An Unplanned Quilt Story and Kaffe Fassett Fabric Giveaway

Quilt photos by Jonathan D. Lopez

Quilt photos by Jonathan D. Lopez

By Jennifer Ackerman-Haywood

Deadlines inspire me. So does the feeling of gratitude that washes over me like a gentle wave every time something goes wrong and I know that it could have been so much worse.

Last Friday I had just finished recording a podcast interview when my mom called from the Detroit hospital where I was born to tell me that my dad had just completed a stress test that revealed the need for an urgent surgery to clear critical blockage in multiple arteries leading to his heart.

This kind of news is sad when you hear about other people’s families dealing with it, but when it’s your family – your dad – it hits on a whole other completely surreal level.

By the time I threw some clothes in a bag and made the 2.5-hour drive from my home in suburban Grand Rapids, he had already gone into surgery. I was too late. My sisters met me outside the hospital and told me the chief of the cardiac department took my dad’s case – something that simultaneously alarmed and reassured us._jdl6130_1

It must be bad… but at least we got the best guy.

The next several hours were spent in a suspended reality where a stranger and his medical team were in control. What they found and how well they performed was going to determine the next chapter for my family.

We were told the surgery could last anywhere from 30 to 90 minutes. About two hours later, the doctor came out and told us the blockage was more severe than expected but Dad was OK.

He lived.

“Thank you” seems like such an understatement in situations like this, but my mom, sisters and I said it repeatedly before he rushed off to do whatever it is surgeons do after saving a life.

Last Friday – that day that could have gone horribly wrong and didn’t – was the day I had planned to start sewing a quilt out of Kaffe Fassett’s new Artisan fabric line for this blog post. My plan was to make a quilt incorporating as many of the ideas sent in by blog readers as possible. But when I arrived back home, my perspective had changed and I realized that I needed to honor the feelings of uncertainty and worry as part of my process. I just needed to sew.

_jdl6179_1

Life is so unpredictable and sometimes it’s really unsettling to not know what is going to happen next. So I made a quilt to document this. I picked out about a dozen prints from the box sent to me several weeks ago and got to work.

I started with a fussy cut, square floral print and built the quilt out from the center, adding borders of varying widths. Still a bit anxious and worried about all the things in life I can’t control, I surrendered to the process when I could not sleep and watched almost the entire fifth season of “Longmire,” while sewing this quilt top in one continuous, binge-quilting session.

I just kept cutting strips, and adding them to the growing square, pressing seams open on the back. I was exhausted when I finished sewing the last round and really happy that I had thrown myself into this quilting project. I did not have to think, I just trusted Kaffe’s color genius and boldly combined colors like I was applying to be his next studio assistant.

_jdl6146_1For obvious reasons I’m now extremely fond of Kaffe’s new fabric collection that inspired me to create the boldest quilt I’ve ever made, one that looks perfectly at home hanging over a branch below a canopy of green in one of my favorite parks. This lightly quilted square throw will serve as my reminder that:
* Days that could be the worst sometimes turn out to be some of the best ever.
* “I love you,” isn’t a phrase to throw down only when we’re scared. If you feel it, say it – often.
* When bad things happen, everyone wants to know what’s going on – even nosey people who aren’t invested in your life and really don’t care. Don’t let this reality rattle your cage.
* Friendship is necessary. Accept the help friends offer and ask for additional support if you need it.
* Gratitude is one of the best feelings ever and it’s often enough to wash away fear and anxiety about what will happen next.

img_0688A special thanks to Nancy Jewell of Westminster Fibers, Inc. for inviting me to participate in this blog tour. Making a quilt on deadline out of beautiful fabric has calmed my frazzled nerves once again and I’m so very grateful.

Find basic directions to make a similar quilt, on page 150 of “Kaffe Fassett’s Bold Blooms,” (224 pages, $35). 

img_0682ENTER TO WIN FABRIC: Two winners will be selected, one for the jelly roll and another for the stack of fat quarters pictured. Comment below about your best day that could have gone wrong but didn’t to enter the drawing. Those who already posted comments on my previous post about this blog tour will be automatically entered into this drawing. A winner will be selected next Friday at noon EST. Good luck, everybody!

