My mom, Leanna Spanner of Anilee Creations, passed away on Monday April 17th 2017. She had been living with us for just over two months. The cervical cancer we thought she’d beaten three years ago, came back, all over. They gave her six months to a year. We got just over two. She dozed off watching Grace and Frankie, and passed in her sleep as far as we can tell. We were at a ballgame, that she insisted we not miss. She was feeling really good that day, after a really good weekend.
My mom was a quilter. She LOVED the actual quilting part – and could take or leave the piecing. So she became a long arm quilter. Her shelves were always full of people’s tops to quilt, and she loved that. A lot of her clients chose pantographed allovers, and she was insanely good at fitting and positioning the pantograph just right so that it filled the space perfectly.
Sadly (for me), mom quilting for OTHERS means I only have twelve quilts that were hers and are done. Pretty amazing considering she quilted thousands of quilts over the years!
It’s been two and a half weeks since mom left me. I’ve been afraid that sewing and quilting would make me sad. But I have a project I really want to do, so I washed the fabrics yesterday, and cut and sewed some today.
The cutting mat that I worked on, was the first cutting mat my mom ever gave me, back in 1996 (my best guess…), and even has her name on it. The machine I was sewing on is a beautiful little Featherweight that she gave me as a present one year. She taught me how to do all of this.
How to figure my half square triangle sizes. How to sewing them in chain piecing. How to make them bigger than you need, so you can trim them down and have PERFECT points. How to press so that the seams aren’t clumped and too thick. To press, and not iron the piecing.
My hands came back to cloth today. I’m still scared though, because what happens when I run into a question I don’t know the answer to? I always called my mama for help on quilts. She always had the answer for me. She could fix my machines. We went in on battings together, big rolls of them. She would check my patterns for errors. She could help me with weird math problems in quilting when I got stuck.
I don’t want to give up quilting, but I feel like it’s a mine field for me right now. That anytime, my foot might come down and the realization of her…goneness…will sweep over me and crush my heart again and again.
I suppose some day, most or all of the mines will be detonated, but until then it might be a pretty bumpy damn ride. God I miss her so fucking much.
I’ll close with one of the quilts she made, that made it on the cover of a magazine.