Once upon a time in a place far far away, lived a woman named Terri who was diagnosed with a terrible-horrible-very bad-no good illness that caused her to think about what was important in her life. After going through surgery and terrible-horrible-but effective treatments, Terri spent some time deciding what she must do. She had a strong sense of urgency about everything. So, Terri decided to make a quilt for her son who she loved so much it hurt. She learned to do photo transfer on fabric and collected all matter of pictures of this special son, other family members, his infant clothing, his childhood artwork, programs from plays this aspiring performer had starred in, menus and memories from a different land that was also far far away. She worked and worked and worked -- with a passion and fervor that only women who have had this terrible-horrible-very bad-no good illness can understand. She worked on her special son's quilt until she got to a place where she wasn't sure what to do.One day while talking to a woman she had met in a Bible study in her home, she mentioned she was making a quilt and needed help. This person liked Terri immediately and offered to share what little knowledge she had about quilting. Little did Terri know that this woman periodically transformed into the quilting witch.
One nite the quilting witch went to see what was needed -- thinking that maybe binding or squaring up or something simple was the next step. What she found was a big quilt made from all kinds of special fabrics (stars to remind the special son to reach for the stars and he would be a star some day) with all kinds of special pictures and personal information. It was truly a labor of love. But -- there were problems that the quilting witch had to address.
Some of the seams were on the outside of the quilt. This was a first and very concerning. Really -- there were seams on the outside of the quilt. She told Terri those had to be ripped out.
Some of the blocks were barely being held together because of the tension from the sewing machine who had been very cranky part of the time. She told Terri those had to be ripped out.
Some of the blocks weren't square or had other problems and she told Terri those had to be ripped out.
Terri set about ripping out almost the entire quilt - proving yet again how much she wanted this special quilt to be just right for her son she loved so much that it hurt. She prayed for him as she ripped and never fussed at the quilting witch.
Over the course of the next few months, Terri sewed, Terri ripped, Terri sewed some more, Terri replaced some pictures, Terri sewed some more-always praying for her special son that she loved so much it hurt. Then one day -- the quilt top was done! Terri had done it! It was square, the seams were on the inside, and it was was going to hold together for all the years ahead.
So, Terri learned to hand quilt and wrestled that heavy heavy quilt for hours and hours and hours and hours. Always praying for her very special son and staying focused on the task at hand. And then, Terri finished the quilt and the binding and it was just perfect. She had done it!
Soon after, a sort of terrible thing happened; Terri moved to another land far far away from the quilting witch. But it was good for Terri and she continued to quilt and she met good quilt teachers and bought fabric and learned new techniques. An Accu-Quilt made it possible to cut fabric since the rotary cutter and her missing lymph nodes did not get along.
One day, the quilting witch got a picture that made tears come to her eyes. Terri had made a most complicated quilt and it was glorious. She had made a double wedding ring -- this is a very very hard quilt that the quilting witch would never have tried to do. But Terri had not only tried -- she had finished it and it was on her bed. She had done it again!
Most fairy tales have a happy ending. This fairy tale has two. Not only did Terri become an accomplished quilter and go live among a quilting community that loves her, the terrible-horrible-very bad-no good illness knew that it had to leave this most special of quilters.
I hope you are as inspired by Terri as I am!
The Quilting Witch