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Monday, December 26, 2011

Tribute

You can tell by my few blog posts in the last several month that I've not quilted a whole lot. Farmer's Wife blocks for a class I was teaching, memorial quilts that I'd contracted before Sam passed away, the club mystery quilt...That's about it! :-(   Very unusual for someone who usually quilted every single day!!  My friend Jennifer says it's 'cause when I'm sewing at home, I'm usually alone, and too much alone time was resulting in too many tears. True enough, I suppose.

The gals at the local quilt shop talked me into doing Bonnie Hunter's Orca Bay mystery.  I got them into Roll, Roll Cotton Boll last year, so turn about was fair play.  Just rifling through fabric and cutting fabric and sitting with them each Friday to work on it together -- all these seem to have brought some of my quilting joy back!!  And after completing a particularly difficult (for me) memorial quilt for a friend, I tied into Sam's Darlin' Hearts!  And today, I finished the quilt top.

And I'm just in awe.

Not of my work. Far from it.

I'm in awe all over again of the beauty of friendships and heartfelt sympathy and prayers and love that was given to me in the weeks following Sam's death. Who could believe people are so kind! And to me!! As I've looked over the blocks, many are from "close" quilting blog friends. And just as many are from people whose blog paths I've never crossed, or if I have, it was a periferal thing. And yet they cared enough to make a block (or two, or FOUR!) and send them to me in the most difficult days of my life!!

There are no words to properly thank you!! I tried to send cards (I saved every card, envelope and note! :-D), but my tears smeared the ink.   Maybe this small recognition will let you know how grateful I am.  Each name is a link to their blog (if they have one and I know it :-D ) Check them out! They are all amazing!

Row 1

Sharon, Miki, Jacque (1 block of 2 she made!), Stephanie (1 of 2 she made! and I think that's the right blog!) and Ann...

Row 2

Selma Jean, Rhonda (the first block I received!), Cassey, and Rebecca...

Row 3

Debbie (the strawberry fabric was a definite clue! :-D), Sarah, and Teresa...

Row 4

Mary, Crispy (this is the one that sparked the quilt name --  because it made me cry like Charlene Darling on Andy Griffith! :-D), Barb (the sparrow story is amazing!), and Janet...

Row 5

Diane (my Hands 2 Help quilt-for-Romania exchange partner through Sarah's blog), Ann (1 of 4 blocks!!), and LuAnn (who also checked on me through Jeff's deployment! Thank you!!)...

Row 6

Sue (1 of 2 blocks!), Jacque, Ann, and Stephanie...

Row 7

Ann, and Sue, and Cindy Lou :-)...

Row 8

Beth, TonyaPaulette, and Staci (this is the only one I'm not sure of...and isn't that a hoot, Stace, since your blog is The Confused Quilter! :-D)...  Correction! :-) The last one on this row is Kate's (Kathleen, below)!! So. is the blue pieced one Staci's!?!?  LOL  Let me know, if you know!)

And Row 9

Kathy,  Ann, Robbie, Kathleen, and Karen.

Many of the blocks came from quilters who participated in Sarah's Hands 2 Help challenge.  Such generous gals!! Thank you so much!

I think the quilt top is just stunning!! I have a couple of quilters in mind to complete it, and then it's snuggle time. :-)

This is the first of three pieced quilts I'll make in Sam's memory -- I'll be piecing one with his boxers :-D (there are 24 pair of them!! :-D) in the next couple of weeks, and I have a bunch of blue fat quarters that my quilt club gave me to use in another. 

I received a quilt from Mary at Quilt Hollow, and it's already a favorite. She won the quilt top, then quilted it and sent it to me to bind.  What a blessing!!

And then I have his t-shirts and other memorabilia to place in quilts for Emily and Will. Sweet!!

Philippians 1:3-8 expresses some of what I feel for you all. :-)  I like the Message translation...

Every time you cross my mind, I break out in exclamations of thanks to God. Each exclamation is a trigger to prayer. I find myself praying for you with a glad heart. I am so pleased that you have continued on in this with us, believing and proclaiming God's Message, from the day you heard it right up to the present. There has never been the slightest doubt in my mind that the God who started this great work in you would keep at it and bring it to a flourishing finish on the very day Christ Jesus appears.
 It's not at all fanciful for me to think this way about you. My prayers and hopes have deep roots in reality. You have, after all, stuck with me all the way from the time I was thrown in jail, put on trial, and came out of it in one piece. All along you have experienced with me the most generous help from God. He knows how much I love and miss you these days. Sometimes I think I feel as strongly about you as Christ does!

