Members of the Clifton Quilt guild holding nine-patches for Juliette’s Hope Quilt. From left: Kim Verthelsen, Evelyn Post, Michele Kopack, Agnes Dembia, Dale Rice, Rosemary McGuire, and Jo Ann Tropiano.
This evening I did a talk for the women of the Clifton Quilt Guild, in Clifton, NJ. They wanted me to talk about the ways that quilting connects me with lives of other people. I had many stories to share, but the one I focused on was the story of little, 11-month-old Juliette who has been suffering from a seizure disorder since she was about a month old.
Julilette will be undergoing surgery on Friday, July 5 to remove a part of her brain on the left side. I have been making a quilt for her. Her mother calls it “Juliette’s Hope Quilt,” which is a great title because Juliette’s middle name is Hope. (Who could have guessed that she’d need such a profound name?)
Nine-patch blocks for Juliette’s Hope Quilt.
While I was doing my talk, I took out all of the nine-patches I made recently and passed them around the room. The women of the guild laid hands on the patches. Some even prayed for Juliette.
I want to do everything I can to bring people together through quilting. Tonight was a lovely chance to do just that. I hope Juliette can feel the love that was expressed for her tonight in a town a continent away.
I’ve been working on a special quilt lately. In some ways, it looks like any other quilt I make; nine-patch blocks of random cotton calico all sewn together into a large top to be layered with batting and backing and quilted together on my long-arm machine. These photos show the simple, ordinary process of putting a quilt together.
Three rows of three squares each, ready to be stitched together.
Checking the layers as they run through the machine.
I LOVE ironing nine-patches. I could do this for hours, and sometimes I do.
There are 42 nine-patches in this snaking pile. Only 7 more to go.
Patch, by patch, row by row, a quilt block is created. Then it’s ironed and set aside to be added to a large pile of nine-patch blocks.
Just looking at this large pile of work excites me. And, knowing that this quilt is being made for a special little baby who will have brain surgery on July 8 to address seizure activity (up to 25 of them per day right now), brings me to tears. (It’s hard to sew, at times, when teardrops are falling on my stitching.)
Please pray for Juliette. I am.