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From Woman to Woman Across Time and Space

What is the connection between the Centennial Queen of Dufferin County; born on July 5, 1867; with an 84 year old Ojibway woman in Mish?

Sophia (Logan) Rayburn; who died at the age of 108; had a passion for quilting from childhood. And today some of her unfinished work and quilting pieces were passed on, through her great granddaughter, to me, and I and my friends will get them to Eva; the woman in Mish; who makes blankets from fabric scraps to sell.

What an exciting week I had when I followed through on a promise to Eva's daughter Mary, whom I had met in Mish. The promise was that when I got home I would gather some fabric and send a parcel to her. I just knew that among my friends, somebody would have some odds and ends of material that they were never going to use

So I put a call out to my Face book friends, telling them about Eva and asking for help. 

My friend Irene was first to respond with, "My sister Ann will donate a's best she doesn't know she's "donating" them though, so let's just keep it a secret." :)

I am still shaking my head in amazement at the responses that came. Anita, one of my friends, is a member of a quilters' guild. She sent a message to her friends and an avalanche of replies came back from them, as well as my own friends.

One of Anita's friends, Lorraine, the great granddaughter of the Centennial Queen, had four boxes of fabric to contribute as she is moving. I made arrangements to go this morning, to her home in Orangeville and pick them up.

So with the morning sky still a petulant gray after a stormy night, I set out in my little black Honda Fit, with a sense of adventure; to meet a woman I didn't know, who was part of the answer to my prayer.

By the time I got to Orangeville, following my Google Maps directions to Lorraine's street, the sky was a fresh washed blue with white fluffy clouds scudding across it. Lorraine welcomed me and loaded me up with boxes of quilting pieces and sheets for backing and a beautiful almost finished quilt with squares her great grandmother Sophia had sewn onto squares cut from paper bags. Lorraine remembers as a little girl, that her job was to pick off the paper from the squares, and then her mother sewed them onto the fabric. Even now, Lorraine can remember some of the garments that the scraps had come from.

Four generations: Sophia is seated, with Lorraine on her knee.
I still plan to send Eva a parcel of fabric, but my friend Susan has seen a soft sided suitcase in a consignment store, that would be perfect to pack it in, and her husband Ron, an Ontario Land Surveyor who is working on behalf of some First Nations bands in the north will get it as far as Ignace when he travels there next. We will connect with our friend from Mish, Pastor Mervin, who visits Ignace; and when he is visiting he can pick up the suitcase of fabric.

I know there is a purpose for all of this fabric and wonder what it is. Perhaps Eva might be able to pass on her skills to the children of Mish as some of the elders do teach at the school.

Some times it feels like God sprinkles angel dust over a situation and today felt just like that. 

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