I cannot believe I didn’t blog about this quilt! This quilt has such a story to tell.
The piecer of this quilt – Lorna – had been bringing me quilts for a while. Lots of fabulous quilts! I kept telling her, “Lorna! You need to enter your quilts in a national contest!” and she kept pooh poohing that idea. Here are a couple of pictures of just two of the gorgeous quilts she had been bringing me up to this point.
Finally, she called me in March, 2015. She said she had been working on a paper-pieced Bali Wedding Star pattern and would like to try and get it entered in a national show. Finally! Yes! I was happy that she was finally owning up to the fact that her piecing was just as good as what I was seeing at these national shows.
Then, in late spring, early summer, she called me and said she had been to the doctor for a cough that wouldn’t clear up and for back pain. She was diagnosed with metastatic lung cancer. Stage 4. She was going to enter chemo treatment but still planned to work on that quilt. Which she did, while undergoing chemo! She continued to work on it over that summer and into the fall. The chemo was helping some of the pain from the cancer that had spread to her bones, but it also made it impossible for her to bend over. One of her friends would come over to her house and bend over and pick up the blocks that were laid out on the floor and hand them to her to piece. She finished the quilt that way and got it to me the first week of November, 2015.
I pushed back every other quilt that was in my queue at that time (I have the most understanding clients) and put her quilt on the frame immediately. When she gave it to me to quilt, she said she had done what she considered her best work ever and that it was now up to me to get it accepted at Paducah. No stress, there.
I struggled a bit with the quilting design, but I finally wound up with a sun motif, which included lots of little tiny pearls. All of these done manually on my longarm. I had to slow way down in order to keep those pearls within the lines. This quilt measured in at a huge 100″ x 111″!! It was on my frame nearly the entire month of November (I do work full-time during the day). The deadline for entering Paducah was December 5, and we still had to get the binding applied to that scalloped edge. She was able to only get one side bound, so we (a bunch of her friends and myself) pinned the binding to the back and hung it up at the quilt shop (Main Street Quilt Company, Shelbyville, IL) where she taught classes and took pictures for the entry form. I then entered it for her and we waited.
Lorna got the word on March 3, 2016 that her quilt had indeed been juried into the Paducah 2016 Quilt show. Her health was really failing at that time, but the news put a big grin on her face. She slipped away from us 13 days later. She never got to see her quilt hanging at Paducah or at any of the other quilt shows I’ve entered it into since then. She did not receive a ribbon at Paducah, but she did receive a ribbon at MQX-Midwest that fall – a 1st place ribbon in the Custom Our Daily Bed category. I was honored to receive her ribbon for her husband and family who was there at the awards show. Since then, it has received a 1st and Viewers Choice at the Arthur Quilt Show – an Amish show in a nearby community. It was juried into the Indiana Heritage Quilt Show and I’m waiting word on jury acceptance at Shipshewana.
One thing I always say when getting the chance to talk about Lorna’s quilt, is that because of this quilt – this very special quilt – her memory will live on beyond all of our lifetimes. Every time someone sees this quilt — whether it’s today, next year or 100 years from now — her name will be spoken and a little bit of her will live on.
I miss you Lorna.
Here’s a pic of me in front of the quilt at MQX – Midwest last year. You can see how big this quilt was!
And this sporting two ribbons at Arthur:
hmmm. Don’t look but I seem to have grown a bit in the past year. Got to get moving again on that!