Ever since I began quilting in 1987 I’ve been amazed at the great blessing quilting friends are. I have so very many quilting friends and am grateful for each and every one.
There are some people who hold an extra special place in our hearts and in my heart there’s a big place for two wonderful sisters – Evelyn Link and Hazel Robinson.
I’ve known Evelyn most of my quilting life, and she is very dear to me. I’ve posted about our adventures together on quite a few occasions. I don’t quite remember the first time I met Hazel, but we too have been fast friends ever since we met.
It’s with a heavy heart that I’m writing this post to remember dear Hazel who recently passed away. She was never without a smile and just loved to make everyone around her smile too. She was an amazing cook and she, along with her husband Eddie, were truly hosts with the most – the most generosity, kindness and fun that is.
In 2010 Hazel (and Evelyn) invited me to Alaska. She and Eddie lived on the Kenai Peninsula half of the year. These dear ladies arranged to have me teach classes for quite a few quilting groups in the area, and requested that I plan a longer stay so they could show me Alaska. What a wonderful time we had! I stayed in the “apartment” above the garage which consisted of Hazel’s quilting studio, a kitchen, bedroom and bath!
They taught me to eat crab legs with scissors and how to track down moose on a 4 wheeler (that was Eddie’s job 😊). I met many delightful quilters and taught classes in a variety of wonderful settings.
One of them was in a fishing lodge on the Kenai River, and I even got to take a boat ride with Ken, the professional fishing guide who was married to the quilter who owned the lodge. Wonderful people! So many good memories! (to read a post I did about that trip click here!)
Evelyn and Hazel joined our Sew We Go adventure to the quilt show in Sisters, OR in 2015 and that’s where the photo of us at the Stitchin Post above was taken. I was with the sisters in Sisters 😁!
Early on in our fun together I noticed Hazel calling Evelyn Sissie (or Sis E). I was so pleased to be a part of their many adventures and was thrilled when they invited me to be an honorary sister – Sis C! And on that note, if you’ve been following my blog for a while, you’ve heard the story of the Quilt Sissies. That all started with Quiltina, a quilter’s version of “Flat Stanley”. He’s a cardboard cut out schoolkids take/send all over and then write about his adventures. Well, Wendy Rieves and I lead quilting tours in the US and Europe and, prior to our riverboat cruise in France I mentioned to Wendy that we needed a quilterly version of Flat Stanley to accompany us on our travels. Her fruitful imagination created Quiltina, and she’s been traveling with us ever since.
Evelyn accompanied us on that French cruise and won our trip challenge with a prize of, you guessed it, her very own doll which she named Quiltilly. You may be wondering what this has to do with Hazel. Well, once I was made an honorary sissie, and since Evelyn and I each had our own doll, I just had to make one for Hazel. True to her wonderful sense of humor, she named her Quiltzilla!
A few years after the Alaska trip, Evelyn invited me to stay with her and teach in the Phoenix area. She had moved to Tempe after she retired to be close to Hazel, since that’s where she and Eddie lived when they weren’t in Alaska. So the Sissies had another memorable trip together, and I got to meet so many more delightful quilters (click here for a post about that trip). We also saw Chihuly in the Botanical Gardens, a quilt show in Tucson, and a lovely mission.
Where did we end up together next? Evelyn and Hazel stayed with Wendy and me during Quilt Week in Paducah. What fun we had there! It even included lunch at Grace church with a surprise visit by Quiltman and Bobbin (and our dear friend Nancy too).
Hazel was a talented piecer who loved to make large quilts for her family. She was especially good at the intricate Judy Niemeyer patterns. Evelyn recently sent me this photo of the last quilt Hazel made.
I had a different post planned for this week, but couldn’t think of a better way to remember Hazel then on my blog. Thank you for sharing some memories of a dear lady with me. She will be greatly missed!
Love you, Hazel!