Saturday, October 10, 2009

Quilt show

So many favourites, so hard to choose.  Amy at Park City Girl is hosting the Blogger's Quilt Festival today through Oct 16th. She asked us to post a picture of our favorite quilt and tell it's story.

This quilt is one of my favourite ones.  It is bright, and cheerful - it's actually much brighter in person than in the photo.  When I laid it out in my room before shipping, it just brightened it right up.

The story behind this quilt goes back to my very first quilting experience.  An on-line friend was diagnosed with inflammatory breast cancer late in 2003.  A group of us from an e-mail list decided to make her a friendship quilt.  We couldn't provide our support in person, so we wanted to send her something to remind her how much we all cared.   I had never quilted before, although I had learned to sew as a girl and was making most of my children's clothes at that time.   I decided to participate, and made my very first quilt block.  The colours for her quilt were her favourite ones - purple and green.   All the blocks - about 48 of them - we assembled by one of our members and the quilt was delivered in 2004.

She went through a lot in the next year or so, a double mastectomy, reconstructive surgery, chemotherapy, but was declared free of the cancer.  And I was completely hooked on quilting.  I have been quilting ever since that first block.   Because of how I got started, I try to donate some of my quilts to groups that support cancer research and help people dealing with cancer in their lives.  In particular, I have donated a quilt to theQuilt.com every year for their auction, since 2006.

In 2007, Michelle's cancer came back.  In her bones, in her kidneys, and her battle started again.  Again, I couldn't do anything directly for her, as she lived on the other side of the continent.  So I decided that my next donation to theQuilt would be in her honour.  I happened across a beautiful pattern, from Northcott fabrics and I decided to do it in purple & green for Michelle.  The border fabric jumped out at me, and I worked from that basis, with much help from the ladies at several quilt shops.   After a couple of false starts and some fabric changes, I had what I wanted.  Started the quilt in 2007, and finished it in December 2008 - just in time for the 2009 Quilt Auction.  Sadly, Michelle passed away in June 2008.  The quilt was donated to the auction in her memory.

My mother was visiting while I was finishing this quilt, and she fell in love with it when she saw it. She even helped me finish the hand-stitching on the binding.  It was obvious that she would have loved to have the quilt, but it was promised for the auction, and I packed it up and shipped it off.  For the next few months she liked to remind me how I'd given away "her" quilt :)

I thought I would make her a new one, which she would love just as much.  I hunted and hunted, and even started a quilt, but none of the options I found could compare to that bright cheerful quilt she had seen at Christmas.   So, when the quilt came up for auction this summer, I bid on my own creation.  I won the auction, and had the quilt shipped directly to my mother just in time for her birthday.  It now has a place of honour on her bed, brightening up her room.

Click on the link below to stop by the quilt festival and see what other quilters have on their blogs.


10 comments:

  1. I love the colors :) It is beautiful!

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  2. What a beautiful tribute to your friend and mother.

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  3. Very pretty, and what wonderful gifts of love!

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  4. That is a wonderful story, and you are a dedicated friend and quilter. Thanks for sharing this beautiful quilt.

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  5. It is a beautiful quilt, and such a touching story. Thank you for sharing them.

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  6. I hadn't realized that Michelle's quilt is what got you started.

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  7. Beautiful in color and design!

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  8. That's a gorgeous quilt and a very moving story. I still have tears in my eyes about it. Thanks for showing and sharing.

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