When I was approached by Melinda McGuire to contribute to the Rich Fabric anthology, I didn’t hesitate to accept! Though my knowledge of quilting was fairly limited, I opted to view my contribution as a personal challenge. Would I be capable of writing a heartfelt, entertaining, and informative piece about quilting? Well, I was going to give it my best shot! I interviewed some wonderful quilters and learned how closely tied their quilts were to some very real and powerful emotions.
After realizing that quilting was much more than a skill, I remembered that my friend just so happened to quilt. Even though she didn’t belong to the quilting guild I visited, I went ahead and sent her the same questionnaire I gave to the rest of them. As I read through her answers, I knew that she had more to contribute than a random quote here or there. She offered a glimpse inside her soul when she detailed how quilting had literally changed her life. Her story deserved to be heard, so I talked to Melinda, and she graciously agreed to allow Crystal to contribute, as well.
Working with Crystal was a great experience. At first, she was very shy and reserved with her writing. She tended to write about the technical and avoided talking about emotions. I had known Crystal for many, many years, so I knew of the emotional struggles she’d faced her entire life. So many others put in her shoes would’ve been bitter and angry at the seemingly never ending cycle of hardships that she endured—Crystal only grew stronger and more concerned for the well-being of others. I wanted her to relay how quilting helped her to overcome her issues with loss, depression, low self-esteem, worry— whatever she was feeling. She took my advice and offered a story that didn’t say, “Hey, I had some issues; feel sorry for me.” She did it in a way that said, “Hey, I had some issues and I overcame!”
After Crystal turned in her contribution, I thought it would be the end of our working relationship. One day I received a message that she was writing a story, so naturally, I asked her if I could read it. My friend, who was already a gifted quilter, painter, scholar, historian, chef, etc., was also one heck of a storyteller! At first, she was embarrassed and shy to show me her work, but after some encouragement, she was sending me things to read on a daily basis! She became more and more confident, so much to the point that she published her work online for others to read. I really enjoyed our talks about writing and publishing.
I sure do miss those messages. I still find myself checking Facebook or my email hoping to find a note or a section of story from her. I know they aren’t going to come, but I still wish for them. I miss my friend. She tragically and unexpectedly left this world at the young age of thirty-five on September 4th of this year. Though she often experienced tragedy and difficulties, I know that if I were able to ask Crystal for one word to describe her life, she’d likely say “rich”. She was rich in the love she gave, in the love she received, in the trueness of her friendships, in her compassion for others and the compassion she received. She was rich with copious amounts of knowledge and pride in her heritage. She was rich because she had a job that she loved and hobbies that she not only enjoyed, but excelled at. The title of the anthology, “Rich Fabric” seems fitting when it comes to Crystal’s life. She was the fabric that held so many people together and our lives were made so much richer through knowing her. Even though she has passed on, you as a reader will have the opportunity to get to know this special woman through her contribution. I hope you will embrace and enjoy this gift from Crystal!
To order your copy of “Rich Fabric”, please click on the following link: http://www.amazon.com/Rich-Fabric-Anthology-Symbolism-Tradition/dp/1479278378/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1349023783&sr=8-1&keywords=rich+fabric+anthology
All proceeds will go to the Twilight Wish Foundation!!!! For more information about this worthy cause, please visit: www.twilightwish.org