Darcy had created many quilts in her eighty-five years. After the first quilt, an easy lap quilt she’d almost completed, but still gifted; Darcy moved onto art quilts due to a twelve-year-old niece’s request for a horse. She then visited google for days to study how horses worked and drew the quilt out on graph paper, then on poster board and newsprint. Soon after, she hoped the charcoal pencils she’d used to draw the quilt with didn’t rub off on the fabric as she cut the material.
The fabric was brighter than anything she would ever have chosen, but it was seven fat quarters, wide cut one-quarter yard measurements of fabric, useful for making quilting shapes. They weren’t enough to make a quilt top, but she’d dealt with that problem like the others; she simply took care of it. She recalled showing up at her first quilt retreat and finding each one of the ladies were absolutely astonished to discover she really had not brought a sewing machine.
The quilt became a legacy at quilt retreats, where women gawked at the idea that she had created all that by hand. She worked on this quilt for years before she gifted it. Somewhere between appliquéing a horse to the background and sewing meadows and sky (complete) with clouds, designed with hexagons by hand, Darcy learned the border would be sewn much faster on a sewing machine. She’d requested one as a birthday gift.
The next art quilt she made was for a younger niece who enjoyed the pop culture icon, Godzilla. This was done with Darcy’s preferred method of mixing two main blocks, a Carpenter’s Wheel and a Blazing Star in certain colors to create a scene. She added in half Mariner’s Compass block and partial Bear Paw blocks to create necessary details on the Godzilla character. Her color choices would create the rest of the design.
Darcy was approaching her eighty-fifth birthday with a home well decorated with color Murder Mystery quilts and other mystery quilts she’d been unable to resist over the years. Her friends and loved ones understood that if Darcy had made you a quilt, you mattered to her, regardless of the occasion it was intended for or completed by. She had also made many for charity, especially as she accumulated enough quilts of her own through mystery challenges.
Themes varied from seasonal to colorful to scrappy. She’d led a good life teaching college students English and Creative Writing and occasionally taught fabric dying and quilt-making in classes around the state. But as Darcy considered that she was slowing down at that ripe young age of eighty-five and having a harder time finding undergrads to cut her fabric, she also considered that the next quilt she made might be her last. After all, her shoulder injury from her Navy days still bothered her on a good day, let alone after too much rotary cutting.