Healing through Quilting

Sometimes you receive news that just hits you in the gut.  Well I had a wonderful co-worker tell me that not only had she gone through thyroid cancer, she was recently diagnosed with breast cancer.  Knowing she loves Hawaii, I found the fabric and made this quilt.  I say had as I have retired – not that she passed away.Twist around Hawaii

This quilt, which is lap size, could keep her warm while she was going through chemo treatments.  As I was sewing it on my Bernina, quilting it on a long arm and then the binding, I would pray for her to have a complete healing.  She is not a Christian but it made me calm.  I tend to get very irritated when I hear of someone diagnosed with cancer.

Now I live in Southern California so we don’t have much cold weather.  But there are some nights that snuggling under a quilt just makes life so much better.  The fabric was purchased from Beyond The Reef at the Road to California show.  The fabulous staff assisted me with the colors for the Twists.

Another former co-worker is going through PTSD.  I never knew why she left the job but she did disclose later.  Sometimes, especially when they live in another state, you get frustrated as you can’t reach out and give them a hug.  So I quilt.  The last quilt I did arrived at this person’s house just after she heard that her former supervisor/mentor had died suddenly.  I got a picture of her under the quilt with her dog which made me very happy.

Fan DanceThis one is called fan dance.  I am a fan of this person so it seemed to be the right quilt to send.  So if you have a friend that is going through a rough time, consider a quilt.  You can sew blocks together, stitch in the ditch to hold the batting to the top and then add some yarn in each block.  Have friends tie a square knot while adding a prayer.  Prayers can be silent, or the person can write it out and attach the card for the recipient.  They will appreciate it.

So keep quilting.  It keeps your hands busy and your heart full.  At least it does for me.

Thank you for reading.

 

 

So much has happened in one year!

Well, it has been one year since I retired from the Fire Authority.  Since that time I took an extended visit to see my mom in Oregon, had the house fixed up (popcorn ceiling removed, professionally painted, new flooring, new window treatments and new dual pane windows).

I also downsized quite a bit – all furniture got donated to Goodwill/Salvation Army, bags of gently used clothing and books donated to Goodwill, fabric was donated to my guild to either sell or raffle off and a few other things.  It’s great to clean up and start fresh.

Fan Dance With that said about starting fresh, this was the first quilt from Road to California 2015 class that I finished.  Some class projects get done in a year or two or just get shelved.  This one is called Fan Dance and the teacher was Nancy Mahoney.  Nancy has a great technique so the quilt was assembled quickly.  Since I purchased the fabric in La Mesa at Rosie’s Quilt, I named mine La Mesa Leslie.

It was quilted on the long arm, binding on in record time and then shipped to my friend Sharon Elsensohn.  Sharon and I had a fabulous friend named Leslie.  We have known each other for more than 25 years.  Well, that damn cancer took Leslie away from us.  Knowing that Sharon was feeling the loss, I sent it to her.  When she’s down, maybe she can think that Leslie is nearby watching over her.

So Leslie, farewell.  Sharon, enjoy the quilt.  Any quilt guilds, think about having Nancy as an instructor.  Quilters could also use this pattern and use the panels of the fans for signatures. When finished you could use it for a gift for a bride, a retiring member of your company or church or a family gift.

More later as I need to put some binding on another quilt.

Thanks for reading.

October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month

Did you know that breast cancer will strike 1 out 7 women? Look how many women you know at work? At church? In your neighborhood? And men can also get breast cancer!

Well I lost a very dear friend who was an amazing teacher, dancer, practical joker and great gal. The first year a bunch of us got together and did the Susan Komen Orange County Race for the Cure, she was there but did not walk or run. The next year, she did the 1 mile with the promise that the following year, she would do the 5k with us.

She didn’t make it. Her cancer was progressing so rapidly that she decided to forgo her cancer treatments and just travel.

It is because of her that I got involved and became the Team Captain for Fire Walkers. Sometimes when I am running and get really tired, I can hear Karen’s voice saying “Stop being such a slacker. Our dance group used to dance for 8 hrs and then party for 10. You can do this!” So at that time, I pick up my pace.

This will be my last year as team captain since I am retiring from the Fire Authority next March. To raise money for our team, we hold an annual bake sale and raffle.

I picked up our team t-shirts and bib numbers and one of the survivors asked me if I minded if she turned in the quilt I made that was presented to her. No problem. For one thing, I was taught that once a gift was given, it was up to the recipient to do whatever they wanted. So now the quilt is being raffled off.

Pink and Chocolate 002
The pink and chocolate colors had an impact when I saw them. The background fabric has a nice silver sheen to it. And Pink is the color for Breast Cancer.

What I am trying to say is Cancer can be beaten by early detection, monthly breast exams, diet, prayer, exercise and the support from your “sisters”. Join a local walk to help fund to find the cure. Or come join us at Fashion Island, Sept 22 and meet over 25,000 of your new closest friends.

So when you see someone fighting breast cancer, look at them and think “There goes a healthy, strong person who will beat cancer.”

Thanks for reading.