Monday, April 18, 2011

Three Year Work in Progress

Well, I am just a smidgen from the center of this quilt.  I looked back at exactly when I started cutting the fabric for this and it was April, 20, 2008.  Egads!  It will be 3 years Wednesday.  Never in my life have I taken this long to make a quilt.  
Perhaps it's because I have a love/hate relationship with this beautiful creature?  I am making this quilt for my daughter and her husband who live in Minnesota.  She picked out the design and the colors-which I love.
I got the center pieced in June of 2008.  It was the very first fabric to be cut in my studio and the first to go up on my design wall. I just about wore it out showing it to folks.  Man, I was proud of this~!

By this time, we were hauling hay and getting ready for fall wheat harvest.  For the past 10 years, my hubby and I have done all the harvesting by ourselves.  I drive the truck and he runs the combine harvester.  I folded up the star and tucked it away in a drawer with all the other 1,368 pieces cut for this project.

It didn't surface again for another year.

In the mean time, I kept busy with customer quilts, making quilts for special orders, quilting for Quilts of Valor . . . and the farm.

Occasionally, I would get this drawer of 1,368 pieces out and look it over, and put it back.  It was not speaking to me.  

August 20th, 2009.  Last day of harvest.  My Mom had a stroke and had to enter a rehabilitation center.  I spent every day with her and was hoping to bring her home to live with me at some point.

If that wasn't enough . . .

Sept 17, 2009.  I was sent to a neurosurgeon at the Huntsman Cancer Center in Salt Lake City, Utah for a brain tumor.  We are very lucky to have a world class cancer center this close to home--only 130 miles.

Surgery and much stress ensued.

We had to move Mom from rehab into Long Term Care.

Nov. 8th, 2009.  I moved to Salt Lake City in a small apartment so I could have daily radiation treatments.  Here comes the quilty part:  I loaded up my ironing board, my sewing table and chair, a card table and took this box of cut fabric with me.  Looks almost like a prison cell huh?
My goal was to have this top pieced when I finished my 6.5 weeks of radiation.  Monday through Thursday,  I went to the hospital at 8am every morning and then spent the rest of the day working on this quilt--every day.  Fridays I drove home.  Yes, I drove myself back and forth every week~!  We still had fall plowing and other things that needed to be done on the farm, so my hubby was really busy--since he was home alone.  I was lucky in that my tumor was on the surface of my brain and so surgery was not invasive nor destructive to my brain--only my skull.  The doc gave me a nice patch and some titanium so I am airport friendly.

Christmas Eve 2009.  My last radiation treatment.  By noon, I was headed home for good.  With my completed top.  Yay~  I made my deadline!  

But . . .

I was so sick of this quilt top, I stuck it away for another year.

Actually, I was sick.  It took me about a year to recuperate from everything and get my strength back.

All during this time, quilting was my therapy.  I could forget the world and lose myself for a few hours.

Early July 2010, my husband came in the house one day about a month before harvest and said he found a truck driver to take my place.

I said, "Who?"
He said, "Me. I have hired 3 neighbors to harvest our wheat and I will drive the trucks."

What usually took the two of us anywhere from 2-3 weeks took exactly 5 days with this crew:

So, now you know the rest of the story and you can imagine how excited I am to finally have this quilt on the frame!
Today is our 36th Wedding anniversary and I am gonna take the day off.  It rained last night and the fields are too wet to plant so we both have a free day.      
I am headed into town (60 miles) to see my Mom.  She is still in Long Term Care.  I just might invite hubby to go with me and he can take me out to dinner.  How's that?

By the way, 36 years ago, we had 4 inches of fresh snow on the ground the morning we left to get married.


  1. What a story, and what a quilt! Congrats on your wedding anniversary, enjoy yourself tonight!

  2. Wow! That's a story and a half! I guess that quilt means a lot to you now, maybe more than to your daughter because you lived it. Happy anniversary!! I'm a longtime married person too. It'll be 37 for us in August. Yikes.

  3. Thanks for sharing your story. Quilting is also my therapy. The quilt is gorgeous!



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