Welcome back for another edition of Talent Tuesday! Today's guest is a lady from my Celtic Hearts RWA writing group, Paisley Kirkpatrick! Take it away, Paisley!
My hobby has opened a door I never anticipated. I started sewing in the ninth grade. The craft came easy for me and over the years I have sewn many items, including my own wedding dress and also my younger daughter's. But, it was after we lost our older daughter to cancer just before her 32nd birthday, that I started using my skills to overcome the terrible loss my child. One of my friends asked me to join her and a friend learning how to make quilts. She stressed that in the olden days women made quilts to help mourn a death in their family. At that time, I realized the importance of accepting we no longer had Kellie and decided I would make quilts filled with my love for her and give them away. This new aspect of my life exploded, and took off with a life of its own.
In the past ten years I have made and given away 41 quilts. Maybe keeping busy with these brightly colored squares pushed the sadness into manageable mode simply because I didn't have time to feel sorry for myself any longer. I know Kellie is smiling down on me saying, ''Way to go Mom."
The first year I made ten baby quilts, most were Kellie's friends. These crib size quilts are made of flannel in bright solid colors and appropriate prints depending on whether the quilt is for a baby boy or girl.
Since that first year I've made a lot more, including seven for Brenda Novak's Childhood Diabetes Auction. I love receiving photos of the children enjoying these quilts and just this past week I got a photo from my nephew's wife with their two little girls sitting on the baby's quilt. It's the first time I've been told the quilts wash well and the girls wrap up in them every day, especially while watching television. Along with the crib-size quilts, I have started making small pillows -- like we used to get on airplanes. I use leftover fabric and batting to make them. When a little one is hurt or sick, I shoot one of these pillows off and they give the little ones something special to help make them feel better.
I learned how to put photos onto fabric and have made quilts with book covers, photos of favorite movie stars, family photos, and am thinking of one that has photos from our vacation in Scotland someday, if I ever have spare time. One very special wedding quilt that I made for Kellie's friend who gave us so much help during her illness, turned out so beautiful that I am thinking maybe she had her hand on mine while I made it.
If I didn't tell you that my hubby helps pick out the fabrics, he'd be very disappointed. We head down the hill to our favorite fabric store and I tell him the colors and/or theme I want to use. He has a nose for finding them and comes back in a few moments with just what I had in mind. One very special quilt needed to have music notes, bright colors and some kind of peace and love on the fabric for the backside.Thanks so much, Paisley!
Along with the quilts and pillows, I also make and give away tote bags. Anyone who knows me knows I am addicted to Gerard Butler. He helped me with the healing as well as the quilts did so it was only natural I'd want to say thank you in a way I that I could make personal. I've made tote bags with his photos on both sides and send them to his fan club to raffle off at his birthday bash. The fan club officers send the money they raise to the Cancer Society, and a couple more of Gerry's favorite charities in his name. It's great. The first year one tote bag raised $2000 and the money went for Kids Kicking Cancer.
I was stunned at the amount they raised, but am so please to be helping with the cause. I will admit I did make one quilt with 24 photos of Gerry on it