Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Quilts Of Love

Cancer isn't a new word for me or my family. It's a word we've heard far too often. It's always hard to hear it. So when a homeschooling friend shared that her breast cancer had come back with a vengeance my heart broke for her and her family.

I'm not ashamed to admit that I cried too. I cried for her, for other friends, for other family members. I cried for all of them who's lives have been forever changed by a disease who's name we are so often intimidated to speak.

The first 5k I ever participated in was a Susan G. Komen Breast Cancer Awareness race.  I will never forget the courageous women I ran beside. The brave family members who carried signs and wore t-shirts. The roadside signs that spoke of women fighting, battles won, and battles lost. It was a painful moment to hear that she, too, was losing her battle against the disease. 

One of the homeschooling communities I am blessed to be a part of bands together in times like this to pray for these individuals and their families. When the battles are over and lives are changed, they band together again to give and care and help. One of the ways to show our love for the families who work on healing and dealing with their loss is to provide the family members left behind with quilts.

While I don't enjoy why we feel the need to make these quilts, I enjoy being a part of the making. It gives me time to think and pray for the person whom I'm helping to bless. The first square pictured above is for our lovely friend's husband. He was on my mind heavily yesterday as I cut, ironed, and sewed this square for his quilt. I felt the breast cancer ribbon butterfly was so fitting, a cause that I'm sure will be deeply etched on his heart.

For their daughters we decided to make quilt squares based on the books we read to our children using the Five In A Row curriculum. I decided to do a different square for each of the girls, and I settled on The Bee Tree for one. The pattern above was oh so simple and quick to do, and I really loved the little bees. You'd never guess that the material I used to make them was African Savannah material. If you look closely you might notice that the bee on the left is made from a tree silhouette, and the one on the right is made from the neck & tummy of a giraffe silhouette. 

The final block I did, was actually the first block I had planned in my mind. Granfather's Journey, a book oh so close to a certain little boy's heart. A book about a young man who's heart is torn between two places that he loves so dearly and, most likely, the people he leaves behind in each place. I was nervous about this block because I had to resize and shape so many pieces I had planned to use, but I'm oh so pleased with the way it turned out. Can you see Mt Fuji in one corner and the Golden Gate Bridge in the other? 

I know that the quilts this family will receive will be treasured for many years to come, and, while they can never ever replace that which they've lost, it's nice to know that in some small way we can shower them with love. I am grateful for a community so filled with caring spirits.

Notes: The Bee Tree & Breast Cancer Butterfly patterns can be found here. I used them exactly as they were. Grandfather's Journey block is another story. I used this pattern here for Mt Fuji and "stole" the idea of clouds. I scraped the idea of waves from here, but had to reshape and size them. The Golden Gate Bridge was freehanded, and the boat came from here, all though I resized one of the sails.


Christy from FIAR said...

They are absolutely beautiful Kendra! I can't wait to hold them in my hands and see them put together.

(You're first picture, a close up of the butterfly one, is not showing up in your post.)

Julie said...

They are a work of art, Kendra. Just lovely! What a gift you share. I pray they are a blessing!

Tracey said...

Great job!

teannika said...

So inspiring; your work, and the story behind the quilts.
Thankyou for sharing.