Monday, February 2, 2015

Quilts as Gifts

I've given very few quilts as gifts. I find it hard to give something so expensive and labor intensive away, to be honest. I need to be more giving, it's true. But, also, most of the quilts I make don't have an intended recipient necessarily, which makes it harder to give since it's something I made because I love it and wanted to. There have been a few, though. My sister has gotten a couple (see the Union Jack and the Stars and Stripes quilts), and I also have given one to my cousin and one to my sister-in-law. I didn't take very good or many pictures of them because I wasn't planning on doing a blog when I made, iPhone pictures will have to do.

I made my first quilt gift (excluding my sister's since we are so close) for my cousin. Shortly before Thanksgiving in 2013, she was diagnosed with a rare and potentially untreatable form of cancer. She had miscarried, and afterward, was diagnosed with a placenta cancer. Because of the nature of the cancer, it was potentially untreatable, as it would spread throughout the body slowly, but without settling anywhere, making it impossible to treat with chemo. Or something like that. I may be wrong in my details, but the real point was that it was very likely untreatable. Right before the holidays. She has three children, and her oldest daughter was performing in the Nutcracker, so she was quite busy as it was, and then was dealing with the fatigue and stress of cancer.

It's folded in half, the borders really do go all the way around! :-)

My mom mentioned wanting to do something to show our support, and I instinctively suggested making her a quilt. I had heard that chemo can be very chilling, partially, no doubt, because you have to sit in a cold hospital room hooked up to an IV. So a quilt could be useful in that way, but also for snuggling with her three children (I made sure to back it with flannel). I contacted my favorite quilter, Abby Latimer, and set about making a quilt. My mom and I shared the cost, and she watched my girls while I pieced the top. We picked a simple, but fun pattern (based on this pin), and I finished it up in a day. My mom pieced the back and dropped it off at Abby's to be quilted. Abby was amazing and quilted it that night so we could pick it up the next day. By the way, she quilted it with the flirtatious pattern, which is my current favorite panto. It's amazing.

I bound it and my mom delivered it to my aunt, who was spending most every day with my cousin, helping and comforting and such. They have since expressed such gratitude I don't know why I don't give more quilts away. :-)

My cousin ended up being okay. The initial blood work, which took weeks to process, showed that she had the type that would be treatable, and after going through some treatment (no chemo, I think), she is currently in remission and feeling fairly healthy.

I was so glad to provide something of comfort during that difficult holiday season. Quilts are powerful things and I hope I can use my quilts for good more in the future.

I'll post my other gifted quilt later. In the meantime, though, I'd love to hear any stories about quilts you've gifted that have been special for you!

Katie's quilt
Completed December 2013

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