A Quilt of Firsts
Amy at Amys Creative Side is hosting the most wonderful Quilt Festival. I love her blog and so much wanted to be a part of this show. If you haven't seen it yet, you should go on over and look at all the hundreds of wonderful quilts entered!
This is my entry into the festival. Though it is simple it is a quilt of many firsts and I am really pleased with myself.
This is my first completed quilt for Quilts for Kids, it is my first straight line machine quilting as well as first machine free motion quilting.It is also my first completed quilt in over 25 years!! So, I will quickly try to tell you the story of my getting to this point and why I am so pleased with myself.
This is not meant to be a sad story or a story I will repeat, it is just a story of how life happens.
I was a very avid quilter back in the 80s. It was alot different then to say the least. I hand quilted everything. But, as with everything life happens and I ended up having to have carpel tunnel surgery on both hands due to all the damage I did to them crafting all the time. Imagine that, I never would have thought that possible. Anyway after having the surgery and rehabs on both hands, it took a while to get them back up to speed. By this time we moved from NH to TN and life just got busy. After my kids had grown and gone on their own and empty nest settled in, I decided to go back to sewing and quilting. I no sooner got back into it and we had a house fire in 2001 and lost everything. It was devastating to go out one day and find at the end of the day you have no where to go home to and nothing but what is in your possession at the moment. It took a long time to get our bearings and get resettled. This time back in NH near family and friends. By the time we got back up here I began to get ill. I already had been dealing with thyroid disease and narcolepsy for years but this was something worse I could tell. They first diagnosed fibromyalgia and mixed connective tissue disorder and degenerative disk disease in my spine. I was living with alot of pain and went through several medications to try to manage pain along with cortisone injections. But, things got worse and I started to have trouble breathing doing simple things. The mixed connective tissue disease caused pulmonary hypertension , a disease that causes the arteries in the lungs to thicken and makes it hard for the blood to flow through, which in turn forces your heart to work harder to pump the blood and causes it to enlarge and become less effective. So I went from chronic disease to a terminal illness with a 2 1/2 to 5 year life expectancy.Then this past April I was diagnosed with cancer from it and underwent radiation in June. It was my only treatment option due to being too weak for surgery, It seems my days were filled with being sick and weak and many many hospital stays. Last year I was in for almost 4 months over 7 stays!
I felt so useless and unproductive which made me start to feel so depressed. Not about being terminal just about doing nothing all day but being sick!!
This past fall on a beautiful sunny morning when the sky was a brilliant blue, and the air felt so clean and fresh I realized I was already at the 2 1/2 year mark and I was actually starting to feel a bit stronger! Give an inch and I will take a mile!! Praise God, a little stronger was a milestone. I just needed to decide what to do with myself. THEN it hit me quilt! Quilting made me happy, fabric, color , made me happy.I needed a plan to motivate myself and feel usefull. I was going to make a quilt for every member of my family and my friends so after I was gone they would always be able to surround themselves with my love and hugs. It started out slow as I had nothing to work with and a terrible little machine that hated to sew. I also knew I wanted to make Quilts for kids because when I went into the hospital I always brought my blankie and it always comforted me and I want to do the same for them, give them comfort and love. I plan on making quilts for them between all the family quilts.
So, not having a stash or knowing where to really begin , they sent me a quilt kit which I made into this quilt I am showing. My quilt of firsts because not only am I back quilting and spending my time in joy I have accomplished so many firsts in this quilt. Though it is simple, I hope you enjoy it!!
straight line on the blocks and free motion around the border.
first free motion, this is where I was hanging on like a crazy women with my hair standing straight up!!
Sorry for the blur, this is the backing.
So, my short story has turned way to long so I will end off sending you all
Hugs and blessings