Everything I do at the moment seems to be a bittersweet reminder of my lovely friend Rosie who died a couple of weeks ago. For the last 10 years she’s been so involved in my work, coming to workshops, buying and commissioning textile pieces, sharing stories of antique shopping and cats! I think of her with every stitch, knowing she’d be interested in what I’m doing. I think of her when I am writing newsletters and blog posts because she read them all. I think of her when my cat is cute and funny because she loved cats so much. I think of her when I look at the news because she was so cruelly taken by covid caught in hospital.
She contributed to Textiles in Lockdown and my Criminal Quilts collaboration quilt and the Petri Dish Project as well as so many of my workshops, exhibitions, talks and events. Rosie started coming to workshops when I began running them in Leicester in 2012 and once I stopped doing them locally, she travelled to visit exhibitions and attend workshops further afield. Her support and enthusiasm was incredibly important to me during those workshop years.
She was a creative muse for me, over the years. I often kept Rosie in mind when creating new workshops or new collections of work. Rosie and her husband Graham bought a number of pieces from me and commissioned some really wonderful works which I loved making, discussing with them both and seeing them hung in their home. The first of my Treasure Boxes was a commission for Rosie, her idea, which was truly inspired.
This led to a larger commissioned framed piece using Rosie’s own collections of textile treasures, buttons she had made and additions of my own.
Rosie was treated in Harefield Hospital late last year and was so delighted that she would get to see the quilt I made for the hospital’s centenary in 2015. The last time I saw her, winter 2019, they came to choose some pieces from me to purchase, and Rosie gave me a stitched poem in remembrance of my lovely old cat Maya who had recently died. Her warmth, humour, enthusiasm and energy will be missed so very much. In time I will be making some colourful stitches in her memory.