This is what our family always called our Charlie’s Angels picture. The picture was taken one summer of my mom, my sister and myself. I was about to be a freshmen in high school, Angie was about to leave home and would be a freshmen in college. When she left for college I got her room. In her closet was a piece of paper that she listed what she wore each week. This list lasted for an entire month, every month. She worked to not wear the same thing for an entire month. She did not have a large wardrobe but she would make new things just to make sure she kept it fresh.
Fast forward…. my sister graduated with a home ec teaching degree and went on to get married and have 3 sweet sweet boys. The first year that Angie and Joel were married they decided to make a quilt as a wedding gift for some friends using the quilt as you go method. Angie lived in Lubbock and I lived in Dallas so we mailed the blocks back and forth so I could help piece the blocks. Joel helped quilt them and I remember he had the most beautiful small stitches, 12 to the inch just as he had been instructed.
A few years later Angie’s family moved to Ft. Worth which is about 30 minutes from me, so we got together often. At the time we both had 2 kids each under the age of 4. It was a miracle we got anything done. I even joined a quilting friendship group there in Ft. Worth so we could get together often. We did many block swaps, made things for arts and craft shows and even gift shops would sell our wares.
My sister passed away in 1989 at the age of 31 which was 31 years ago. I tell you this story because I have finished several of her unfinished quilt tops and shared them with her family. I have one more quilt top to complete.
We did a friendship swap for the square in a square block and she pieced the pink sawtooth stars to complete the designs. Each of us had the same swap block and would create completely different quilts.
I have had this quilt top for 31 years. I cannot believe that. I hadn’t completed it because I was on a mission to find enough of the navy fabric for the fourth border (shown in upper corner) I did not have to have the exact fabric just something that matched. Believe it or not this is such a rich deep navy that I had a hard time making a match.
I finally found a navy plaid that was close enough and finished the top. My quilter often has a sale on quilting during her birthday month so I was going to be ready.
I took the quilt outside to get some pictures and poked a hole in my finger.
All this time I did not realize that the back of the quilt still had the names pinned on the blocks.
Many of the swap blocks were hand pieced. Each block had to use tan in the middle, greens, then pinks and cheddars and navy on the outside. There was a plan.
I guess this is a good reason to leave your selvedges on since I can now identify the border as a Cranston Print Works/ V.I.P fabric. I don’t really recommend leaving selvedges on.
I looked through the names trying to remember each person in this particular swap. I was thrilled when I came across this block with our good friend Roxi’s name on it. After my sister passed away Roxi and I continued our friendship and that makes this quilt top even more priceless.
I am kind of sad to finish this quilt top knowing that it is the last piece of Angie’s work that I have. The quilt will go to a good home and I will always have the memories of each of the quilts.
Quilts tell a story and they last long after we are gone!
Thanks for reminiscing with me!
So sad to read about your sister passing away at such a young age. But lovely you both share the passion for quilting. Perhaps you should keep this lovely quilt that your sister started for yourself as an extra special memory quilt.
Lissa–this is the most beautiful story! What a treasure for you to be able to finish this quilt for your sister. Thank you so much for posting about this!
What a special story! I am so sorry that you lost your sister at such an early age. How heartbreaking for all. Love that you took the time to finish all her quilt tops – no matter how long it took, and for these sweet memories on this last one.
Yes, each quilt tells a story – such wonderful stories.
I still have one unfinished quilt of my mom’s tucked away. She had been hand quilting it, but had removed many of the stitches – and never finished them before her stroke. Maybe someday it too will be finished.
How sad that you lost your sister so long ago at such a young age. Each of the quilts she left behind is certainly a treasure. You’re a good sister to get them finished. I hope someone finishes mine one day … hopefully in the far off future!
Thank you for sharing such an important and wonderful story about your sister and her quilts. What a gift you’ve given to her family!
I love everything about this post, from the first photo to your last sentence. Thank you very much for sharing this story.
A post with a heart. Grief and quilts go together hand in hand. I find that the pain morphs but never goes away. Lovely to have memories live in quilts… Good for you xoxo
Oh your story punched me in the gut. How sad that your sister passed away so young. What a blessing that you had several years hanging out and quilting together. That you have finished and quilted the remainder of her quilts is just wonderful. Understandably, there must be ambivalence in completing the last one. Thank you for sharing such wonderful memories of your sister. I hope those little kids have grown up knowing the love she had for them.
Brought tears to my eyes and how wonderful that you have such great memories! I also have some memories of a girlfriend who passed away at 41 and we grew up sharing all kinds of memories and family gatherings….crafting, sewing and growing up. Life goes by quickly so enjoy your friends and family….they are our memories for later!!!
I just stumbled across your blog for the very first time and found your beautiful Charlie’s Angels portrait. Thank you for sharing the sweet story of the love and friendship between two sisters. How lucky you were to share the joy of quilting. You have found a way to carry her spirit. Could it be symbolic?Such a great loss of a beautiful woman in each stitch through the years? I feel that perhaps you have found comfort, sorrow and joy with every quilt you see and sew.
I lost my first husband to cancer when we were twenty-seven. Coincidentally, this August 23 we would have been married for 31 years. I feel a kindred connection as I, too, have flashbacks to good times and sad. (my touchstone to him is music!). My lovely daughter created a playlist for our road trip this past week. She has no idea how she touched my heart with her choices of oldies. Those songs of decades past returned me to so many moments of our friendship, our love, our story, and until I read your blog felt that no one could ever understand. But I know you do! Celebrate and cherish. Always.
Thank you for sharing your story. How sweet of your daughter to create the playlist for you. It is so important to keep their memory alive.
Oh Lissa! Thankyou for sharing with us this precious piece of your life.