This is the bear I've been waiting to make since last spring. Helen Jones was the mother of my dear friend, Terry. I met Helen several times and she was one of the sweetest and most spiritual women I ever met. She was a true witness to the Lord she loved so much and unabashedly shared that love with everyone she came into contact with. She prayed for everyone and kept a prayer list inside her Bible. Helen was special. Her funeral service last year was one of the most wonderful services I've ever attended. The church was filled with people who knew and loved her. Some had known her nearly all her life. She was a courageous and loving woman who lived a full life before she left to sing her hymns in heaven.
After she passed, Terry heard about the Memory Bears and sent fabric to have bears made for her own daughter and her niece. Once Terry saw them she knew she wanted one too, so she sent me fabric to get a third bear. Terry sent a pillow sham, one that she and her mom had shopped for together. As soon as I opened the box and held the sham I knew I was supposed to make this bear. I needed to make it as a gift to Terry and as a way of honoring Helen.
All I had to do was learn how to make one! They hold classes for making the bears a few times a year and I signed up for an April class. Sadly, I got very sick just before the class and had to cancel. I had to wait until November to take that class! After I took the class I wanted to make a couple of bears before I started this one. Boy, am I glad I did.
The fabric turned out to be very difficult to work with. It had a backing on it and I couldn't apply interfacing to it. I thought it would still hold together, but it frayed at every little touch. The good news is that I kept hearing Helen encourage me and assure me that her bear did not have to be perfect. To show what it was like, here is a picture of the head from the outside and it was like inside that same head!
Two more photos to share. The back of Helen features a bit of fabric Terry sent me to add in some way. Since Helen was of the generation of women who never left home without a hanky, I turned that fabric into one for her bear to have as needed. The second photo is Helen and Leonor sitting together. They did a lot of this during their preparation and finishing. We couldn't help but notice how similar they were and how they looked like good friends. I like to think that's exactly what they were. Although they never knew each other in life, they spent time together here with me as I turned part of them into a bear for someone who loved them. I'll miss them!