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.