I'd Rather be Quilting…

my crazy pasttime


We all have memories, in our hearts and in our heads. This past January our family lost 2 very special people. One of those people is the topic of this post. When I make a quilt for someone there is a great deal of thought, time, love, and commitment that goes into it. We lost our friend Gary.

Over 30 years ago, Gary, Kevin and Ron (my dh) started working at the same company. We have kids the same ages. We have shared happiness and sorrow, but this sorrow was the hardest. When the call came before 1 am, Ron and I were in the car driving north to Nebraska, our hometown of Norfolk. At 5 pm as were driving back to Kansas City (we would pack, work one day and then return to Norfolk) I asked Ron what he thought of my asking Sandy, Garys wife, if I could have some of his clothes to make memory quilts for his kids. Ron liked the idea. I sent an email to Sandy but it was read by the kids. They went into his closet and started gathering clothes which they gave me a couple of days later, with the stipulation that I not cut up his work shirts.


Gary was one of a rare breed these days. He was loyal to his job and his family. They camped together, celebrated together, they were a family.


To be honest, I cried when I cut up his clothes, I talked to him, I missed him. But I continued. These quilts are simple in design, durable so that they may be washed and dried and used forever. I left the grease stains, actually I ironed them in multiple times, because they are part of Gary.

Gary was a good guy, he was a keeper in women’s terms. He loved his wife, his kids, no matter what they did or did not do. He accepted you for who you were, and found the good in everyone. It is with great sadness and love that these quilts are finished. I pray that every snuggle under them is a small piece of comfort. I am honored that the family has allowed me to make these and they understand, these quilts can take rolling on the floor, the laughter and love, and yes, the tears that will flow because of his absence. I am better person because I knew Gary.


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