*** UPDATE: Thanks to all the lovely people who posted inspiring comments below. I really enjoyed reading them all. Your stories are great reminders that life is precious and the journey is so wild, unpredictable and beautiful. The winner of the fat quarter stack is Duffy Morrison. Congrats Duffy! The winner of the jelly roll is Mark Richardson, who entered the contest on my previous post. Congrats to you both!

Be sure to check out the whole blog tour listed below for more chances to win lovely fabric. : )

9/23/16 – Simple Simon and Company

9/30/16 – CraftSanity (Yay!)

10/7/16 – 100 Billion Stars

10-14-16 – Bijou Lovely Designs

10-21-16 – Mrs. Schmenkman Quilts

Oct. 28 – Confessions of a Fabric Addict

Nov. 4 – Sarah Fielke

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60 Responses

  1. Bonney says:

    Oh Jennifer!! What a scary but wonderful story! Isn’t it great to have a skill like sewing that can take your mind to another place and help get your straight? I think my bad to good experience would be when my 89 year old mother fell off a ladder trying to put up a shower curtain. She broke her ankle and we all thought that would be the thing that started her downhill. Fortunately she recovered. It was long and she worked hard through everything-including PT for months! So glad to hear your story had a happy outcome!

  2. Faith says:

    I’m so glad your dad is okay! And I’m so sentimental that I can completely understand how that quilt became a beloved project.

    There have been some harrowing experiences in my life, but one that could have been so much worse than it turned out to be was when I lived in Minnesota.

    I was a teacher and was going in on a Saturday to help proctor the ACT. On the commute, an impatient tractor trailer sideswept me, causing me to somehow spin around behind his vehicle (when I started out in front) and end up in the median. The spot I landed kept me safe from both directions of traffic, and there was such a narrow spot that I safely landed in – any sooner, I would have been in an intersection, any later the median went below the road level and I would have rolled. I went to physical therapy for awhile for my back, and the car was totaled, but I was hit by a semi and walked away with minor injuries only.

  3. Praise God! It all worked out. I can so understand your stress and uncertainty after the fact, and the need to sew through it . From it rose a stunning quilt – it is so beautiful! I had a day that people will shake their head when I say that it was a good day, and it also involve a bone. I belong to this organization in which somehow I found myself doing five time consuming duties – all big ones. For a year I had been telling the board they needed to find someone to take these over and no one was taking me seriously. Well after 11 months, I fell and broke my right hip in two places and they were forced to hear me. The hip – it healed wonderfully. The jobs – all filled and now I have my life back.

  4. Kathy Harris says:

    My story is similar, but with my husband. He had been doing some repairing on our old house and got out of breath. He’d rest, then go back to it. He went to work the next day, but came home halfway through since he was again tired and somewhat out of breath. He didn’t want to go to the Dr. – just rest – but I insisted. They did an EKG that looked normal, but after bloodwork they came in with the news that the blood enzymes showed he’d HAD a heart attack and they needed to do surgery. He only needed a stent in one vein, but was off work for a week, then on half days for another week. The hardest part was calling our three children to tell them and not let them panic. It’s been over ten years and I’m happy to say he’s had no more problems.

  5. Gratitude shifts everything, and so do happy outcomes. Sewing has been therapeutic for so many people, women especially, over the years. I loved hearing how you swam in the ocean of sewing to get through this rough time. Here’s a fun little story: I was given a memory foam mattress, which I LOVE. My husband, however, hated it and felt smothered. He wanted to take it to the dump. I felt very disappointed, but then suggested we cut it up and use it for several dog beds for our old labrador. She loves them, they are around the house, covered with fabric. Tail wagging happiness.

  6. Suzanne says:

    Glad your dad is ok. Those moments waiting for the miracle news is incredibly difficult. I am happy for your family that the wait was worth it! Cherish every day!

  7. Love this quilt. For me it would be 22 February 2011 when our city was broken by an earthquake but at the end of the day when we had all mad our way home (with great difficulty) and stood on the street and hugged each other. Our house might have been broken but we were all still alive. It was the worst day but the best feeling. We had the important things, each other.

