I just found out today that Kathreen Ricketson, founder and author of Whipup, was in a tragic accident while on vacation with her family. You can read a little more about it here. I am still in shock and very sad. I have never met Kathreen in person but we've worked together remotely on projects. Her work as a crafter and seamstress is extraordinarily diverse and rich. She is unfairly talented and skilled. But above that, I am impressed by her authenticity, generosity and thoughtfulness and her advocacy of the value of collaboration within the community. That's a lot of fancy words for saying that, once upon a time, out of the blue, she wrote to me to invite me to contribute to a book she was writing. If you're a sort of nobody (as I am) in the publishing world, this is a big thing. Long story short, the project didn't make the final cut but the fact remained that she reached out to someone who was new in the field and encouraged them. And then she kept in touch with me and I enjoyed the privilege of working with her on later projects. Kathreen is, as many others have described her, an inspiration to and cornerstone of the crafting community. But she is also a gatekeeper. She gave many of us our first nudges in the form of features, shoutouts and invitations to come on board her platform. And she selflessly helped us tell our stories. I still have her email, with all its kind words, in my inbox. Never had having my hand held felt so good.
On our side of the world, we will continue to cook dinner and sew clothes and make quilts and knit socks and work in our gardens and do all manner of other normal, life-things. Such is the paradox of loss. I will grieve and miss her but I will think hopeful thoughts for her children and family. I will continue to write blog posts on my side of the world but I will mourn the quiet space that was once her voice in the community. I will remember her and her creativity. And I will pray for her precious little ones to be held and kept safe by strong arms and gentle hands.
There is indication that an education fund may be set up for Kathreen's and Rob's children. When I know more, I will share it here.