A Very Special Quilt

On Wednesday, I shared the many chapters from my story of the healing hands quilts with you. I promised to share another special story involving a healing quilt.  If you missed my first story, read about it here: Quilts Stitched with Love. And now, we continue . . . .

A few weeks ago, I took an outing with a group of quilters to the San Jose Quilt Museum to see an exhibit before it ended. There were five of us, including Laura Nownes and Diana McClun. A few days before we left, Laura received a phone call from the Museum to tell her that a quilt that she and Diana had made years ago had been donated to the Museum. Laura and Diana were both a little surprised and couldn’t seem to remember what the quilt even looked like. Laura mentioned that we would be visiting soon and asked if it would be possible to view the quilt while we were there.

And so, the day that we visited turned out to be a very special day for all of us, and not just Laura and Diana. When we arrived, we were ushered to the back room, where all the inner workings of the Museum happen, including the storage of their incredible quilt collection. As we walked into the room, our eyes went immediately to the viewing table, where Laura and Diana’s quilt lie patiently waiting for us to view.SJQM 4

A little history about the quilt: The quilt had been made for Laura and Diana’s first book, Quilts! Quilts! Quilts! which was published in 1988. Their publisher was Michael Kile, of The Quilt Digest Press. Michael was very involved in the entire collaboration of the book, including selecting patterns, planning quilts, and fabric choices for the projects. In fact, he had selected all the fabrics for this particular quilt.  At some point during production, there were too many quilts and so, sadly, this particular quilt was cut from the book.

The success of the book encouraged them to do a the follow up book, Quilts, Quilts, and More Quilts! During production, Michael was hospitalized. Diana and Laura presented Michael with this quilt on May 25, 1991 to lift his spirits. Sadly, Michael passed away that same year.

After Michael’s death, the quilt was given to his mother, June. When June passed, the quilt made its way to Quilt Collector and Author Roderick Kiracofe who recently donated it to the San Jose Quilt Museum.

And so, there we stood, viewing a piece of history. It was a pretty awesome moment. As you can see from the expression on Laura and Diana’s faces, Michael held a very special place in their hearts.

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Before giving the quilt to Michael, they had handwritten many notes, riddles and quips to lift his spirits- most, with a very healthy dose of humor on the side.

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Each note seemed to bring back more memories for them. There were smiles, giggles and a few sighs.

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“Hold on to your inner truth”. What a perfect phrase to finish my story with. It was one of those special moments that I was so glad to be a part of.

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What a wonderful quilt from two extremely talented and amazing women.

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And this concludes my week of inspiration when it comes to the power of healing quilts. I hope you have enjoyed it as much as I have enjoyed sharing it with you! I would love to hear about any quilts for a good cause that you have been involved in. You are welcome to leave comments here on our blog, share them with photos on our Facebook Page or post them on Instagram #SeeHowWeSewprojects for all of us to enjoy.

Have a great weekend and keep quilting!

Pati

9 thoughts on “A Very Special Quilt

  1. There are people who make this world a special place and this is a story of two such people. Kindness and support through words and quilts are part of it. Their teaching extends beyond quilts to how to be a member of a community.

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  2. Coastal Quilters Guild of Santa Barbara & Goleta, CA, just delivered 35 red, white and blue quilts to Visiting Nurse and Hospice Care. VNHC participates in a national program called “We Honor Veterans” which includes a very moving ceremony called a “Pinning,” in which the veteran is thanked and honored for their service and “pinned” with a special flag pin. Our local VNHC, in partnership with our quilt guild, includes the gift of a red, white and blue quilt as part of the ceremony. These quilts offer, of course, physical comfort but also are deeply meaningful for everyone involved. A few veterans have chosen to be buried wrapped in their quilts, while most of the quilts become a family heirloom when the veteran passes. Our goal is to donate 75 quilts by Veterans Day in November. Very soon we will have a slide show of all the quilts on our website, coastalquilters.org.

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