• Finished Quilts in 2010

    Click pictures for full details! Julia's Field of Blessings See Mom, I *Can* Make Snowmen in Texas! All Shook Up Pansies & Primroses Vintage Spring Vintage Baby A Bad Copy
  • Finished Quilts in 2009

    Click pictures for full details! Sunshine & Swimming Pools Loving Hands Boy Woogies Carina's Quilt Front Charity Quilt 1 Charity Quilt 2
  • Finished Quilts: Previous Years

    My sister's quilt Elena's Signature Quilt Cosmic Spiral Simona's Flower Garden ...And Everything Nice The Wool Quilt The Original Woogie
  • Finished Craft Projects

    Traveling Car Playmat Brown Bear Matching Cards
  • Finished Girls’ Dresses & Costumes

  • Quilt To Do List

    *Julia's "Baby" Quilt
    *Bethlehem Quilt
    *Kaffe Fassett String Quilt
    *Star Happy Batik Quilt
    *Red & Tan Single Wedding Ring Quilt (blocks made)
    *Batik Charm Square Quilt
    *Lingerie Quilt
    *Purple & Gold Mystery Quilt (just needs quilting!)
    *Eagle paper-pieced Quilt (@ half pieced)
  • Other Craft Project To Do List

    *Alphabet Matching Card Game
    *Apple/Pear Dress for Elena
    *Pillow Case Dress for Julia
    *Knit Dress for Elena (need to do post!)
    *Knit Shorts for Me
  • Advertisements

The Quilt I Put My Heart Into


On Christmas Eve Eve 2007, while I was at home taking care of my 9-day-old Julia, my little sister had a stroke.  Since my sister was only 30-years-old, it took a L O N G time to diagnose her.  Of course, I assume any time you are waiting for a diagnosis on a relative in distress, it seems like a long time.  It was Christmas Day they gave a final diagnosis and really started treating her.

To make a long story semi-short, 2 weeks in ICU and  2 more weeks in the hospital later, my sister was relatively back to normal.  She had 6 more months of meds and then was given a clean bill of health.  She doesn’t seem to have any outstanding  issues, except for some fear any time she has a headache.

I’d say the whole thing shook up my whole family – and definitely me.  The youngest of 7 is the one you’d least expect to end up in ICU.  And I felt quite helpless in another town with a newborn and being greatly discouraged from my daughter’s pediatrician and others from visiting my sister in the hospital.

It took a while for me to figure it out, but I finally decided what I needed to do for my sister, even though by then she was well into her recovery.  I needed to make her a quilt celebrating her life and to be given on the 1st anniversary of her stroke!

Soon I sent out pieces of fabric to several family members and asked them to make an outline of their hand on the fabric and write messages to my sister.   I enjoyed seeing them come in and reading the messages:



We decided not to give the quilt to her on her anniversary for logistical reasons, but instead on Christmas Day.  I couldn’t be there, but I understand that the minute she heard the whole family had a gift for her, she started crying.  (Would you believe nobody had a camera?!!!?  On Christmas?!?!  That was the only thing I expected — to see pictures of her opening it!)

When I did see her a couple days ago, she reenacted opening it, but since the tears weren’t flowing, one of my brothers started flicking water on her to create tears, so instead we have laughter:


I love my sister, and I hope she cuddles in her quilt often and feels the warmth of all of our love.

A few notes on the making:

*I originally saw some hands quilts like this in Quilter’s Newsletter, if my memory serves, but I can’t find the actual issue.  So definitely inspired by that but I figured out the measurements and the sashings on my own.

*The hands are all batiks.  I find that the tight weave serves well for writing.  And, of course, I love batiks!  I also had ironed the fabric squares to freezer paper before mailing to make it easier for the contributers to draw and sign.

*The fabric pen I love most is the Pentel Gel Roller for Fabric .  It creates a nice thick dark line and held up well in the wash when I tested it.  I found it at Hobby Lobby.

*Yes, those are dog prints in the bottom right corner!  I had my sister send me her dog’s prints without any explanation.  She bravely put some paint on her dog’s paws and stamped them on some paper and mailed them to me.  Her dog’s quote?  “Woof! Woof!”

*And here’s the back, made from scraps, including some I bought for possible use on the front but didn’t work:



42 Responses

  1. This is just amazing! what a great gift for her. I love the dog prints!

  2. This is such a great story and a beautiful keepsake! I’m glad that your sister made a full recovery. I bet she smiles every time she looks at it. 🙂

  3. What a fantastic quilt, and so special for your sister! Of course you had to include her dog; perfect!

  4. awww.
    how sweet.

