My coworker Susan was acting weird. Finally, one day, her immediate coworkers sent her home, called her son, and told him he needed to take her to the doctor. Susan knew something wasn't right, but not until she was MRI'd did they know. Our very vibrant, loving, and self described kooky Recruiter/HR manager was diagnosed with a nasty brain cancer.
Gail, a cancer survivor herself, and Jude, who recently lost her mom to cancer (old age and more), along with a few others, spearheaded a friendship-quilt-for-Susan project. The deal was for people to bring in fabrics that reminded them of Susan, write a little note, and help, if possible, to sew some quilt blocks. If shopping was out of the question, Cathy had a selection of fabrics to choose from. Two weekends were set aside to sew the blocks, and there was some additional time to assemble the quilt. Gail did most of the sewing (40 some blocks herself I think), and all of the assembling and binding, and organized the quilt tying. Patricia gathered the notes and fabric samples and made a scrap book, and Pam beautifully wrapped the gift. Just before Christmas during the company office party, and deep in the midst of chemo and radiation, Susan was able to come to the office and receive the gift. It makes me tear up now thinking about it. It was pretty special.
I brought in three fabrics I found at a local quilt shop. When T was little Susan taught me her birds and squirrls song she sang to all three of her kids, so I wanted birds and squirrls. I also wanted yellow (the name Susan always makes me think of yellow and almost every Susan I have known has had a sunny personality) and pink, as Susan wears a lot of pink (hot pink and fuscia really.) Pink was a big thing for many people, and there were others with the birds theme.
I was able to help one morning of the days set aside to assemble the quilts and made my very first quilt blocks. I was quite excited.
Gail, at whose house we met, had divided the materials into six piles based on value. We grabbed one material from each pile, cut several strips (I forget how many and how wide), then sewed one of each material together. After ironing it, we cut it into two even blocks. In this second photo, the top fabric of the block is my pink, yellow, birds and squirrls material (and oppossum, owl, and raccoon) that felt perfect for Susan. Next to the block on the table is another of my materials - a bird print with great sayings. I wasn't wild about the pattern, but I really liked the words - friendship, hope, faith, family, love... My last bird print material is shown in another photo in a block someone else made. Look for happy little 1930's-ish song birds.
Pam gets ready to cut. While baskets in the back are ready to receive the cut strips.
The blocks completed while I was at the 'bee' - mine are on the right.
The quilt is a tied quilt. Gail brought it in one day and folks stopped by as they could and tied one or several knots of friendship and hope. Patricia also showed off several of the completed scrap book pages.
I thought I took pictures at the presentation, but have to find them. I'll edit and post when I do. I am writing this post months after the event, and a week after seeing Susan most recently. She looks quite good. She is waiting for her platelet count to climb again so she can resume chemo, and has a Ben Franklin hairdo, but she is her normal, happy, fun self. Yeah!