Two of the many quilts I have hanging in my house hold special meaning for me. ”Celestial Son” (pictured here) is based on a quilt called “Celestial Dreams.” Both feature a large sun graphic surrounded by fanciful birds, flowers, trees, and an angel. I began this quilt after the turn of THIS century, having fallen in love with the designs.
It moved across the country with me to South Carolina where I lived for two years. I continued to work on the quilt, but struggled to complete it after the death of my youngest son Adam in 2005. It wasn’t until I moved back to Lawrence in 2006 and unpacked the quilt that I realized why I was struggling to finish it.
I was working on this quilt section-by-section when Adam was still alive and we saw each other often. Though he was grown up and on his own, he still stopped by for occasional meals and “time with mom.” He loved seeing the progress on my quilt projects, and especially loved the “far out 60s” look of this quilt. By finishing the quilt I would lose that link to my son.
I was able to get past my grief and finish the quilt in time for it to be displayed at the Kaw Valley Quilters Guild show in April 2007. It has since been displayed in several other shows and venues where it garners lots of attention and comments. It is completely hand appliqued; it was machine quilted by Lori Kukuk.
The second quilt, “Aloha Keiki Kane” (Goodbye Beloved Son) is a completely original quilt, created because I really wanted to try Hawaiian applique. I began with one block, which grew to five traditional Hawaiian design blocks. The corner applique design, along with the 4 setting blocks, are my own design. The large corner triangles are each appliqued from one piece of fabric onto a background. The entire quilt is hand appliqued. It was machine quilted by Lori Kukuk, Lawrence quilter.
These two quilts together are the last quilts that Adam saw me working on, so they will always hold special meaning for me. They represent so many memories and pieces of my life that I would find it hard to ever part with them.
You probably have special quilts in your life, too — quilts that remind you of special people, or special events or special memories. Quilts are physical and artistic ties to our past. They also carry our hopes into the future as we give them to children getting married or going off to college, to grandbabies, and to friends.
Join local quilters at the library on Saturday as we celebrate National Quilting Day and share “150 Years of Kansas Quilts and Quilters” from 10am -4pm in Marvin Auditorium. I’ll see you there!