Monday, March 15, 2010

Elizabeth Ann Derrick 23rd February 1940 - 11th March 2010

Today, many of us were able to join Ann Derrick's family and other friends at her memorial service - a lovely, moving celebration of her rich life. Of course there were tears, but much love and the greatest respect for a woman cherished by many. The church was very full, and decorated with some of Ann's spectacular needlework, that we had been privileged to see her working on - a wall hanging, a communion table covering, and a Lenten banner, placed there not just for the service, but because they were serving the purpose for which they were made. It was a very fitting tribute to some of her many skills, and her place in the congregation.

During the service, Alan read Ann's "A Quilter's Life", and he very kindly agreed that we could share it with you here.

All my family and friends have played a part in the construction of the 'Quilt of my Life', and some here will recognize themselves.

There are many pieces in my quilt, all different shapes and sizes, some straight and square, some with extreme bias, and there are some stars scattered around in the pattern. Quite often colours and patterns clash or don't work together, so some pieces need to be separated to achieve a harmonious result.

Sewing for Dance Concerts when I was a teenager began my love affair with fabrics, and this progressed to making Altar cloths and Banners for various churches. I was even commissioned to produce a challenging wall hanging for Northhaven retirement village.

The pattern of my life began in 1940 when I was born to Edythe and Horace Walter Ball. I was the younger of two girls and very shy, so my mother enrolled my sister Cate and I in Bessie Wheately's dancing school. We continued dancing well into our twenties, and Mum who was known as 'Scotty' played the piano and violin for our concert party. Uncle Clem was the singer and Catherine (Cate) and I danced, performed sketches, and sang. We loved the concert party as it was so much fun, and at the same time raised money for many charities. Once at Parramatta Goal, Clem sang 'Legion of the Lost' which gave us a laugh as it was so appropriate for us and the audience.

The best stars in my quilt are my children, and despite Dr. Spock, Cathie and Linda have turned out responsible upright adults, of whom I am very proud.

Like all quilts, age starts to show as it nears the end of its useful life. It is fading in parts, the colours need to be touched up, and the wadding has become somewhat lumpy. It is still richly textured, although wrinkles and lines are more evident. The seams are straining apart and the material needs to be handled with care.

This life pattern may not be to everyone's taste, but I am pleased with the end result, so to all of you who made me what I am today, I thank you sincerely.

I thank you all for the solace and peace I have from hard work in the garden, the love of nature, creativity of my quilt making, the friendship involved in these activities, and the wonderful feeling of accomplishment when the work is done.

Thank you my friends and family for my life.

(Redrafted from Ann's original work March 10, 2010)
Our deepest sympathy and our thoughts are with Alan, Linda, Cathie and their extended family, and Ann's many friends as we mourn her loss.

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