However, when I got home I learned my neighbor three doors down was gravely ill and not expected to make it. As quickly as I could, I finished up the above quilt and gave it to him. I don't know if he really "saw" it, as he passed away the next morning. However his wife now has the quilt, loves it, and its a nice memory for her and represents good wishes and love toward her late husband. Rest in Peace, Elias Alonzo. He was a good man.
Then I learned that another neighbor around the corner had come down with Multiple Myloma (that's the disease Tom Brokaw has) and is going through chemo, which we all know is no picnic. I quickly finished up the second quilt, above, and took it over to him a few days ago. Amazingly, he felt good enough yesterday to walk over and thank me for the quilt! This one is backed in flannel, so its nice and comfy. He told me he loves it and uses it every day.
As many of you know, I've been making "vet" quilts for a number of years, in honor of my dad, now deceased, who fought in WWII. It makes me feel good to think I'm giving some small measure of comfort to these men and women who have come home from battle, broken physically, mentally or emotionally, or all of the above. I will continue to do this as long as there is a need, which doesn't seem to be ending any time soon.
That said, it felt really good to give these particular quilts to men that I know personally, and am now eager to make a few more just to have on hand, "just in case". I say that because in February we lost our young neighbor across the street to complications from alcohol and drug abuse. I had no idea he was as sick as he was, until hospice was called in a couple weeks before he passed. I was very fond of this young man would have loved to have laid a handmade quilt on him during his last days, but alas I had nothing to give him and the time was too short to make one from scratch.
So this is now on my agenda: more comfort quilts! The idea would be to make the tops (which are easier to store) and finish them when the need arises, which can be done in a few days time.
I have always felt strongly that these simple quilts, though not complicated, should be as beautiful as any quilt I might make for myself, or for a friend. For in fact they will be given to friends, or friends of friends, and I take pride in what I make and what I give. The same goes for the "vet" quilts, which I feel should be just as special, for anything else would be an insult to these men and women who have given so much.
OK, time to go sew!