  8. Carole says:

    Beautiful Quilt inspired by a scary situation. Mine is not quite a best day that could have gone wrong story but a very grateful that it wasn’t something worse story. While living in Russia, my younger son fell very ill, was diagnosed with Type 1 (insulin-dependent) diabetes and we needed to fly to Helsinki, Finland for treatment. He was 8 years old. It was horrible, very scary and life-changing (he is now 29 and an amazing young man). As we walked down the hospital hall one day, we talked about what might be wrong with the other children…and then we learned that many had cancer. We then talked about how he JUST had diabetes, because although it is a chronic disease, and has many challenges, I knew he would survive it. And so he has. Oh, the fabric inspiration?? Marimekko, of course, in all of its joyful, colorful, exuberant patterns! Bought some, made thank you Quilt for Finnish doctor!

  9. Sue says:

    My best day that could have been terrible was the birth of my oldest in distress, who was saved by my midwife!

  10. Lynette Smallwood says:

    As a mother, anything that happens with our children tears at our hearts. When my youngest was one, I had put him down for a nap in a separate room from his brother in our new home. Every few minutes, I would find one or the other out of their room and into the others. Up and down the stairs I went, time after time, to get them back down. Again, I heard the doors open and one sneak away. I delayed going up. A few minutes later, my three year old came running down the stairs “Mommy, Matthew fell out the window.” I go running up the stairs, thinking he might be on the roof just outside the window and Sean said “No Mommy, he is outside on the ground.” I ran out back and found him lying on the ground, but struggling to get up. Do I leave him like they always educate us to not move someone with possible spinal injury? He was moving so much I decided my holding him tight to me might do more good than his moving. As I called 911, I watched him fade in and out of consciousness and the bruising starting to form. In the aid car, I fought to keep him awake as he was strapped to a backboard, completely immobilized. His head was swelling and showing bruising. After an hour at the hospital, with x-rays and other tests, the doctor finally came in to see us only to find my little boy playing on the floor with the pedal to start the water for the sink. No broken bones, all swelling had gone away and not a single scratch or bruise to be found. He is my miracle boy.

  11. Debbie Landry says:

    Happy to hear your dad is doing better! It’s hard seeing parents age. In my last pregnancy I got a call from the midwife that my quad screening came back abnormal at 18 weeks, which could be a sign of some very big issues with the baby. A couple of days later I had an ultrasound to see what was wrong. Turns out there were actually two babies which threw of the test! Several months later I had my healthy identical girls. :)

  12. Kristin says:

    Glad ur father is doing well! Love the quilt fabrics /design you created + Longmire!!! Former grapidian living in SD

  13. Ann says:

    I completely relate to your story and mine is similar – Mom wasn’t feeling well so went to the emergency room late one night. She’s 86 and the surgeon on call tells my Father “we’re not sure, we’re prepping her for an exploratory, sign here.” Dad had waited to call me until almost 6 am, by the time I drove the 2 hours to be with him, Mom was out of surgery with an the rupture of a previously undiagnosed ulcer repaired. It was touch and go for most of a week after that and we said our goodbyes several times, but she’s pulled through and 6 months later is largely back to her old self.

  14. Lily says:

    First, I am so relieved that your father pulled through!
    My story is that I once had to travel from Maine to New Jersey with no money. Some friends dropped me off by the side of the highway with someone I had recently met, but that my friends all knew (we all were students at the same university). It was the middle of the night and raining. My friends tearfully waved good bye through the rain covered car windows. They were driving west back to Indiana, and I was going in a different direction. I had less than $10 in my pocket.
    About a minute later, a young man driving to Virginia to report for military service drove us almost the entire way. He had to pull over near the end of the NJ Turnpike to let us out. I was so young, and not sure of the exact exit to be closest to my town. I just guessed. As we turned to walk away from the car I realized this was the exact perfect spot! We walked about a quarter mile to the road which would lead to my town. A police car suddenly pulled up. ” Where are you going?” the cop asked. I told him the name of my town. “Get in the car, I’ll drive you there”.
    What a lucky girl I was that day!

  15. SueZQ says:

    Wonderful story, gorgeous quilt using beautiful fabrics! My story is a day my husband was in the hospital, battlieing cancer and numerous issues. He complained of abdominal pain, but nothing was happening to check it… Yet. Then a wonderful, caring nurse listened to my husbands complaint and immediately called in a specialist, who took him for testing. His intestines had burst and he required immediate surgery. He got the head of surgery, and the surgery went well. My husband eventually died, but that nurse, doctor and surgeon (and our God) gave us 3 extra months together. I guess it’s not a very “good day” story.

