Monday, February 15, 2010

Healing Quilts and Thoughts Needed!

Many of you know that my husband has ALS. Well we're at a critical moment with his care and life right now and I can't get close enough to a computer for long enough to put together a guest blog and we do have some wonderful guests waiting in the wings.

What I am doing today is asking for good wishes, prayers, thoughts, whatever you can send Derrol's way. And I wondered if you would like to send photos of 'healing quilts.' Maybe one you have made for a charity for healing or one that gives you comfort or one you made for therapy to get you through a rough time.

I'll post the photos this evening. If you click on my profile you can send the photos to me via email. I've included a photo of one of my favorite quilts (award winner at Houston a few years back) and by one of my favorite people and quilters -- Carol Soderlund. She'll be a guest blogger here this year! Anyway the quilt speaks to me of worlds and possibilities and innovation and in some strange way -- hope. I think seeing the lowly little nine patch front and center on this quilt speaks to me of simplicity fitting right into the world order. OK, enough philosophy. I'm off to the hospital.

I look forward to sharing good news with you of his improvement and can't wait to see what beautiful quilts you have to share. Thanks! -- Dawn

Here are a couple of healing quilts offered by Delores Hamilton and Juanita. 

Delores explained,  "I made it for myself when I was in a deep depression several years ago.  I decided to use a lot of my bright children's fabrics and a child-like design to make an extra long lap quilt (I'm quite tall).

It did give me something to concentrate on, but, in reality, it was antidepressants that finally brought me out of the depression."

Isn't this the most cheerful quilt? I had to smile simply because of the colors. Don't give those anti-depressants all of the credit. Wrapping in this quilt had to have healing powers!

Thanks Delores. 

Juanita Sauve's quilt called Imagine.  

"You may say I'm a dreamer but I'm not the only one".  

Juanita said, "Music has been a source of hope and a healing force for me all my life.  This quilt hangs in my living room and reminds me to continue to strive and believe in the present and the future.   May it bring hope and healing to you and your husband as well."

Thanks Juanita. Music has always been a part of the life Derrol and I share. We met in eighth grade band, sang together in junior high and high school chorus and again in the local community chorus. Thank you for reminding me of those memories. 
Ann E. Ruthsdottir didn't have a photo to share, but told about when she was seriously ill and almost died.
She said, "A Friend knit a long scarf like thing he called a 'shawl'. He took it to Worship where people put their hands on it as they prayed for my recovery. I hugged it when I went to sleep at night and kept it in bed with me for the almost 16 months of hospitals and rehab. I do not think the form of the healing shawl, quilt, etc matters. What matters is the thought behind the form."

Jean M. Judd shares her Serenity Tree.

"In the center is a “Serenity” tree that is the place where we all can go for solace and peace during the troubled times of our life. The fabric in the tree top is a reproduction fabric from the William Morris Collection (1834-1896). It is heavily echo quilted.

Framing the tree is a white border representing the “fence” that keeps the atmosphere around the tree peaceful. Interlocking leaves are quilted in the white border. The next 2 borders are asymmetrical and represent the influences in our lives. The red is for the anger we experience sometimes in our life. The black for the dark periods we may experience.

Two opposing corners have pinwheels that represent the out of control feelings we have sometimes have, and the other 2 corners are the rigid “black and white” views that we encounter. The goal of the Serenity Tree wall hanging is to have you focus on leaving the bad influences outside of yourself and go into the peaceful, quiet, serene garden and sit under your Serenity Tree and rejuvenate your soul.

This piece is one of 40 that has been selected for the NQA quilt show in Columbus, Ohio this June. They are having a special exhibit of Tree Quilts."
Lisa Ellis pointed me to this site and I couldn't resist showing you just one of many quilts featured there. This one was made by Mary Pace of Arlington, VA. This Healing Quilt is part of the Healing Quilts in Medicine project started by Judy House who died of breast cancer but wanted to give people in her situation something to look upon and ponder while they waited for doctor's appointments, treatments, news of life or death.... This is one of several quilts that hang in the Walter Reed Army Medical Center's oncology areas and is named "In Memory of Judy."

Mary said, "The design I created focuses on the hummingbird flower (Bouvardia ternifolia) from which a drug is extracted to be used as a cure for cancer. An individual entering Walter Reed Hospital's oncology department now has more hope that a cure for cancer may be found. My quilt is a pathway of hope and a message of caring and love."

Chris Gilman sent a photo of the last of her 'sad' quilts.

She wrote: "I lost my wonderful husband a little over a year ago. Here is a photo of the last of the "sad" quilts.... I call it "The Blue Girl".

A trip to Chris' website reveals her quirky sense of humor and made me smile even though the inspiration -- like a diagnosis -- was a tough subject. I'm so sorry for your loss Chris and thanks for sharing your quilt.

Eileen Doughty sent images of her quilt: "In Fair and Foul Weather" that she made for a dear friend when she was in chemo.

Eileen described the quilt, "The tall flowers are her and her husband, their young daughters are the small flowers. If you look closely, you can see the tallest flower has a leaf wrapped around the stem of my friend's flower, to support it.

Originally I wanted to make something representing our long friendship, but it evolved during the sewing process to represent the support she has received from her family."

Karen Musgrave sent a quilt and a separate block for two valiant women.

Karen explained, "Donna Sue Groves went through a tough year. Shortly after being laid off her job with the Ohio Arts Council, she was diagnosed with breast cancer.

I made this quilt for her with the help of her friends. Donna Sue started the Quilt Barn/Quilt Trail project. She continues to have health issues." (How appropriate that her quilt is photographed on the side of a barn!)

