Never underestimate the power of a quilt

biwako_of_abiJuly 9, 2007

It was around last August that I made a quilt a little smaller than twin size for a friend in Japan ill with Parkinson's disease; she had constant back pain and other troubles and DH and I really thought she might not live long. A few months later--thanks to her enjoyment of the quilt, she claimed--she was making the effort to get out of bed and moving around a bit. She could only speak on the phone a minute or so, however, and it was obviously a great effort.

Last night I had another call. This time she was able to talk for around 10 minutes, and her voice was stronger. She wanted to report that, although she still has pain, she has reached the point of going outside their house, and they are planning to make a day trip to a place she wants to see; she will be in a wheelchair. She is also doing a bit in the kitchen now. She used to be a fantastic cook. She is still saying that my quilt is largely responsible for her feeling more cheerful and making these efforts.

There have been those who showed no appreciation at all for things I made for them, but I feel more than recompensed by this experience.

Just wanted to share the joy.

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How nice. I'm glad she is doing better. Sometimes just knowing someone cares helps a lot! That was a nice thing you did.

    Bookmark   July 9, 2007 at 9:54PM
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You are so generous with your quilts Biwako and you are being truly rewarded for your kindness. I am sure it is partly your beautiful quilt but more so the joy you have given her that is helping her.
Thanks for sharing this joyous moment.

    Bookmark   July 9, 2007 at 10:07PM
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Ah Biwako, certainly a moment to live for, and to cherish forever. What more could a quilter want?


    Bookmark   July 9, 2007 at 10:51PM
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And never underestimate the power of friendship. I really enjoy making things for people and I think we send our "love" along with what we make. Thanks for sharing your story. --Amy

    Bookmark   July 9, 2007 at 10:52PM
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What a wonderful gift you gave. Thanks for sharing the joy.


    Bookmark   July 9, 2007 at 11:08PM
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Your joy made me cry!

That is a beautiful story. Really beautiful.

    Bookmark   July 10, 2007 at 2:25AM
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It truly is a beautiful story.

    Bookmark   July 10, 2007 at 5:27AM
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Jan, Wonderful, wonderful! This makes it worth it all, and you never know whose hands will end up touching those, seemingly, unappreciated quilts. Keep up the good work!

I firmly believe that when we make quilts with a certain person in mind, we're thinking about that person while we sew and our 'vibes' (thoughts/prayers etc) go with our quilts. I'm sure others have had this experience......I've been told there were times toddlers have gone to the laundry room and pulled out the quilt I made for them so they could take their nap! Even the teens (my 6 foot 3 inch grandson included), when they're not feeling well will go get the baby quilt I made for them and cuddle/nap with it. Oh yes, as for me, this hobby/craft is more than just sewing fabric together.......


    Bookmark   July 10, 2007 at 8:10AM
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So happy for your friend. Wonderful quilt. I have a friend who make prayer shawls. She and a group of ladies from her church get together and knit or crochet the shawls. Then they give them away.

    Bookmark   July 10, 2007 at 8:40AM
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God works in mysterious ways and a needle and thread are no exceptions, eh? What a wonderful story!


    Bookmark   July 10, 2007 at 10:05AM
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Wow, you must have used some very special fabric in that quilt! Thank you so much for sharing your story.

Sharon, you are SO right - whenever I'm making a gift quilt I'm always thinking about the recipient. Maybe the fibers hold our thoughts and prayers and deliver them as needed.


    Bookmark   July 10, 2007 at 10:51AM
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I am crying too!!!! I also believe that we transfer our love to the quilts and the recipients can feel it.

    Bookmark   July 10, 2007 at 1:41PM
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Thank you for sharing that great story!

    Bookmark   July 10, 2007 at 2:17PM
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So glad your friend is better and I agree with the above post-it's the love that goes into it.

Thanks for letting us share your joy and reminding us how it feels when others appreciate our work.


    Bookmark   July 10, 2007 at 5:47PM
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So happy for your friend! Thanks for sharing the joy!

    Bookmark   July 10, 2007 at 5:55PM
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Wow- what a great quilt story! I never know what kids get the quilts I make or anything about their stories, but I would sure like to think that it makes them feel special when they receive one. Your story makes me believe that's true!
Also happy for your friend to be feeling better.

    Bookmark   July 10, 2007 at 7:37PM
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Ally, you never know...I read an article in a magazine some time ago about a man who had grown up in an orphanage. When he was there they gave him a quilt that had been donated. He loved it because it belonged to him, and kept it as he grew up. When he was an adult he decided to try to track down the maker using the bit of information on the quilt label. It was only something like the lady's first name and her town. Through contacting quilt guilds and such, he was able to track her down and meet her! So after many years this dear lady learned how much that donated quilt meant to him.

Dang, now I made myself cry!


    Bookmark   July 10, 2007 at 7:49PM
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I'm crying with you.

    Bookmark   July 10, 2007 at 8:25PM
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Thank you all for sharing in my happiness about this quilt. My friend actually said that besides liking to look at it, she felt the love that had gone into it. But I am still amazed that one quilt could actually restore someone's will to live. It makes me want to try making some charity quilts, too.

Oh, dear, someone sent me an email about this quilt and asked about my mother-in-law, but I thought it was a post on this forum, which I could reply to later, here, and I deleted it; but now I see it wasn't. Whoever it was, thank you for asking about DH's mother. She is 94 now and as well as can be expected, I guess, but having some trouble with her eyes.

    Bookmark   July 10, 2007 at 11:00PM
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A quilt is a hug. Of course it has helped her - how could it not. I do believe in the power of hugs! LOL What a wonderful, heart-warming story.

    Bookmark   July 11, 2007 at 3:10AM
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Thanks Donna - what a touching story. The only label we put on the quilts is a "Comfort Zone" rainbow one the guild designed, but a person could always contact the center and the people in charge know what quilt guild they come from, so it could happen! A lot of my friends (even fellow quilters) say things like, you put too much work into those quilts, that quilt is too nice to give to them, you should save it for your grandchild (which who knows if I will even have) or, the foster parents probably keep the quilt for themselves. I just look them in the eye and say, I don't care - I'm doing it for the right reason and I just have to believe that they are helping some kids without the stable home life I grew up with. The lady who started this in our guild was daughter of an orphan whose family adopted her only to have a servant. Ok, I am now stepping down off the soapbox!

    Bookmark   July 13, 2007 at 11:54AM
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What a great story. You'll always remember that.

@ Geezerfolks: This stry reminded me of Hawaiian quilting. Hawaiian quilting (which is more than just the quilt itself, by tradition) has a similar belief - when you're working on a quilt, you must only thing good thoughts about the recipient while making it. If you get upset or frustrated (or were when you started), don't work on it, as those negative energies get stitched into the quilt. They believe that your own energy, your "mana," gets put into the quilt with every stitch, and when you give it away you're giving away part of yourself.

    Bookmark   July 14, 2007 at 12:14PM
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I am thrilled for you that your friend was able to let you know how she has felt about this special gift. What an inspiration!

And Anjea, I was thinking the same thing - that it wouldn't be healthy to try to work on a quilt when you had bad feelings or karma...some things just can't be 'fooled'.

Thanks for sharing this touching story,
Kelly - NH

    Bookmark   July 14, 2007 at 4:02PM
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