Tuesday, October 18, 2011

A very special quilt

Amy Butler Midwest Modern Quilt

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.

Me (guess which one?) and three of my closest cousins

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.

Amy Butler Midwest Modern Quilt

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.

Amy Butler Midwest Modern Quilt

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.

Amy Butler Midwest Modern Quilt

The quilt is currently on its way to Connecticut to be with my cousin as she prepares for her second surgery in as many months. I hope she uses it and feels the love and warmth that it's meant to provide.

59 comments:

  1. It sounds like she is a courageous woman, and I'm sure your gift will bring her some comfort and support. It's beautiful, John.

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  2. What a lovely gift and a beautiful expression of hope. I too hope your cousin will overcome and cherish this stunning quilt for many many years.

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  3. What a wonderful way to show your support for your cousin. I'm close to mine too and I can't imagine how hard it is to see them struggle with illness.

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  4. It is beautiful, and I know she will love feel the love from it that you put into it for her!

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  5. It's a beautiful quilt and, I am very sure, will be loved.

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  6. Best of luck to your cousin in her fight. That quilt will be a beautiful reminder of your love for her even hundreds of miles away. Jenn

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  7. What a wonderful gift to give to your cousin. May she prevail in the fight! This has inspired me to set about making a quilt for my friend and her husband (He is fighting the same as the first form of cancer that you mentioned). Thanks for the inspiration!

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  8. The quilt is beautiful and I am sure it will embrace your cousin in love. My prayers go out to her as she continues to fight.

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  9. I am sure that she will be very comforted by this wonderful quilt. It is truly a meaningful gift. My prayers and thoughts go out to her at this time. Where in CT is she? Is she close to me?

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  10. 1) The quilt top is gorgeous
    2) Tears are creeping up & threatening to give away that I'm sneaking a read of your blog in at work (shhhh!)
    3) Your first link (to another post of the quilt top) goes to Best Buy for iTunes cards... I don't think that's the example you're intending for this post... :)

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  11. I know this quilt will be a source of both comfort and support. It's lovely that you could use your own talents to create such a heartfelt gift. My hopes that all goes well and she finds continued strength.

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  12. What a beautiful quilt, John. Many prayers and hugs for your cousin, you, and your entire family.

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  13. Nothing heals better than the hug from a handmade quilt! My healing thoughts and well wishes are with your cousin!

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  14. It's the best thing you could give your cousin right now. You are the best! hugs from Nicole

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  15. It's a beautiful quilt, and while it may not cure the disease, it will surely help maintain that all important positive thinking as she faces this latest battle. Best wishes to you and your family, and hope your cousin is once again well soon

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  16. Pink and orange is such a lively vibrant combination- I hope it expresses your cousin's spirit

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  17. gorgeous! sending prayers and happy thoughts to CT!

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  18. It is a beautiful thing you are doing for your cousin. Quilts made in love and given in love provide so much comfort for the sick. I will keep her in my thoughts and prayers.

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  19. Beautiful quilt, John. My thoughts are with your cousin.

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  20. That is a gorgeous quilt, and I'm sure it will be of great comfort. Sometimes that counts for a heck of a lot. I'm hoping the surgery goes smoothly and sending happy thoughts to your cousin.

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  21. What a brave, spirited woman she is! The quilt is so beautiful and it will wrap her with the warmth of your love for her. What a gift! Will pray for her.

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  22. I'm sure she will feel the love and support when she wraps herself in that beautiful quilt.

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  23. That is a beautiful quilt and a lovely and wonderful sentiment. I have no doubt that when she wraps it around her she will feel all of your love and greatest wishes for her.

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  24. oooh my god!!
    its so beatiful!!
    Liebe Grüsse
    Nathalie

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  25. It's a beautiful quilt and what a great way to send a hug! Praying for strength in the days and months ahead for your cousin and her family.

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  26. Prayer and hugs to your cousin, I know that that beautiful quilt will comfort her so much and knowing her favorite cousin made it will make it even more special. Blessings Sandra

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  27. My quilt mentor taught me how fabrics speak to us, and in my case I have also found that quilt tops do to. This one speaks volumes of love and support.

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  28. My best to your cousin and I know she'll feel the love from your gift.

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  29. I'm sure this wonderful gift of love will be well used as she wraps herself in your love. My thoughts and prayers go out to her for yet another win!

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  30. A very thoughtful gesture and so respectfully written. Your cheerful quilt will be very comforting to her. My heart goes out to you. And special healing wishes for your cousin.

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  31. That sucks. I hope that beautiful and fun quilt will give her strength and cheer while going through what must be an extremely difficult time.

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  32. Special thoughts for you and your cousin. Since she went to ND its almost sacrilege but from Trojan country tell her we're yelling FIGHT ON!

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  33. Your heartfelt gesture will be appreciated and welcomed, I'm sure. It's nice to extend yourself to her without asking, too. It will create a deeper bond that she can continue to count on. Sending all my positive juju.

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  34. There's nothing quite like a quilt to convey love and warmth--I'm sure she'll feel your "hug" every time she's wrapped in the quilt you made with her in mind♥
    Wishing Love and light to conquer your cousin's cancer...

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  35. Wishing your cousin a quick and complete recovery. I know your beautiful quilt will provide her with comfort, and my prayers and best wishes to her and your entire family.

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  36. You cousin will certainly feel loved wrapped in that beautiful quilt as she fights and heals.

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  37. Beautiful quilt and stunning quilting. I know your cousin will feel that hug! I just recently made a siggy quilt which I had all members of the church write encouragement notes on for a gal who is battling cancer of the liver and I ment for it to be a big hug for her when she is in chemo treatments. I currently have a quilt on my longarm which I will be gifting to my friend with breast cancer. I will add your cousin to my prayers.

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  38. Thank you for sharing John. What a gorgeous quilt for your cousin. I am sure it will mean the world to her and give her much comfort and courage.

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  39. That is a beautiful quilt. I'm sure your cousin will be able to get lots of comfort from it and your thoughtfulness.

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  40. Prayers and good thoughts for your cousin and your family! The quilt is beautiful and what a difference it makes to have love to cuddle into!

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  41. This is a beautiful thing to send someone going through such struggle. It is a beautiful quilt, but it will mean so much more to her knowing that you are supporting her and made it to help cope with her situation. Prayers are with you both!

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  42. What a wonderful and thoughtful gesture! Your cousin will feel 'hugged' by you every time she wraps herself up in your beautiful quilt. Nothing speaks love & support more than a gift from the heart...and your gift will touch her heart.

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  43. Very pretty quilt. It looks soft and comfy. Best wishes to your cousin on her surgery!

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  44. Will keep her and her family in my prayers. She is fortunate to have you as such a strong supporter!

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  45. How thoughtful of you!! I will be thinking of her and am sending warm wishes for a speedy recovery!
    Paulette

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  46. Well written.
    Well done.
    Well quilted.

    Your cousin will be immeasurably touched. You are very special.

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  47. Thank you for sharing your story. Quilts really do help. You can't help but feel all the love that is sewn into them. Prayers for your cousin.

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  48. Thank you for sharing the wonderful quilt and it's story with us. I believe in the power of prayer, even long distance prayers. So prayers coming to you, your cousin and her family from our family here in the Washington DC area :)

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  49. What a wonderful gift! It's beautiful. I'll keep her and her family in my prayers.

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  50. it is really special quilt for a special woman. hugs

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  51. I can't think of a better hug to give from a distance! You're the best and I'll hope and pray for the best for your cousin.

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  52. Beautiful sentiment and a beautiful quilt. You have brought tears to my eyes! Wishing your cousin strength for her fight. x

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  53. That is a wonderful way to help your cousin, quilts are beautiful gifts in times of need. I will keep her in my prayers!

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  54. You're amazing. I wish everyone could have a cousin like you. Prayers and best wishes to your cousin.

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  55. Pretty quilt! Sorry to hear she's ill... I'm sure she'll get a lot of enjoyment out of it, and I wish her the best in recovery.

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  56. I don't know what you do best. Write or Quilt. Your love of family threads thru your story gentle as a fine needle. I do not quilt but I love them. My VERY BFF made me a wonderful quilt as I started my treatment for Stage IV cancer. I am currenly in remission warmed and hugged from afar by my 'Stitched With Love' Quilt from her. Diane...Pittsburgh

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