  16. Shelly McAlindin says:

    Our parents always mean the world to us and several years ago I experienced almost the same thing. My Dad was only 58 when I got the call that he was having a heart attack and was being life flighted to a larger hospital 2 hours away. This was before cell phones so there wasn’t any way of knowing what was happening. I got in my car and drove to the hospital not knowing if he was still with us or not. I will never forget going into ICU and there he was sitting up in bed eating some crackers. I have never been so thankful in my life. I spent the week with him at the hospital and crocheted afghan while I sat with him. I still have it and every time I see it I think if the time I spent with him and how lucky I am to still have. He just celebrated his 80th birthday last week.

  17. Pam says:

    Thank you for sharing this moving story, and your reflections. Such meaningful advice! My could-have-been-the worst event was one snowy night when a police officer showed up at the door a little after midnight – every parent’s worst nightmare. The police had found my car in a ditch. (My teen-aged daughter had borrowed it earlier in the evening to drive to an overnight babysitting job) . But fortunately, no one was in the ditched car. I was able to reach my daughter on the phone at her babysitting job. She explained that she had slid off the road and decided that she would deal with the car in the morning. The consequences of leaving the car there never occurred to her. Every time I find a gray hair on my head I remind her of that night. :)

  18. Elizabeth Matthiesen says:

    What a scary day that was for you, I’m glad that it turned out well in the end. I remember being on night duty at the hospital, when suddenly my brother and his wife appeared. I was surprised but happy to see them. They brought me the news that my father had had a small heart attack at work that morning and was now back home resting. Such a shock, I was in a daze but found a replacement to take over my shift and headed home, my brother & wife following me in their car. Luckily things turned out well for my father but it could have been so very different.

  19. grace thorne says:

    a best day that could have been much worse was getting delayed on leaving home for a destination…normally punctual, something caused a brief time detour. but along the way there was a tremendous car accident involving a huge truck…had i not gotten started late, i could have been involved and suffered much worse than my punctuality reputation being ruined…an angel was on my shoulder that day for sure!

  20. Kelly T says:

    Gratitude is a very powerful place to be. A few years ago there was a huge flood throughout parts of our province – my parents had to be evacuated for fear their neighborhood would be under water. After 6 days of staying at my house, watching the news we had no idea if their home was filled with water or if there was sewer backup it was terrible to be so helpless. All we knew was their area was one of the hardest hit in our little city. On the 7th day they were able to go back as the cleanup had reached a point where it would be safe to re-enter. We had no idea what to expect but when they went in they found their home had not been touched no water, no sewer backup after the gasman had made sure everything was good with the gas lines we were all very relieved and grateful. Many people suffered devastating losses during that flood and for many it was a very over a year before they were able to go back home..

  21. Janie says:

    My son was in a terrible accident when he was 17. He was ejected out of his car. He survived and is a loving father over two of my grand children. I am very thankful for the outcome because it could of gone in the opposite direction. I am so proud of him. I would not of know what to do without him.

  22. Terri says:

    While watching my son leaving our home in hand cuffs in a squad car, I was crying from my soul. How could this child be so awful, so violent? I couldn’t understand why God had turned his back on our family. He went to a psychiatric hospital for children. Three days later, we got the diagnoses of autism. Not one day of raising him was ever easy, but at least we knew what we were dealing with and that made a huge difference in how we managed. Making quilts has kept me sane. Making them with KFC makes me happy.

  23. Debbie McDonald says:

    My heart goes out to you and your family, a positive outcome.
    When my daughters water broken at 28 weeks, carrying twins, we held our breath, praying and hoping these tiny bundles would be delivered safely, and have enough fight in their tiny bodies to survive. They did, with many, many anxious and harrowing times, they finally came home after 3 months in NICU. Today they are strong, healthy and full of fun and mischief and about to celebrate thier 3rd birthday. We are blessed beyond words.