Thank you for being God's grace to me.  Thank you for giving from the heart.  Thank you for, as was said of Sam, loving "without filters."  Thank you for being a part of my finding my quilt joy again!  May you be blessed  a hundred fold!!

Blessings,

14 comments:

Mrs.Rabe said...

Mary Lou...you are precious. What a beautiful quilt. Your Sam must have been amazing...and I think you are too!

Blessings,
Deanna

Kate said...

oh, Mary Lou, it is simply beautiful. I know it was both comforting and painful to put it together - hope it gives you many many hugs. (and, fyi, the right heart in row 8 that you are confused about, is mine... Kathleen, aka Kate the Quilting Professor... but, truth be told, none of them is "ours" now - they are all 'yours'... hugs.

Janet O. said...

Mary Lou, the Darlin' Hearts quilt turned out just beautiful! What a remembrance!
I think your friend Jennifer was very wise and I'm glad your friends have got you quilting along with them on Fridays. That is a great idea.
Bless Mary's heart for sending you a quilt. She is an amazing quilter, and obviously a very kind person.
Thanks for sharing your emotional and spiritual journey with us. You strengthen us all.

Mrs. Goodneedle said...

Your quilt top is nothing short of spectacular, what a loving tribute to your amazing Sam. May you always be surrounded by the loving hearts of friends and the peace and comfort that comes from your loving Father.

Quilter in The Gap aka Rhonda said...

It makes my heart happy to see you are at a place to be able to work on this quilt. I realize healing is a process and you remain on my prayer list. The fact that you are working on this quilt is just a little bit of proof that the Lord is healing your heart. thanks for sharing this with us.

Mad about Craft said...

Since you lost Sam you have been an inspiration with your strength and faith.

May God continue to bless you and may Sam's star shine on you!

beth said...

Thanks for sharing your quilt top with everyone. It's beautiful.

Miki Willa said...

Thank you for sharing the quilt top. It is really beautiful. I am very happy that you are beginning to quilt again.

Lori said...

The quilt is precious and I'm sure you'll feel wrapped in love as you use it.

Sarah Craig said...

The quilt is beautiful, Mary Lou! I hope you feel wrapped in love when you use it!! You remain in my prayers and I am very glad to see you are able to quilt again.....

Reenie said...

Mary Lou...that quilt is amazing, as are you. You are such an inspiration. All my prayers to you.

LuAnn said...

Hi Mary Lou I love your Darlin' Hearts quilt, and I hope you feel our love everytime that you wrap up in it. I'm so glad you are sewing on Fridays with friends. I think there is nothing better than getting together with quilting buddies even if you don't sew a stitch. Blessings to you. LuAnn

Teresa said...

Mary Lou, this top is simply over the top. Such a beautiful reminder of your beautiful son. It makes my heart all fuzzy to think that you will be wrapped in all that quilted goodness soon, and I hope you will find it a continuous source of healing and inspiration.

As I recently finished a SMALL quilt made from my hubby's boxers (for him to hang at work, LOL), I have three words of warning for you...squirrelly, squirrelly, squirrelly! Those poly/cotton blend undies had a mind of their own and did not follow typical rules of grain direction, etc. ( was going to back the thing in the pieced boxer leftovers, but I decided I needed a backing that could hold the whole thing together! (And some of the seats of those boxers were pretty darn thin...you can sort of see the batting through them, which is kind of hilarious itself - you think the poor guy's wife would keep him in better undergarments!)

I hope you have a great 2012, full of new quilting enthusiasm as you finish this aggressive list of Sam quilts - may they bring you comfort!

In stitches,
Teresa :o)

angiejmq said...

I know from experience that there is a loneliness that often accompanies grief..how wonderful that you have this beautiful quilt to look at whenever you might wonder whether you carry your burden alone. Not only will it remind you of the people in your life who share your grief with you, but it will remind you of the One who holds you up in the midst of it. I pray you find hope and healing in this new year!