  5. Okay, this seriously my favorite of the 60+ quilts I’ve viewed so far today.

    Leave it to the non-bloggers not to have a camera ready!

  6. What a beautiful quilt, and so full of love and encouragement. That is such a great idea!

  7. Very happy and obviously sew with love. Very cute!

  8. I love the “live long an prosper” hand 🙂

  9. this is such a fun quilt!! love it!!

  10. What an amazing story and an amazing quilt. Glad that your sister is doing well, and she can cuddle up with the quilt.

  11. Beautiful quilt and a happy ending. Thanks for sharing.

  12. Great story!
    Great quilt!

  13. What a beautiful story and a beautiful quilt.

  14. I was drawn to look at your quilt because of your name. My grandmother name is nanann! And then I saw you are in Austin, which is where my 3 yr old grandson lives. So many ways to connect with people in the quilting world. Write back if you have time, maybe we can get together next time I am in Austin. Your quilt is wonderful, by the way!

  15. This is a beautiful quilt and I love the meaning of it. How fun of you to include the dog! This is my favorite quilt now of the whole quilt show!

  16. what a great story. I enjoy seeing all the appliqued hands that you did. What a special quilt and idea you came up with.

  17. a wonderful quilt with a very heartwarming story to go with it. A perfect blend for this festival.

  18. I love your quilt! Your sister is very blessed to have you in her life – looking over her 🙂 Thanks for sharing her/your story, and your details in making it.

  19. what an awesome story! beautiful quilt!

  20. What a fabulous idea! She will always have her family close (dare I say it? ) at hand

  21. What a terrific story and a beautiful quilt! She’s a lucky sister!

  22. What a wonderful gift for your sister. Now she can be surrounded by all your loving hands even when you aren’t there. (Don’t you hate that when no one takes a photo!)

  23. I can see that you put your whole heart into it, and I love the quilt and the story.
    In Ireland

  24. What a wonderful story and a great quilt for a loved member of the family. I hope she enjoys it for years to come.

  25. What a special gift you have made for your beloved sister. Isn’t the best part of creating quilts giving them to the people we love? I am sure your sister will treasure it always..
    Thanks for sharing your story.

  26. What a special gift and a wonderful gift to treasure!

  27. Absolutely beautiful. The perfect gift!

  28. What a nice thing to do for your sister. The quilt is beautiful. I’m glad your sister is doing well.

  29. […] To my new visitors from the Quilt Festival, Welcome!  As you can see, I am a very new blog but am busy trying to start off with lots of posts, so I hope you come back to see more!  My entry for the Quilt Festival is the post right below! […]

  30. this rocks! I love the colors in it also! Very cool!

  31. […] Jon & MC’s family & friends!  This quilt is blue and brown, and the exact same size as my sister’s down below if you want to get an idea of the finished […]

  32. What a fabulous story and a great quilt!

    I might have to steal that idea for an upcoming family reunion.

  33. What a story and what a wonderful idea. I love your quilt too. I am sure your sister will cherish this

  34. What a beautiful quilt, what a lucky sister (in more ways than one.) Truly, awesome idea with the hands and the quotes. You obviously have a wonderful family.

  35. What a wonderful gift for your sister. It is good to hear that she has made a good recovery.

  36. This quilt is amazing, I love it, and I love the story behind it. Thank you for sharing, and I am glad your sister is doing okay now.

  37. What a wonderful story and a wonderful celebration for your sister’s recovery! Love the quilt.

  38. […] And of course, I say all of this after also making one of these hand quilts for my sister after she suffered from her stroke, and seeing my family members hands, measuring mine against theirs, and being touched.  (Can be seen here.) […]

  39. This is awesome!!! I love it. Best wishes to your sister, as well.

  40. Hey there, I just saw all the quilts. I am touched by what you said when talking about the hand quilt you made me. I do cherish it and will always and I do smile every time I look at it 🙂 🙂 Your Sis

  41. […] shelly57. Mary P58. Lala59. Erica (bisongirl.com)60. amy a la mode61. Kay Mackenzie62. Frances63. nanann64. Crystal65. Judy Alexander66. Alissa67. Ravelly168. Jessica69. Sequana70. christina71. […]

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: