Like many in the quilting world, I was very sad to hear of Di Ford Hall's passing last Friday. Di was a very talented quilter and designer as well as being a lovely person. I had taken several classes with her just to enjoy her company and discuss our love of fabric. After a class with Di, I looked at fabric and it's possibilities in an entirely different way. She selected fabrics that others would overlook and her quilts were well known for lots of different elements and a style based on antique quilts.
I even flew to Houston to attend the International Quilt Festival, at 2 weeks notice as she had been invited to speak about her designs and all of her fabulous quilts were displayed. It was a wonderful exhibit and her talk was very well received.
Quiltmania published two books of her designs and I have both of them, full of fabulous patterns to make.
I decided that rather than just feeling sad about her passing, I would stitch her quilt designs and remember her with gratitude for sharing her creativity with so many of us. I have a few of her designs which I had started and they are now UFOs so it's time to get them finished.
The Poppies quilt was one of her early designs from 1998, when she was operating her quilt shop in Melbourne, Primarily Patchwork. I've decided to take things a bit slower this week with some hand stitching and I have finished hand appliqueing 5 of the 16 blocks. I'm really enjoying the slow stitching and selecting fabrics to be similar to what Di used but also to add my own fabric choices.
I last saw Di and an exhibition of some of her quilts and fabrics at the fundraiser for Leukaemia research in October last year and it was a wonderful tribute to Di which raised $45,000. Andover dabric very generously donated a lot of Di's fabric lines as well as some by Max and Louise, as they were also friends with Di and designed their own fabric range which complimented Di's.
I bought fabric from both the designer's fabric ranges and decided to use it to stitch a new quilt from Di's second book. I'm piecing the blocks using Max and Louise's Nicholson Street shirting fabric, as the quarter yard strips I bought were too small for the 18 inch blocks. The red fabric is Di's red pillar print fabric and one of my favourites so I am enjoying stitching it as well.
Di left us many happy memories of quilting times spent together as well as a wealth of quilt knowledge, designs and fabrics, and although her passing is a great loss to the her family, friends and the quilting world, we were very lucky to have been left with many happy memories and skills she taught us.
It's been good to have taken some time to work on quilts for me to treasure and keep rather than spending every moment on donation quilts, as well as remembering a lovely lady who shared so much of her talent and passion for quilts with many of us.
Hugs, Jan Mac