Sunday, 19 July 2009

A special quilt for Tracy

About two years ago, Tracy joined my quilt classes at the suggestion of one of my students to help her overcome the lack of motivation she was experiencing after treatments for breast cancer. She loved the class and became a very welcome member of the Hearts and Hands of Elgin County Quilt group which meets once a month on a Monday afternoon. Her ready smile, strong faith and cheerfulness inspires us all through the ups and downs of life!

A few weeks ago, she came to quilt class with the devastating news that the cancer had returned. After many tears and hugs, and a cup of tea, she bravely went back to sewing!! With a heavy heart I emailed the rest of the group to share the news mentioning that we should make a quilt for Tracy to show our love. Several members responded favourably to the idea immediately. We set the following Monday to meet at my house to work on the quilt. I searched around on the internet and found a Valori Wells pattern called Flora, which would be easy to do with a group and was pictured in florals. Tina went to a quilt show on Saturday and bought that exact pattern without reading my suggestion :-). We figured that pattern was meant to be.

Monday morning, Donna, Lena, Audrey, Laurie, Mary Lynn and Tina arrived at 9:00 with sewing machines and floral fabrics ready to get at it. Laurie, Tracy's chemo nurse at the hospital, was a great help in organizing the size of the quilt. We cut and sewed, raided my stash and chatted with tears and love for Tracy, happy that we could do something. We even found a piece of pink flannel for the backing that fit perfectly! By 3:30 that afternoon, the quilt top was finished, layered and pin basted, the binding prepared and the label ready! It really is possible to Quilt in a Day :-).

After supper, I meander quilted the quilt all over with variegated thread and sewed the binding on by machine. Bea was sad she couldn't make it to the sewing bee, so she did the hand sewing of the binding. It was finished the next day! We had hoped to present it to Tracy at our Monday afternoon potluck the next Monday, but she was not able to make it due to doctor's appointments. Tina agreed to drop it off on her way home.

Tracy had a very difficult day that Monday at her appointments and had come home and gone to bed for a nap. When she woke up, there was the quilt. She was very moved to receive the quilt and wrapped herself up in it right away :-).

This past Thursday, Tracy came for her quilt class and brought the quilt along. Several of the ladies from our group joined us for coffee so we could take a picture with Tracy and the quilt. An article with the story of Tracy's quilt will appear in September in a brand new Canadian Quilting magazine, Quilter's Connection. Thanks to Mary Lynn's husband, John, who came to take the group pictures.

Here is Tracy, wrapped up in her cozy quilt:

Lena, Audrey, Mary Lynn, Tracy, me (Jacqui) and Ina were able to come for the photo:
Another picture with Tracy wrapped up in the quilt. From left: Lena, Mary Lynn, Audrey, Tracy, Ina, Tina and Jacqui. Absent were: Bea, Donna, Joyce, Liz, Sue, Cathy, Maria and Laurie.

A few photos of the process of making the quilt. Tina, Mary Lynn and Laurie are organizing the layout on the floor:

Tina, Donna, Audrey and Lena contemplating the arrangement of the floral fabrics. It's easy to get confused when so many people are working on a quilt. At one point, the girls labelled the rows with numbers to stay organized. Mass confusion occured when two row #4's showed up LOL. They did get it all straightened out and the quilt top was successfully put together.

Tina and Lena fussy cutting a pretty fabric:

Mary Lynn is awaiting the next instructions:

Audrey busily sewing fabrics together:

A beehive of activity; Audrey, Lena and Mary Lynn:

Jacqui sewing the sashing strips on the trusty treadle sewing machine. We had 1" left of this pink sashing fabric! Phew!

The meander quilting:

The label which included Tracy's favourite Bible verse from Jeremiah 29: 11. We added Isaiah 49:16 a to the label as well:

The finished quilt with the binding attached by machine:

Admiring the finished quilt with Tracy; Mary Lynn, (Ina behind ML), Jacqui, Tracy, Tina and Lena:

May our faithful God continue to hold you in the palm of His hand, Tracy!


cockermom said...

God Bless her and all of her special friends!

Anita said...

What a sweet idea! The quilt looks beautiful!

Quilter Kathy said...

What an inspiring story! Tracy is lucky to have such wonderful friends. If love was enough to heal someone, she'd be totally cured!

*kelebek* said...

beautiful..!!çok güzel olmuş ...Antalya-TÜRKİYE den sevgiler..

Deanna said...

Your quilt of love project truly demonstrates the compassion that Jesus called us to show one to another - James and Deanna

StaceyN said...

That is absolutely beautiful...the quilt and story of true friendship!!

Jacqui's Quilts said...

Thanks for all your comments everyone! It really was an awesome project and fun to work together on a common goal. We're hoping to get together and make some more of these types of quilts for the chemo unit at our local hospital. We have lots more fabric in those stashes LOL