I was a vendor at the Spring Quilt Blossom Show in Lancaster, PA every year for 4 or 5 years. It was a big deal for me- it was the first quilt show that I did as I ventured into the world of quilt pattern design. It was a 5 day show (now a 4 day show). My kids would get to take turns coming with me to help out at the show, then we'd hang out in the hotel room afterward, exhausted, eating Chinese take out. I stopped doing the show 2 years ago, when I began going to Quilt Market- it was just too much for me to do 2 shows that were each several days long, so close together, and I wanted to concentrate on the wholesale side of the business.
Being a vendor at one of these shows is exhausting- 10 or 11 hours a day on your feet, sometimes being so busy you feel like you can't possibly keep up. Other times, when it's slow, you feel like you are just sitting for hours, getting bored and restless. It is always good to have a "booth neighbor" that you like and get along with to help pass the time, to give each other bits of information and advice and opinions. Dottie was my booth neighbor at the Lancaster show. She had been doing the show circuit for years, and knew a lot of people. She was always generous with her encouragement and advice. She was known to pray with some of her customers in her booth. A real firecracker, she was full of energy and enthusiasm and kindness.
When I went to visit the show last week, I looked for Dottie. She wasn't in her usual space- I figured she'd just moved. I walked the show a little, and as I turned a corner, I noticed a familiar quilt hanging, with a sign that said, "In Loving Memory of Dottie Kreuger." Turns out she had died of an aneurysm last fall while swimming, of all things. Typical Dottie- going until the very end. I spoke with her daughter, who has taken over her mom's business. There was no warning, and everyone was grateful that the end came quickly for Dottie, with no pain or suffering.
It is weird that she is no longer around- she was so full of life and energy. She is one of the people in my life that I want to be like as I get older. I am sad that I will no longer see Dottie, but I am grateful that I know where she is now. Leaving the show that day was surreal- it was like closing a chapter in my life. That part is over, and I am embarking on a new one: designing fabric, writing a book. I wish Dottie could have seen that- but I have a feeling that she knows......