my friend Val who left this world a little over 2 weeks ago. Val was one of the first people I met when moving to Asheville. I knew right away she was a special lady.
She was an incredible talent, dyeing all the fabric for her quilts, making silkscreens out of her own drawings - she was amazing. I always loved this particular quilt of hers; I admired it every time I went to the Folk Art Center where it hung in their gallery of quilts for sale. I would report to Val saying "I can't believe that beautiful quilt hasn't sold yet".....and then one day it was gone. I emailed her to say.....Well Hooray, some lucky person now owns that quilt...little did I realize it was me. A few nights later my husband and I were invited to their home for dinner.....a beautiful night and on my way out the door, she handed me a package and said "open this when you get home." The thrill, the surprise in the moment I opened it and how much I cherish it now...It hangs in my studio where I keep my favorite things.
In Fiber Junkies, we have always celebrated the big birthdays and Vals was our first when she turned 70. During a conversation on a ride home, she mentioned a favorite birthday when her aunt made her a dress with lifesavers on it. I had an Ahhh Haaa moment that I tucked away and later used as a theme for her birthday. I later thought maybe Val was talking about lifeboat circles...oh dear...I never did find out but we had a blast and Val was covered in lifesaver candy and thrilled about it.
We had so many meetings at her home where her garage had been converted to a wet studio. We had our own table and being creatures of habit, from day one went to the same table each month. Mary and I had Val at the end of our tables; we felt so lucky, we could watch her every move, do everything she did, use every color she used and hope for a masterpiece..... but the magic belonged to her alone, even with her willingness to share, it was never to find its way to us.
I remember the time my kids went to the supermarket with their dad and happened to meet Val for the first time. Upon arriving home, they announced that Val was probably the nicest person they had ever met. I heartily agreed with them.
I know so many of you didn't know this wonderful lady but it feels so right to share stories and happy memories...thank you for reading with me. Val was a beautiful spirit who touched the hearts and lives of everyone she met; I don't know if she ever realized how much she was loved..... I hope she did....I know she did.....I will miss her.