  24. Agnes Crispyn says:

    This is something that happened long ago. The children were only 3 and 4. My husband was suppoesed to be coming home from work and there was somebody at the door. Hectold me that youngsters had been trowing rocks at the passing train and in the window of their compartment had benn chattered and the glass got into my husbands eyes. They calked for a doctor and there awscobecon the train. he said to him he should try not to move his eyes and brought him to the hospital. I got there as quick as possible. After waiting for quite a while I saw him, both eyes covered with a bandage. He did not want to stay in the hospital soIi took him home, In the elevator he told me not to worry, he was shure he could still see from one eye. The next day we had to go back to the hospital. I had to wait outside of the office while they were doing tests. He came back out with a big smile and no bandages. The doctor said he had been very lucky, there were only splinters in the white his eyes. The bext day there was an article in the newspaper telling my husband was blind ! The whole day I got phonecalls from friends and family. I was sooooo happy to be able to say it was a mistake.

  25. Cindy says:

    I am glad your Dad and family had a good ending. You are right it is so hard and scary when it is happening to you. I know first hand how caring some people can be.

  26. Kathleen says:

    So glad your story ended with a life saved and that your beautiful quilt was a cathartic experience for you. My experience of a day that could have gone another way was when I donated bone marrow to my brother who thought he had the flu but turned out to be leukemia. He got to the hospital just in time for treatment and then came time for the bone marrow. It was between myself and my younger sister for a familial match. I was the perfect match. Thank God. That was back in 1995. My brother is alive today. It doesn’t always go that well with bone marrow transplants.

  27. Duffy Morrison says:

    Your quilt is beautiful. So glad the outcome was a good one.
    My story goes back six years when my younger daughter was diagnosed with breast cancer. In addition to lots of prayers, my reaction was to make her a quilt! I chose Kaffe fabrics and a simple pattern so that she would have it for the chemo sessions. I hand embroidered encouraging words in the sashing. It is interesting to me that this compulsion to sew something special is not unique to me! This quilt remains precious to both Of us, and I am happy to say she is doing fine today.

  28. Juanita says:

    Early on a December, 2014, morning my daughter-of-love called to tell me my then 43 year old son had fallen of a roof, landing on his back, onto the ladder which had fallen over on top of a snowbank. He was in serious pain and couldn’t move. An ambulance had just taken him to the hospital and she was on her way, too, and asked us to pray for him. We called their pastor to send out prayer requests through their church family and then my husband and I left for the hospital, 45 minutes away. In the car ride, thoughts kept churning over and over in my mind: “Please, God, don’t let him die!”, “What if he’s paralyzed?”, “Have I told him I love him, often enough?”. One minute I’m pulling my emotional bootstraps up and telling myself, “I can be strong through this…I can do this” and the next minute I’m weeping in fear. When I walked into the ER and saw my firstborn lying there, I think it did both of us some good when I went to him and grabbed onto his hand and kissed his cheek. After a couple-hour-wait for test results, we learn there are NO spinal breaks but he did have a couple of fractures on vertebrae ‘fingers’ along with significant tissue and muscle trauma. He could go home and expect a full recovery! The day wasn’t over yet…we still had to get him home and settled and he was in unbelievable, excruciating pain. He did recover with the passing of 3 to 4 weeks, but when I laid my head on the pillow that first night, I thanked my Lord that all had not ended in worst-case-scenario.

  29. Susan Spiers says:

    I love your quilt-how amazing it is! My story starts with spending yesterday morning in the emergency with my baby boy (he’s 25) who was in so much pain. The docs were saying he had a ruptured appendix, and would probably need surgery right away! The cat scan showed he was trying to pass a kidney stone! Already feeling better, he was sent home with instructions on how to deal. No surgery & he’s doing great-stone has passed & he’s back to work!

