beautiful lady in every sense of that word; several of her quilts were on display at the reception afterwards, I am still in awe of her miniscule hand quilting stitches and flawless hand applique, there is a void now that can't ever be filled. I am suddenly face to face with the fact that I am one of those older generation quilters now, the responsibility associated with that is a heavy one. I'm not all together sure that the next quilting generation is as sponge-like in their quest to absorb knowledge as I was. With the proliferation of classes, books and you tube videos today's young quiltmakers are equipped with everything they need to be successful from their very first project; there's value in that, but, from my perspective, they're missing out on the very best part... the intergenerational relationships that add incalculable worth. Think about this: who do look to as a mentor (in any regard, not necessarily in quilting) today? And now, think of the flip side of that question: to whom can you act as a mentor right now? What skills can you offer freely from your own heart and hands? Personally, I know that so much has been handed down to me; others saw fit to preserve and protect what was of greatest value by passing down that torch personally; it's too heavy to hang on to by myself... out of loving respect to my magnificent mentors I want to reach out in kind wherever I can. My heart may be heavy this evening but my gratitude is overflowing, I am deeply thankful to each and every magnificent mentor who has touched my life along the way with love, kindness, friendship and the desire to be the very best that I can be in whatever I set my mind to do.