Wednesday, June 01, 2011

loved

I'm still here. It's been an exceptionally busy spring, between the launch of Lisette, the release of my book, Quilt Market, and all the usual work that needs to be done. I've been holed up for the past couple of weeks, formatting the fall Oliver + S pattern collection. And there have been some personal items scattered into the mix, like my horrendous allergies. Wow, what a brutal spring this one has been! I've been a sneezing, coughing, teary-eyed mess. All in all, I'm looking forward to taking a few breaks this summer.

Not all the events of this spring have been happy ones. I need to just say before I get to the point of my post that I'm gradually realizing (I guess I'm a slow learner) life is full of challenges. I'm learning to embrace unexpected issues and to expect them as part of "normal" life. I think I feel less side-tracked when I understand that there will always be some difficulty or unexpected issue that crops up. It's not effective for me to expect everything to settle down after an issue has been resolved, because there will inevitably be another one somewhere down the road. So if I expect challenges and embrace them as part of normal life, I'm less surprised when they arrive. I don't think that's a fatalistic perspective--just a small dose of reality to help keep everything balanced and in perspective and maybe to help me remember to celebrate little victories, too.

The reason I mention this is because last fall my sister was diagnosed with breast cancer. This came as a tremendous shock to everyone in our family, since my mom had just finished treatment for breast cancer not six months earlier. But today is my sister's final round of chemo, and she should be feeling better in a week or so. She's handled all the extra attention gracefully, and I'm very proud of her for the ways that she's been both weak and strong through this entire process.

My sister and her family are surrounded by a loving community who have helped to take very excellent care of them during the past six months, and one of her dear friends organized a quilting bee to show her support. We each sewed a quilt block, and a couple of weeks ago a group of us got together to do a little quilting and to celebrate and support my sister. I think I counted ten women who assembled, and as we quilted we got to know each other, since we come from several different parts of my sister's life. These are strong women who each have experienced their own challenges and victories and have each contributed to my sister's treatment in different ways. It was an honor to meet them and to see how they each play a part in my sister's life. (I'm really restraining myself from using the quilt as a metaphor, here...)


Everyone signed a patch for the back of the quilt. I had the honor of signing for my sisters, my mother, and my grandmother, all of whom contributed blocks but live too far away to attend the party.


Here she is with it, almost finished. (I think she and the quilt both look fantastic, by the way.)

And with her friend, Genna, who organized the bee and has put many hours into it.


Genna did an amazing job with the back, too. Don't you just feel the love when you see this?



And I need to close this post with a little reminder: have you checked or been checked recently?

Please don't forget.

26 comments:

  1. What a beautiful gift. I'm praying.

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  2. Beautiful.. The quilt. The support of good friends. And your sweet sister. Beautiful, beautiful, beautiful!

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  3. So sorry to hear about your sister {and mother too} and so glad she's doing okay. The quilt is absolutely beautiful ... and what an incredible reminder of those that walked alongside through a difficult time.

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  4. I have tears in my eyes. I'll be thinking of your sister and family.

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  5. So beautiful. All good thoughts to you and your sister.

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  6. It is a beautiful quilt and your sister is even more beautiful. So glad she's feeling well!

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  7. Well, your sister just could not look more beautiful! Best of luck to her. And the quilt is fantastic!!

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  8. Love, love, LOVE the photos. I will cherish these.

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  9. Anonymous7:57 PM

    What a wonderful gift. My mom is currently going through a reoccurance of her breast cancer. Don't put off getting checked.

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  10. Thank you and best wishes for your sister and mom. I'm making my first appointment tomorrow.

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  11. That is truly a quilt -- and post -- full of love. So very touching.
    I am sorry to learn of your sister's diagnosis, but so grateful she is nearing the end of treatment. May it also be the beginning of renewed health. I had wondered recently how your mother was doing, and I pray she is well. My mother and sister were also both diagnosed with cancer only a short time apart. It definitely changes the way we look at life. Each of you is in my heart and prayers.

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  12. Oh. How much grace must there be in the world! I'm so sorry to hear about your mom and your sister (who does look wonderful!). Thank you for the post and the nudge.

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  13. What a beauty! Front and back, mesmerizing. =)

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  14. I'm at the point in life realizing that it is not as often nice and neat as I'd like either...
    It is a blessing to have been able to be there to support your sister.

    on a different note, I just wanted to thank you for your patterns. They are so perfectly thought out. I've made many in the past but just finished the picnic shorts....precious

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  15. What a lovely gift (of love and friendship, and the quilt too). Your sister does look beautiful and such a lovely shot of her with the quilt wrapped around her. I'm definitely praying for her, your mom you and your family. Thank you for this post Liesl.

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  16. I love the quilt and everything that it symbolizes. Best wishes to your family for speedy recoveries and continued good health.

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  17. Thinking of your sister and you.

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  18. Good thoughts for your sis and family. What a beautiful tangible object from her friends to make her feel loved.

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  19. The quilt is so beautiful, and this post made me cry. I can definitely feel the love.

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  20. What an amazing gift! How wonderful it is to see your sister wrapped up in so much love!

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  21. Sending love and healing wishes - beautiful quilt, beautiful post!

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  22. The quilt & her smiles show all the love & courage being sent her way! x

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  23. Absolutely beautiful story of love and support! And yes, I am so faithful about my checkups. My mom and sister were diagnosed about 6 weeks apart with breast cancer with no other history in our family. I lost my sister after 7 years of her battle and my mom last year (but not to the cancer). God bless!!

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  24. The quilt is beautiful in so many ways. I hope this is the end of treatment for her and she will be able to move on with life. I ran the Susan Komen Race for the Cure this morning, with thousands of others.
    I hope it will help to put and end to this horrible disease.

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  25. I haven't dropped in on your blog for awhile. So glad I did to read this. Love the quilt...especially the back. Your sister will always treasure being so LOVED.

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  26. That may just be the most wonderful quilt ever. :)

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