This was my first quilt, technically. Although I had a quilt top completed from my beginning quilting class (barely!) I had not completed quilting and binding it.
In the summer of 2012 I took a quilting class from a local quilt shop, Fabric-etc. It overlapped with their annual charity drive to collect lap quilts for the local cancer center for patients going through chemotherapy. Named Bonnies Team after the memory of Bonnie DeSpain. I never met her, but you can read about her story here. As part of October’s Cancer Awareness Carol donates a piece of batting and a yard of backing fabric to those who sign up and I decided this would be a good way to practice quilting.
I chose one of the brighter backing fabrics available and bought some more so I could match the quilt top to the backing. I then sketched out two blocks I thought would work together. I calculated how many blocks I would need to fit within the recommended size instructions (based on the lap sized quilts Bonnie would make) and figured out my block size and pattern. I then sketched out my individual blocks, took notes and made up some mock blocks out of some scrap fabric I had laying around from other sewing projects.
In my beginning quilting class I had the fortune to learn from a very talented quilter, Diane. She taught us how to create flying geese from squares instead of cutting out the triangles and trying to sew a bias cut edge. I figured out if I started with a square I could create triangles on all four corners of the block. This was the basis for the center of my blocks.
After assembling most of my quilt blocks I received news that one of my Aunts had passed away from cancer. She and her immediate family had not disclosed that she had been ill, per her request. My mother was devastated; Aunt Debby was the oldest and was like a second mother to all the siblings. It hit me pretty hard too as I had spent many summers as a youngster at her home. I found some solace working and finishing this quilt; it was thereputic knowing it would be going to a stranger who would hopefully find some warmth and comfort.
This quilt was doubly special. I labeled it “My First Quilt,” dedicated to Aunt Debby and her family. On the day AFTER it was due I handed it over to Carol, the shop owner, explaining with tears in my eyes about our family’s loss.