The very first time I led a quilting cruise was a trip to the Caribbean in 2000. We actually brought Singer featherweight sewing machines along as our carry-ons (it was pre-September 11!) and we sewed on them while sailing between ports. I designed a pieced quilt as our project and called it “Tropical Breezes”. One of the dear ladies who traveled with me was a garment sewer and “not a quilter”. Jeanette was a great sport and decided to try the project. She did join Wendy and me on our Mississippi Riverboat Cruise the following year, but she never mentioned what had become of her Tropical Breezes “quilt”.
Well, a few years went by and I received this email in February of 2011:
My aunt, Jeanette Richter was on your quilting cruise to Cozumel in April 2000. She did not finish the quilt “Tropical Breezes” during the cruise and last year, after a major medical set-back, she gave me the fabric from the quilt to “finish” for her. Being a new quilter, myself, it looked overwhelming to me, so I set it aside while I worked on other projects to get a feel for quilting. I am now (I hope) ready to make her quilt, but as I was going through everything she gave me, hoping to read instructions and figure out what to do, I was dismayed not to find any instructions for piecing the blocks. I am wondering if you might still have any instructions for this particular quilt and if so, could I get a copy? I would like to get the quilt pieced in the near future so that I have time to send it out to a professional quilter and be able to present it to my aunt for Mother’s Day (nothing like short notice, right?) I do have the lay-out pattern for the finished blocks, but just need to know how to piece the blocks.“
I was thrilled and offered to help Barb in any way I could. In April of 2011 she sent me another email saying she had finished the quilt:
“I love it, it’s perfect (well, not really, but it’s perfect!) Amish folk lore says no quilt should be perfect because only God is perfect and we aren’t to compare ourselves with God”. So, to my aunt, it was as perfect as it was allowed to be–if you get my drift. She loved it and I am so blessed just by watching her joy in receiving the quilt. It has been a very beautiful day! Her response - “I couldn’t wait to see it finished, but is it really for me?”"
Two years passed. A few months ago I had the opportunity to speak to a guild in Janesville, WI and Barb was there – with the quilt!
I asked her to tell me the rest of the story and here it is:
“When I gave my aunt the quilt, we took pictures of her with it and chronicled her reactions. Jeanette (or Aunt Net to me) was a very special lady who gave so much to others, I couldn’t say no to finishing her quilt for her. Now that she is gone, I feel so close to her each time I see or handle her quilt. I felt honored to finish the quilt for her and blessed when I received the quilt back after she passed away. I am also so very grateful to you for your help in completing this project. You are awesome!”
Here’s one more picture of Jeanette with her quilt, and the pillows Barb also made. After the cruise, I made quilt labels for everyone with the picture of the group “photo-transfered” on them and Barb placed this label on one of the pillows!
What a blessing it was for me to hear the story and see the pictures of Jeanette and her quilt. Thank you Barb, I’m so pleased to have been a part of this heart-warming story !
I’ve received some interesting pictures lately of quilts that relate to recent posts, and this seemed like a good place to share them.
When I was visiting Evelyn in Arizona a few years ago, I taught a few “Parallelisms” classes (this is the class that morphed into my latest book: “Where Do I Start With Fiber Art?”). Margit is a member of the Maverick’s fiber art group and she was in one of the workshops. She is a very talented and award winning artist and I was so pleased to have her in class. She recently sent me this note and picture:
“I just wanted to share a little project. I ‘borrowed’ your technique of Parallelisms for a small Christmas wall hanging. It was quick and fun. The wall hanging is for a bazaar to support our local library. I am a volunteer at this library. Hopefully someone will fall in love with the piece. I am so glad that I took your class.”
Adorable! Thanks for sending the photo Margit!
Dorothea sent me some pictures also. These were in response to the Flower Pounding post and here’s her message:
“Hi Chris, I have been a fan of your blog ever since you came to speak at Mad City Quilt Guild . In one of your recent blogs on flower pounding I became excited because I had done some a few years back with my two sisters–a special Sister Weekend with that being our project. It took a couple of years to make a quilted project of my poundings but thought you might like to see the results. By the way, we did treat our fabric to keep it more colorfast with washing soda.”
Dorothea certainly was successful with her poundings! Thanks Dorothea!
I hope you enjoyed all the stories included in this week’s blog as much as I enjoyed posting them! I’d like to leave you with information on a local gallery show the Milwaukee Art Quilters are exhibiting in: