A big thank you and a sad farewell

Several weeks ago, I told you that my dad had cancer and that I wanted to make him a quilt for his birthday. I had less than 6 weeks to have it completely finished, and I asked for your help because I didn’t think that I could complete the project on that timeline by myself.

Well, I am happy to report that we succeeded! I was overwhelmed by the response from my quilting friends. I received blocks or fabric from members of my local St. Louis Modern Quilt guild, from around the country, and even from around the world. I am blown away by the kindness of this community. I had three long arm quilters volunteer to do the quilting for only the cost of shipping, and another offered just recently when she learned about the project.

I picked up the last of the blocks at the St. Louis Modern Quilt Guild meeting on April 12th. I actually ended up with more blocks than I needed for this quilt, so if you sent me blocks and you don’t see them here, fear not. I’ve decided that I will make the remaining blocks needed for a second quilt and pay your kindness forward by donating that quilt to Quilts of Valor.

After the April guild meeting, I put the blocks together and made the back of the quilt. I mailed it to Melissa of Melia Mae Quilting the day after Easter. She did the beautiful long arm quilting with stars and mailed the quilt to my parents’ house to make sure that it was there when I arrived May 1st. I used my mom’s sewing machine to finish the binding and the surprise was almost spoiled when my dad peeked in to see what I was doing. Luckily, I had shoved the quilt under the sewing table and pretended I was fixing my daughter’s pants.

My girls presented the quilt to their Grandpa for his birthday, and he was so pleased. My dad is not the type to show a lot of emotion, so I consider it a big deal that he brought it up and thanked me more than once. My mom even said that when she was heading out to her own guild meeting on Monday evening after we left, my dad said, “Well, you’d better take this one to show.”

It brings tears to my eyes that I had so many of you offer to help me with this. If not for you, my dad would never have received this gift. I would not have finished it on my own before he died. I wish he would have been able to enjoy his quilt for years to come, but I’m happy it was finished in time for him to have this gift for a week. My dad passed away on Sunday, May 11th, 2014.

His obituary can be seen here if you’d like to know more about him. He was an active member of his community, a loving dad and husband, a good friend, and he was just awesome as Grandpa. The fact that my girls will not have more years with Grandpa Bob is what crushes me with sadness. He will be missed by many.

 

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The two oldest grandkids hold up Grandpa Bob’s quilt

 

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Close up of the quilting, some blocks, and the flag stripe binding

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I like how the chain blocks create diagonal lines across the quilt

 

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The back of the quilt

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This boot print fabric was perfect for this quilt

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