This project really began as I lay awake for yet another night lamenting the death of my much loved sister Jennifer Imelda in April this year (2016) As an enthusiastic sewer/quilter the idea came to me & stayed in the back of my mind for some months until one day in my sewing room I began to put it together ,planning to make a small wall hanging. (it has now taken on a life of its own, more of this later) The starting point was a small picture of us together proudly wearing new dresses made & hand smocked by a family friend.
The picture was machine stitched onto a small piece of upcycled hand crocheted doily with a larger piece of vintage quilt as backing, (this quilt scrap forms the basis of the whole’ hanging’) Jenny wren was a nickname Jenny had for many years, in fact some people thought it was actually her name. When she arrived at the local hospice in the last 3 weeks of her life, a wren suddenly took up residence for the first few days of her stay and entertained us all through the patio doors…. serendipity? coincidence? Gift from God? Her name embroidered /printed came next along with a branch and (badly executed!) wren (I plan to redo the bird)
I felt drawn to the subdued colour palette believing it reflected the task in hand adding old lace, buttons, embroidery, beads and quotes – these were either typed on a vintage typewriter, on vintage paper, from old sheet music or torn from a scrap of vintage prayer book.
Since Jenny’s death, little white feathers have appeared at regular intervals…messages from Angels? Jenny letting me know she is beside me? One of these needed to be included, along with a medal of Saint Theresa …. Jenny’s confirmation name. The process of making this little memorium was far more important than any intrinsic or aesthetic value. Every stitch was a labour of love and remembrance of an amazing woman I was proud to call my sister. Tears were shed and I laughed out loud as I recalled our life together as I sewed. Sewing does indeed “mend the soul”