I was lucky enough to call Patsy Eckman my friend for over 20 years. She was a beautiful bright light of love, laughter and limitless creativity. She passed away earlier this week after a brave battle with cancer. I'm going to miss her more than words can express.
I first met Patsy when I was pregnant with my daughter Kelly. We were cabin mates at a quilt retreat and she made me laugh like no one else could. She was also the most creative person I think I will ever meet. But she was humble, kind and generous as well. When she finished her project before the retreat was over she designated herself as my pressing assistant and pressed all of my strips and blocks for me so I could get more sewing done. Obviously, she made a good first impression!
She wasn't just a quilter, she was a fiber artist in the true sense of the word. She regularly made fabulous dolls and vases, boxes and bags, and her embellishments of each were exquisite. She could draw and paint as well. And her love of learning never ended! She went to quilting seminars and workshops for years, as well as taking online classes for all of her various endeavors. Her constant thirst for learning fed her skills and workmanship. She wasn't afraid to try anything!
But more than her creativity, was her joy and huge personality that were expressed in all she did. She created charity quilts with the same flourish and love that she put into her masterpieces. Her bright and brilliant inner light radiated from each project she completed.
When she was diagnosed with cancer almost a year ago, a few of us made this simple comfort quilt for her in her favorite bright colors and black and white prints. I hope it felt like a hug from us when she needed it most.
It's hard to say what I will miss most about Patsy because there is so much I'm going to miss. Her upbeat attitude, her can-do spirit, her joyful and fun-loving attitude, and her genuine kind heart and generous friendship will be remembered always. I imagine her beautiful spirit is somewhere right now finding something to embellish with stitches, beads and bling!
I often told Pasty that I wanted to be just like her when I grow up. I think that might be the best way to honor her beautiful bright light of love. Right now though, I'm really missing her.
Love you Patsy,