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Yellow Bears Paw

We are back from Chicago now, and I can say it was a nice visit.  My kids were good during 4 days of driving and everyone was happy to see us when we arrived and sad to see us leave.  We were lucky to have beautiful weather while we were there and we got to spend a lot of time outdoors, smelling the suburban spring air that immediately brings me back to my childhood.  I'm glad my boys could experience that too.
The main purpose of the trip was to see my family, especially my mother, whose long-term illness took a bad turn earlier this month after a lengthy plateau.  Many of you contributed both quilts and funds to the benefit held for her in 2012 (past posts are here and here), and I wanted to give a sort of update, as well as show off the quilt I made for her.

Earlier this month my mother went into the hospital for several days.  I was told that low sodium was causing her to become confused and disoriented.  Several times she would wake up in the morning and not know why she was in a wheelchair.  She began having problems with memory and though she has good days and bad, it was a shock to have her ask me what my children's names were, or where we lived.  I was happy I could see her, but now that I'm home again, I'm silently aching for the loss of the mother I knew.  I'm not writing this for anyone's sympathy, just to tell the story of the quilt I made, that I clung to, pouring my love, regret, and grief into each stitch.  That binding took forever!  And I was sad to leave the quilt, knowing that it gave me comfort these past few weeks.  I hope it also brightens her days, helps her remember me, and at the very least keeps her warm in the too-cold air-conditioned house.

 The top of the quilt is made from a yellow woven fabric that I got at my LQS.  The centers of each bear paw came from the 11 women in the 15 Minutes Play Scrap bee from 2011.  I pieced them into bears paw blocks, starting in 2011 and finishing the last 3 earlier this month.  I used wide sashing of the yellow and put the extra Scrap bee blocks as corner stones.  I thought I'd leave it there and back the quilt in the black/off-white dot, but it made a really nice border instead.  The backing is an organic cotton from Jo-Anns.  It's bound in light turquoise, one of the same fabrics I used in samples for Quilting on the Go.  Final size-- I didn't measure, but it's a bit less than twin.  Fits on mom's hospital bed just fine though.
Mom, I don't know if you get on your laptop much anymore, but if you do, I hope you can read this, and if not, I hope someone reads it to you.  I love you so much.  Thank you for believing in me and for letting me follow my dreams.  I hope we can come see you again soon.


  1. Such a lovely and cosy quilt.

  2. it is a lovely quilt and I'm sure it will give her great comfort because of all the love you stitched into it.

  3. It is a lovely quilt and made with so many love!!!

  4. Beautiful quilt. I can so relate to your story. I lost my father to Alzheimer's disease and I know how hard it is missing the parent you once knew. She will surely find comfort in your work and the memories of the days you spent with her.

  5. Bear paw - one of my favourite patterns... yours looks great and very comforting.. well done

  6. The quilt is beautiful, along with the love sewn into it. Best wishes to you and your family. Sounds like a tough time for all of you. Hope the sodium levels get straightened out and she can perk up a bit.

  7. You look so much like your Mum Jess, I hope you see her again very soon too x

  8. Beautiful quilt Jessica and a lovely photo of you and your Mum.

  9. I feel for you … best wishes for your family.

  10. It's beautiful. Here's sending positive thoughts your way.

  11. I'm late to comment I know - but that's because I've been thinking about you and your mother all week. Best wishes.

  12. Beautiful quilt! Not sympathy... understanding!! Prayers for your Mother and your family!

  13. Oh, that ache. Thank goodness for our little hand projects to put those feelings into. I wish you peace and strength.

  14. I don't think there was a better gift of love for your mother than the quilt. She will feel all the love you put into it and it will be there to comfort her when you can't be. It is a beautiful quilt and I love the cheery bird fabric backing! It is so hard to understand why people have to suffer so. Prayers for you and your lovely family!

  15. I also wish you peace and strength as well as joy from many wonderful memories you share with your mom. And oh my gosh, I had no idea anyone else anywhere played that spaghetti game! It gave me much joy remember how my son and I used to giggle whenever we played it. Thank you for all you share with us.


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