  30. Barbara Ladyansky says:

    I feel as though I’ve experienced several of those kind of days. I actually had to choose one to write about! Many years ago my father awoke one morning with a golfball sized hard lump on his neck. A trip to the family doctor revealed he needed immediate surgery to remove it. And yes it was most likely cancer. He was scheduled for surgery the next day. We had no idea who the surgeon would be, how long it would take, what kind of cancer they were looking for and most importantly what his prognosis was. Looking back now the day is a blur. I know I sat with my mom in the OR waiting room for what seemed hours and hours. Suddenly a beautiful and very young woman dressed in scrubs entered the room and called out my mom’s name. We stood up together, holding onto each other tightly as she approached us. This beautiful lady was wearing bright pink clogs and a string of pearls with her scrubs. Her long blond hair flowed down her back. She reached out and took my mother into her arms and said, “I’ve removed the lump and I am almost certain it is non hodgkins lymphoma. Lloyd is in recovery and you can see him very soon. I’ ve sent the biopsy to the lab and he has already been scheduled to see my friend, the best cardiologist I know. I am going to stay with you and Lloyd through all of this and I truly believe that together we will be able to conquer this.” With that she kissed my mom on the cheek, hugged me gave us a little wave and quickly left the room. My mom and I looked at each other in wonder. That stunning and very young lady was his surgeon?? Later we were with my Dad when he woke from the anesthesia and his first words were, “Did you guys meet Alice?” Dad, “Alice who?” “Alice from Wonderland, she’s my new doc. Isn’t she great, I really got a kick out of those pink shoes of hers.” There he was my silly, fun loving Dad greeting us with a joke. It was then I remember breathing and believing he would be ok. That day that wonderful surgeon gained her own nickname in our family. Her name is Dr. Beth Dupree, but to my family she has always been “Alice.” That beautiful young surgeon became a force for change in our community and in the field of medicine. She was the first doctor to perform breast surgery live on the internet and has saved the lives of countless women and men in the Philadelphia area. Today she wears her hair short but still wears that string of pearls. She gave my Dad back to us for another sixteen years and when he passed it was from old age.

  31. Sharon Tucker says:

    One phone call can certainly change your day or your life. I had a very similar experience with my FIL many years ago. Out of the blue he started having shoulder pain so we took him to the Dr; they hooked him up to an EKG and then said they were calling an ambulance to take him to the hospital. They had to do 5 bypasses; he recovered and went on to live another 25 years.

  32. Joanne Pelletier says:

    Somehow being in the right place at the right time to help my cousin whose husband had just passed.

  33. Tina Callahan says:

    The birth of my first grandchild. He was a month early and it was a three day labor. My daughter was so tired. He finally came at 10 pm on the third day. He was healthy but my daughter had problems. After the birth she had to have surgery to stop the bleeding. It was hours before she could see the baby. She passed out because of the blood loss. She ended up having to have a blood transfusion. Within hours of receiving blood she was feeling great and went on to be an awesome Mom. He is now 9 months old and happy and very active.

  34. Kristin A. Freeman says:

    The most horrible day for me was three summers ago when a wildfire was on the hill above my daughter’s home, just 18 miles from me. She and her husband had set sprinklers on their roof section of their bermed home and fortunately done a great job removing all ponderosa pine needles from the “fire safe zone” around their home. Thankfully the logs that tumbled down the mountain found nothing to set fire to and their home was spared. I am so grateful for their diligent management of their acreage in the mountainous Lolo range. They had packed up all the quilts I had made and brought them to me along with family photos and documents.

  35. Tracy says:

    I was taking my two young sons camping for the first time without my husband and we blew our car battery in a tiny Idaho town. A nice guy in a truck gave us a jump, a gal told us the tire place across the street could sell us a battery, and we were on our way in 20 minutes!

  36. Ali says:

    My best day almost gone wrongwas my last child’s delivery! After a long labor there was an emergency c section! What could have gone wrong with a breech birth ended up with the best little baby!

  37. Kate says:

    Glad all went well our health is our most precious and most fragile gift X

  38. Lori Morton says:

    What a beautiful Post! so glad your Dad is OK!! Definitely scary Moments!! We have had several of those kinds of Days round here… but the scariest to me, was when we were moving..we were at old house loading truck…DIL &our Daughter were at new house. someone left basement door open a bit..& curious 1 year old Grangirlie pushed on it & fell all the way to bottom. Rushed to hospital…had only bruises & fall had pushed her front bottom teeth over flat. Told her folks would loose them & chances were no 2nd teeth would develop. She is 22 now..beautiful smile full of healthy teeth!! Praises!!!

