It is typical for me to want to quill during happy times in the lives of my friends and family… to add to a celebration or honor a special day. Recently, however, the urge to quill struck upon hearing the news that a college friend of mine had lost her dear mother to a terminal illness. My initial thought was that I wanted to quill a beautiful monarch butterfly to frame next to a photo of her mother along with a lovely quote printed along the bottom of the photo. This task proved to be much too heavy… partially because I had never met my friend’s mother and so had a very difficult time finding just the right quote, and partially because I like to think that my quilled pieces will be enjoyed by the recipients for many years and it occurred to me that the finished product might reflect too much on the mother’s passing and not so much her life. In the meantime, my friend had chosen a photo for me to use in the piece—it was an outdoor photo of her mother with her adorable little daughter, both of them smiling brightly, and all seemed right with the world. Once I saw that precious photo, I immediately decided to go with a theme that highlighted the happy moment for what it was. I decided on a garden theme with a variety of colorful flowers with grassy stems, and, of course, bluebirds, a ladybug, and a butterfly. The only symbolic measure I took was to make the butterfly all in white and fluttering near her mother… the symbolism is fairly open-ended. In my mind, it has to do with the glorious transformation from the earthly to the heavenly.
I was happy with the way it turned out and have also received a lovely thank you card from my friend… she said the style of piece fit her mother very well. Reading that was a blessing for my heart.
I’ve included photos of the quilling, but I’ve purposely cropped out the images of the photo’s subjects to protect the family’s privacy.