I know it's been a bit giveaway-crazy around these parts lately, so I wanted to step away from the book tours for a moment to share a very special quilt that I just finished up and bound over the weekend. If you've been reading my blog for a while then you've seen this quilt top before, but I recently received some news that was the motivation to finish it up and ship it off to its new home.
I grew up extremely close with my extended family. Holidays, birthdays, and pretty much any major family event were all spent with my aunts, uncles, and cousins -- so much so that my cousins and I were closer than I believe most cousins tend to be. They're like my other brothers and sisters.
I always shared a special bond with one cousin who was only 5 months younger than me. When we were both in high school, she was diagnosed with Hodgkin's lymphoma and began a battle to overcome the disease that lasted for several years. She went through more than any young person should have to go through, but emerged victorious with (to her credit) no interruption to her academic progress. She went on to graduate from the University of Notre Dame, build a successful career, and marry a great guy, and she never lost a bit of the beautiful light that shines so brightly inside of her.
Unfortunately, after several years of crystal clear test results, cancer has once again reared its ugly head in the life of my young cousin. Without going into too much detail, she has had to resume her fight with the disease at a very rapid pace and without too much time to prepare. One thing I know about her is that she's a fighter and my money's on her every time, though I wondered what I could possibly do at this time of need, from hundreds of miles away, to express my love and support. In short, to help.
We quilters know that the items we create can't cure a disease, or right a wrong, or solve the world's problems, but they can help. They can blanket someone in a hug when distance prevents a real hug from taking place. They can offer the gift of a small bit of oneself when it seems that nothing else can possibly make a difference.
I immediately knew that this quilt, so beautifully quilted by the fantastic Jackie Kunkel of Canton Village Quilt Works, was meant to be for my cousin. It's made from a mix of prints from Amy Butler's Midwest Modern collection. The quilt's generous use of pink is my subtle way of expressing that the quilt might, in some capacity, help my cousin once again conquer the cancer in her body.