Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Quilting to Heal, Quilts for Healing (Get Kleenex)

July 11, 2011 --- Just a short 6 months ago today -- Miss Marie, the family Matriarch left behind her husband of over 60 years, three sons, and four daughters. One of her daughters, Barbara (below) began a mission -- healing her broken heart, and helping to heal those close.

Taking her mom's clothing (and some of her Dad's), Barbara cut squares of cottons and knits; new and old; and stained from life's Journey. Her goal, to make NINE !!!, no, it is not a typo, NINE!!! quilts for her Dad, 3 brothers, 3 sisters and her mom's sister -- and of course herself -- all by Christmas. Was she crazy? No, she just needed to fill this large missing "piece" -- how else, but to "piece" together NINE Healing Quilts.

Did Barbara make her Goal of NINE quilts by Christmas Eve? Before I answer that, did I mention she did not know how to sew??? Did I mention she did not own a sewing machine???

Where does "one" start? Well -- the stars begin lining up -- Her sister-in-law Marie is a quilter, ok, "first base" has been achieved. SIL Marie loans her a cutting mat, rotary cutter, several tips to get started and a little sewing time on SIL's machine. "Second Base" -- Barbara treats herself to a little sewing machine of her own, thread and a walking foot. "Third Base" -- Barbara makes NINE tops, NINE backs, and sandwiches each on the living room floor. Tears! Broken Thread! Needle Problems! Late Nights! More Tears!

Then, in exchange for grilled steaks made by Barbara's hubby Lynn (YUUUUM), I headed to their home to give a quicky lesson on machine quilting using the walking foot.


Again, do you think Barbara hit the "Home Run"??? The quilt above and at the top -- is #9, which is for her Aunt. The quilt below -- #1 (Barbara's), is the one I took home and quilted it especially for her.


Now ... about those other quilts: #2 - #8! All were Delivered Christmas Eve at their Family gathering. HOME RUN!!!

With not a dry eye in the room, Barbara presented each with a memory of their mom. Each quilt, SEVEN blocks across (July) and ELEVEN blocks down (11th of July). Each with the family names and birthdates embroidered by a very close friend. Each with a lock of hair tucked in a shirt-pocket from their mom.

I cannot begin to explain how proud her mom must be of her. I can only assume, she sat by Barbara's side cheering her on, supporting the need for her to finish this mission. Of course, Barbara will continue to miss her mom, but each day will become easier.

11 comments:

Angie said...

What a wonderful story - thanks for sharing! I am making some memory quilts with my dad's shirts, but I haven't been as prolific. Now I'm inspired!

Sarah Craig said...

Awesome story, Jamie! Thanks so much for sharing!!

Cookie said...

what wonderful story and some beautiful quilts

pcflamingo said...

That is beyond awesome and right on up there into awe inspiring! What a great legacy she has created.

Mary said...

Great uses of those old clothes. I cut soem squares from clothes of my Neighbor's Daughter, but havent' gotten teh inspiration of how to put them together. I like this idea. There is Flannel from PJ's, Knits and a fuzzy robe. Thanks for sharing the wonderful story.

QuiltSue said...

Woww, what a story. I bet the family were all over the moon with their quilts.

JudyL said...

That is amazing and inspiring. What family treasures she has created.

JCnNC said...

A loving tribute to her wonderful mother - and each family member can be wrapped in love that has been so freely given. Judy C

fancystitching said...

What a wonderful story! Thank you for sharing.

Sandra said...

Thanks Barbie....I am so proud of YOU!! I know that these quilts are filled with love and when I wrap mines around me and smell mom's perfume on it, it comforts me so much to just smell her again and feel her warmth and love she always had for us. I can't tell you enough how special this gift of love is and I can see the healing started to begin in you the night you presented us with these beautiful quilts. You were so strong and you did not shed a tear throughout your giving of so much love. I know mom is so proud of you and was with you all the time you spent on them since her passing. Everyone that I have showed my quilt to is in awe with tears. These quilts are now our airloom and will always touch everyone's lives with the meanings behind every stitch. You are so selfless and giving of yourself and I am so proud to say that you are my sister and I Love You So Much! Sandra

Mary Lea said...

That is a great story! Thank you for sharing.