  39. Becky says:

    This is the way I like to quilt.. Spontaneous, no specific pattern, just figure it out as you go. You did a great job with this new line from Kaffe. I haven’t ordered any yet, but I am
    Definitely going to when it’s released

  40. Jenna says:

    It’s a powerful thing – that knowing things could be worse. When my husband and I split, he didn’t handle it well to say the least. There were genuine moments of fear for myself and our daughter. But now we are in a much healthier place – all of us. One of the first things I did as a step to recover control was start on an improv sewing project I’d been challenged to do. Not my palette, not my style, but fitting to do improv while figuring things out. I’m proud of the quilt, but it will always be more about the time than the quilt itself.

  41. Michelle Wyman says:

    I can definitely relate to your experience as I too got a phone call about a year ago that during a rather routine surgery for an enlarged prostate Doctors discovered my Dad had stage 4 cancer that had metastasized. Miraculously between his fighting Irish spirit, chemo and radiation he is keeping cancer at bay until a possible treatment comes along that could extend his life. I made him a Kaffe quilt too using cool blues and warm golds. He was a QB for the UC Berkeley Bears football team back in the 1950s and the colors help him keep up the fighting spirit!

  42. Tara says:

    Thanks for sharing your story and perspective. Today is my best day because I have worked hard, and still working to live in the moment and put the worst days behind.

  43. Kaholly says:

    What an amazing and inspiring story! I’m so glad your dad is going to be okay! I get that ‘just needed to sew’ mode. I lost my dad this summer, and took that same path to deal with my emotions. You expressed yourself eloquently! And made a beautiful quilt in the process!

  44. Deb F says:

    Your story sent chills through me as I know how scary it is to be hours away when a parent is rushed to the hospital. You quilt is amazing. I love how it showcases the beautiful Kaffe fabric. My worst day was in January when my mother was in the hospital with a heart issue and some other problems. She had been feeling pretty good and the plan was to put in a pacemaker the following day. Since I had a dentist appointment, I left for a while (I had been at the hospital with her for three days) to go to my appointment. My father and brother were with her. While I was gone, she almost died. My nephew, who was working at the hospital, came up to visit on his lunch break. While chatting with my mom and dad, she suddenly stopped talking and he could see that something was terribly wrong and ran to get help. When I walked into the room there were six doctors and nurses surrounding her bed trying to get her heart beating. It was frightening and my family was in shock as it happened so fast. All I could think was that I had left without telling her I loved her since I was only going to be gone for a short while. This was a reminder that life can be gone in a moment and that each moment is to be treasured. We were blessed that this had a happy ending.

  45. Lin says:

    I am so pleased to read that your Farther came through the op and hope that all continues to go well for him. Your quilt is stunning. Every day is a miracle knowing that my 80 year old soon to be 90 parents are both well, happy in their own home and looking after each other. I am so fortunate to have such a happy, healthy family. xx

  46. Rhona says:

    So glad everything turned out for you, I was in the same situation with my mother and her operation was a success thank god, its a very stressful time going through it so I know how you feel, your quilt, its just beautiful, that fabric is also beautiful and now I really want to make a quilt just like it, great work!

  47. Tamie says:

    I don’t have a specific story to share but there are lots of small times when something goes wrong and it could have been so much worse. Be thankful for each day you and your loved ones are given.

  48. Naomi Raimon says:

    I am so happy to discover your blog, and happy to hear your happy ending. I guess I have been blessed to not have any of those “it could have gone so horribly wrong” stories! I have had loss in my life but I have mostly healthy and happy friends and family members and my own health. My biggest complaint these days is I have no time to quilt while working full time and with 2 kids, but I feel blessed anyway : ) thanks for the chance to win some of this stunning collection and I absolutely love your quilt!

  49. Elizabeth McDonald says:

    So glad that your father made it through! I have had several near misses with my children, who are all three grown up and in their mid-forties now. They are my biggeset blessing, still!

  50. Shirley says:

    Thank you for sharing your story and I was glad that it had a good ending. About 20 years ago when my son was little we were on a long train journey. For something to do because it was dark outside we decided to walk through the whole train. I would open the heavy doors and he would go through first. Not knowing that we had come to the end car I opened the last door only to find our forward movement was only stopped by a chain across the opening! If my son had been going any faster he might have fallen under or over it onto the tracks. And the train was going at full speed. Thank goodness I stopped him in time. (I still wonder that the railway company didn’t have the door locked.)

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