Wednesday, June 01, 2005

The Quilt That Love Built

The Quilt That Love Built

This is the story of a Quilt that Love Built.

I met Marie on referral from my friend Herbie who is a physical therapist. He makes home visits rehabbing people who have had surgery, etc. Herbie is also one of my massage clients. One day Herbie called me and told me he had a lady he wanted me to call. While working on his client, Frank, he was asked if he knew anyone who could make home visits for massage therapy. Herbie referred me.

The first time I met Marie and Frank, I fell in love with them right away. They were a wonderful couple. Frank was getting over knee surgery, and Marie was dealing with chemo and pancreatic cancer and all that goes along with it. Every two weeks I would make a visit to their home to work on Frank and Marie....or just Marie...or sometimes Frank, Marie, their daughter Jean, and even Jean's husband and son! It got to be quite a party and I loved going over there for the talking and visiting and laughing as much as I did for my job as a massage therapist. To me it was a complete joy to go there...it wasn't a job at all!

Marie and I became fast friends. Sometimes I would drop by just to drop by and see how she was doing. It was after Christmas that I learned that her chemo wasn't working. She had decided to give up the chemo and concentrate on what life she had left. She was feeling good and she intended to make the best of it.

Things went along pretty normally until March/April when Marie called to cancel her massage appointment because she was just feeling achy all over and didn't think she would enjoy having a massage. A couple weeks later, hospice was coming in a couple times a week to monitor her. Luckily she was without pain, and her sense of humor was in tact!

I still worried what to do. I know I had been in denial for quite a few months, because I had just lost another close friend to cancer in December. It seemed too soon to lose another one. I vented to an online email list I belong to,
Heartstrings Quilt Project, about how I felt hopeless to get a quilt done and delivered to Marie before it was too late. These wonderful ladies! I got an email from Becky that she had just finished putting together a string top from blocks other gals on the list had donated, and I was welcome to the top if I could quilt it and bind it and present it to Marie. What a Godsend!

Within a week the top had arrived, and I quickly quilted and bound it. While making my breakfast, this little poem came into my head as something to put on the label:

This is the quilt that love built.
This is the quilt with strings so bright
Pieced by Becky long into the night
Sent 'cross states on an overnight flight
Quilted by Bonnie with hopes that it might
Wrap 'round Marie with a warmth just right
This is the quilt that love built.

© Bonnie Hunter, March 29, 2007

I delivered the quilt that afternoon. I have to tell you how TOUCHED and overwhelmed Marie was with the quilt, and the story behind it. I explained to her that the blocks were made by my online quilting group, blocks were sent to Becky, who pieced all the blocks into the top, then the top was sent to me for quilting and binding. I read her the label. She was just so amazed that a bunch of women who have never met EACH OTHER (most of us) would make a quilt for someone they didn't even know. She doesn't know quilters very well, does she? :c)

She wanted me to thank each and everyone who sent blocks to Becky and to Becky who pieced the top. She said "How ever am I going to thank them!?"

Marie painted beautiful water colors. She paints florals in very vibrant colors. The purple of Iris, the Golden Yellow of Sunflowers, the aqua blue of the ocean....and this quilt was SO full of the colors that Marie loves most, even she commented on it that "oh,it's MY COLORS!". I am the lucky recipient of prints of many of Marie's paintings and I will cherish them. One by one I am getting them matted and framed.

Marie entered into Eternal Rest on April 23rd, 2007. I am so grateful for the friendship I had with her as well as other quilters I never met in real life who came to my rescue with this wonderful quilt top. Sometimes it does take a village!

Quilting Detail:


Anonymous said...

Your quilt site is a favorite place for me to unwind from a hard days work and I thoroughly enjoy the pics and info. As a relatively novice quilter(less than 5 years), I have learned a lot from Quiltville. I am truly touched by 'the quilt that love built'. I am blessed to be able to donate a quilt each year to one of the Relay for Life fundraisers held thru my work. It especially means a lot to me since my dad passed from cancer. With your permission,I would like to make a similar quilt for next years event. I will certainly document a correct label. Thank you for your wonderful site; you are an inspiration! Betty Tullis,

Anonymous said...

I realize this story was posted many years ago. But it is so very true that many hands lighten the load. I love to quilt but what I enjoy the most is coming up with new ideas. Your kindness has truly
created a memory in this family.

Karen in Kentucky said...

One of the the things I cherish most about quilting is doing things just like this. I began quilting by volunteering in my church's quilt ministry. Our quilts are not fancy and are hand-tied rather than quilted by machine or hand because there is a huge need for what we can provide.
I love being with others who are all working on different projects for the same goal. To keep someone in a shelter warm, to replace blankets/quilts that were lost in a house fire, to send to other countries where severe poverty is present and to missionary trips in which our church members participate.
I love this quilt, I love the poem and label and I love that you are this kind person who cares about others! God Bless You!

Bernadette Izod said...

Thank you Bonnie for sharing this with us. I have a stack of blocks tha I was sent as part of an online block swap. I will finish the quilt off and donate it to our oncology unit here in Darwiin.

seveneleven said...

I just read this sweet story. It could have been written today it is so timely. Each of us would be so fortunate to have had this wonderful experience. Thank you, Bonnie, for sharing this.

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