Let me introduce you to Edi Dobbins. For the past seven years, since I’ve been designing, writing, and teaching in the quilting world, Edi has been my absolutely indispensable right-hand girl. We call her my seamstress….but she’s much more than that. She’s really my assistant.
The quilt behind her in the photo is one of soooo many she’s pieced for me….and quite expertly too. Believe me, my points don’t look nearly that good!
Primarily her job is to do much of the sewing for the commercial quilts that I design for books, magazines, patterns etc. She does that…and she does it brilliantly. Over the years she has learned to decipher my notes ( I get worse and worse about giving her good instructions as she gets better and better about figuring out what I mean!) and stitch up the projects….but it’s more than that. She’s learned what I like…and what I don’t like. What I’m particular about…and what I’m not. It’s not unusual for her to give me a call when she’s working on a project I’ve designed, and tell me I’d better get over to her house…where she sews… and take a look…..she doesn’t think I’m going to like it. And you know what, she’s almost always right. We’ll sit down in front of her design wall and decide what’s wrong….and what’s right. Then she makes the changes.
But that’s just part of what she does for me….she’s helped man my booth at shows including being a super-salesperson at quilt market, cut kits, taught my designs, and been an enthusiastic supporter and advocate.
She’s listened to me talk to groups so many time, I tell her she might as well get up and do it herself. She has been known to give me a few gentle reminders from the back of the room when she hears I’m forgetting something important. Thank goodness….I’ve always been grateful for her taking care of me….I need that, and she does it so well and with such good humor!
Typical Edi would be to go into a quilt shop while she’s traveling and ask if they have books, fabric, or patterns by Pam Mostek. If they don’t, she acts so surprised and says they really should carry them. After all, her work is wonderful, she might add. And I’m sure she does that with a straight face…..Of course, she doesn’t mention that she’s my friend and helper!
Most importantly I love the fact that I can always count on her for enthusiasm, positive input and plain ol’ dependability. I know that when I turn it over to her, it will be done well and on time. She’ll problem-solve it until it works…..and that means plenty of late night sewing!
One of my favorite Edi stories is about the time I thought I had lost four embellished quilts after doing a quilt show. I won’t spend time telling you how totally distressed I was (No, not me….!) because I needed those quilts to lecture from and they would have to be replaced. After searching everywhere….I called her to tell her my miserable tale and see if she could get started piecing some of the replacements. I forgot she was in Arizona visiting her son….but I remember her response.
“We’ll just do what we have to do. I’ll get started as soon as I get home.”…..Whew! What a relief that was to hear her calm sense of reason. Oh, by the way…I found the quilts. Crisis averted!
Besides her help with my business, she has also become a very special friend. We’ve hashed and rehashed all the pitfalls of life…including children, grandchildren, husbands, quilting, gardening…..you name it, and we’ve undoubtedly kicked it around in her sewing room!
Right now my friend Edi is very sick. She’s in the fight of her life, and she’s handling it with her usual determination and grace. My thoughts and prayers are always with her……
Here are a few of my favorite quilts she’s pieced for me……but there are many, many more to say the least. Enjoy them!