Just over 3 weeks ago, our daughter, Kelley, was diagnosed with Renal Cell Carcinoma, which is a fancy way of saying that they discovered a large tumor on her right kidney. It showed up in an MRI while searching for a different problem, but I know that it was no accident that it was found while still in Stage ONE. I give God the glory and praise for leading them to discover this tumor.
She was told that they would need to remove her right kidney because of the size of the tumor, and I tried for DAYS (and fitful-sleep nights) to figure out how I could be there with her for this. (She's in Oklahoma, and I'm in Tennessee.) But my husband wasn't up to the travel, (actually, I probably am not even up to the drive myself), and several other factors just made it impractical to go.
I wanted to make her a special quilt to wrap her in my love while she recovered; and, while searching my brain for what design to use, I ran across a quilt top made up of blocks that were made for her when she attended quilt group meetings with me when she was in her teens. The blocks were pieced for her in 1992, when she was fourteen years old. Back then, she was MAD about Hoffman fabrics, which were too expensive for her mother to use very often, so we provided a white-on-white background fabric, and the ladies of the group each used Hoffman prints for their flowers.
I assembled the blocks into a partial top when she received them all, but I never went any further with the top. It got buried for 23 years !
This week, I pulled out the partial top and added (saved, thank goodness) background fabric to enlarge the top. I moved almost EVERYTHING out of my sewing room, giving me just enough room to squeeze around my basting frame, because it was too damp and cool to baste it under the carport. This worked out great, because I was able to baste half of it, retire for the evening, and then finish basting the next morning.
After that, I set up my BabyLock Melody sewing machine, and machine-quilted it. I used the serpentine stitch, making rows the length of the quilt, moving over about every inch and a half. I had a huge piece of fabric that I had hoarded, hoping to make my mother a quilt (about 20 years ago?) and, sorrowfully missed my chance.
But it made a beautiful back for this quilt, and is still between a mother and a daughter, so I think that it was very appropriate.
When I bound this quilt, I decided that I wanted a wider binding because there was SO MUCH white in the top. The binding wound up finishing around one-half inch wide, and I like that big touch of green around the perimeter.
I got the quilt finished and sent to her on Wednesday, and she had it covering her last night, (Friday), just 10 hours after her surgery. The surgery went wonderfully well, taking over an hour less time than they had expected. She is such a brave woman, and I wish I were with her.
But she texted me today to tell me what an amazing surprise it was to see a FINISHED quilt out of those blocks that she had TOTALLY FORGOTTEN ! She said she has had it covering her all night and day from the time her husband brought it to her last night, and she has had the best stroll down memory lane, looking at all those beloved fabrics, and reading all of the signatures of women she remembers from her childhood.
Linking up with Quilt Story's Fabric Tuesday.