Karen also said, "I've also included my block for Yvonne Porcella's quilt. Yvonne is battling ovarian cancer."

Michele Lasker shares her husband's healing quilt with us.

Jerry had retired in the spring of 2008, we went to Italy with the family over the summer, and then Jerry got sick that fall and was diagnosed with glioblastoma.

When Jerry was diagnosed in October 19, 2008 my friend Jessica had her ladies auxiliary at St. John's Episcopal Church in Tulsa make a healing quilt.

Jerry's favorite color was purple because he was hopelessly colorblind and thought that purple was blue! We used it on his bed in the hospital for the 3 1/2 months that he was there and when he came home from the hospital we used it at home. Jerry died on September 3, 2009 and now I have the quilt to keep me warm.

I am a middle school Gifted and Talented teacher and I am very new to Art Quilting. I converted my boys' playroom into an art quilt studio anticipating that when Jerry died I would have more time to work in my studio. I knew that he was going to die and I wanted a creative refuge. But, it's odd I have yet to use my new sewing machine or cut a single piece of fabric since he died. Needless to say my stash is enormous, my mixed-media goodies are growing, and I now have a vast library of resources.

I was exceptionally stoic and strong during his year long illness and now that he is gone I am sad and at the moment don't feel so great. All that stress has finally hit me. It has been five months since Jerry died, and in that time our second grandchild Finn has is 8 months old, he stands, and has a few teeth and his sister Maddie, 2 1/2 has become a very big girl, knows her colors and numbers, loves to sing and play with her father's guitar. My son Jonathan and his wife Carrie, and my son Michael and his girlfriend Carrie round out the family, along with Abby our Golden Doodle.

The lovely quilt was made with love and friendship and is a reminder of kindness and love, adorned on the back with a cross for the church and a Star of David for Judaism, our faith.

A dear friend and VERY talented fabric artist, Gwen Magee, sent me this quilt explaining that it is a symbol of hope. It is also an astonishing quilt that took my breath away! So I just had to share it with all of you. She wrote, "Here is the image (and detail) of  "Our New Day Begun" - its a blazing sun that symbolizes hope. "

By the way, Derrol is doing better! Your prayers and good wishes are working their magic and reminding me to have faith!



Erin said...

my thoughts and prayers headed your way..even though I don't have a healing quilt...

Susan Ramey Cleveland said...

I love your blog and I've enjoyed all the heart quilts. I'm a heart fan all year long.
I was so sorry to hear of your husband's illness. I will keep him in my prayers. My husband passed away in September after battling pancreatic cancer for ten months. A dear friend of mine made a prayer quilt for him and everyone in my bee as well as friends and family wrote prayers and messages for the pocket on the back.
I'm sending you a photo of the quilt.
Praying for God's healing, comforting grace for your husband and for you.

Elizabeth said...

My prayers and healing thoughts are with you both, Dawn!!

lesthook said...

Prayers for you and yours. I posted my quilts yesterday that were hand worked when my hubby was ill in 02. I never thought of them as healing quilts but guess that is true.

Moonsilk Stitches said...

My good thoughts, prayers and wishes are winging your way.

Lisa said...

I didn't know about your husband having ALS. It's a difficult disease. I'm sorry I don't have a quilt to share with you so instead I am sending you hope, prayers and peace.

DubiQuilts - Debbi said...

Derrol and you are in my prayers and thoughts.

Mrs Moen said...

Hi Dawn!
I wish I had some quilts to share, but I made them before I got a digital camera and I don't have a scanner (working one that is) at home.
My wishes and prayers are with you both!

Anonymous said...

Sending prayers your way. May you both have courage and loving care.

Darlene said...

So sorry to hear about your husband. I'm sending prayers and good thoughts your way.

Thanks for the Stairway to Cat Heaven link! I looked all over the internet for it the other day and couldn't find it. I was so disappointed because I thought I had downloaded it sometime in the past, but apparently I hadn't. I have it now! Thanks again.

Ruth said...

I did not know that your husband has ALS. I am so sorry, and I am sending many good wishes and thoughts your way. I do hope you will be able to post some good news about an improvement in his condition.

Ruth said...

Here is a link to my blog with photo of a quilt I made as a memory of my father. The description is in the posting.

Kay said...

I'll keep you both in my thoughts. What a difficult time for you!

Marlis said...

you are in my thoughts and prayers!

Anonymous said...

thank you for taking the time to give us this wonderful blog.Sending lots of good thoughts to you and your husband.

Karen said...

Dear Dawn,
Thank you for your inspirational story and for the stories and quilts of others you have shared. All good wishes to you and to your husband in this difficult journey.

I am requesting permission to use the image of the Chris Gilman and/or Carol Soderlund quilts in a book that I am writing entitled Peace Fibres: Stitching a Soulful World. In it, I enlist fibre work as metaphor and manifestation of harmonious relationship to self, others, and the larger world. I would use this photograph to illustrate how fibre work assists healing through illness and challenge.

May I use an image? Please advise of any fees involved. I would, of course, cite the artist and your as source.

Peace Fibres will be self published through Integral Press. I anticipate printing in early 2011with an initial run of 1200.

Thanks for considering my request. I look forward to your response.
Karen Lohn

"Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world; it's the only thing that ever has..." - Margaret Mead

Dawn said...

I couldn't find a way to email you directly, so I'm responding here. I cannot give you permission to use someone else's quilt photos etc. You will need to contact the various quilt owners/makers directly.

So no, you can't have permission from me to publish someone else's work.

Subversive Stitchers