Monday, June 11, 2012

Sam's Darlin' Hearts, more than just a quilt......

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I was contacted by a friend of Mary Lou, she asked if I could quilt this special quilt which was made in memory of Mary Lou's son Sam who sadly passed away. I have spent some time getting to know Sam and Mary Lou through Mary Lou's blog entries about Sam and my heart aches for her loss. I felt honored that they thought of me to quilt this, because it is more than just a quilt.  It's a treasured memory of many quilters goodness during a time of need for another quilter.  It's amazing the power of love that can spread through the blog world and I am happy to be apart of this great quilting community.
Sam Eagle Run 2010
Photo courtesy of Mary Lou
So, this is Sam and here is the story of the quilt by Mary Lou in her own words:

Sam's Darlin' Hearts :-) is a testimony of the kindness and generosity of quilters!! In May last year, my 17 year old son, Sam, inexplicably and unexpectedly passed away.  He was an amazing kid...generous of heart, a total optimist, and a friend to all who met him.  An avid runner, he made the point of meeting the men and women who beat him in 5K's and such, so he could learn from them and become as excellent as he thought they were.  A home school kid, his closest friends were a couple of kids his own age, a couple of pastors and their wives, and one of my quilting buddies (who also taught him chemistry!) and her husband. His best friend, Luke, said of him that "Sam loved without filters." As the ambulance carried him away and Jeff and I prepared to follow, both fairly certain he was gone, I sank into Jeff's arms and said, "He's the son of my heart!" Later as people remembered him, they commented on his servant heart. We learned from his autopsy that his heart was enlarged -- typical for runners -- and our family doctor (a close friend to Sam), said that was no surprise!!  "We always knew Sam's heart was bigger than most!!" And out of the blue, after I wrote about Sam's passing on my blog, beautiful heart blocks started arriving in my mail box!! Some of them were from blog friends that I've become close to.  Many others were from quilters who didn't know me.  Most were from the "Hands to Help"challenge that Sarah Craig did with you for quilts to Romania.  I can't even tell you how comforting they were!! I commented that the blocks make me cry -- like Charlene Darlin on the Andy Griffith Show --lol-- and Sam's Darlin' Hearts became the name of the quilt.

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So, the quilting had to be special, I hope I achieved that. I spent 25 hours quilting this quilt, I have two layers of batting in it as well and used 12 bobbins of thread.  I marked all the straight lines then used my straight edge ruler to quilt the lines, then free motioned quilted everything else.

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I had fun with the borders. I love detail, but you know that already.... 

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Love this block, it was so fun to quilt.
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This block was fun too, love that I quilted hearts into the echo quilting - seemed fitting.. :-) 

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The large triangles on the side of the quilt made for a fun new dimension in the quilting - I thought about continuing the straight line quilting like in the borders, but I am happy I did this instead. 

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It really was so fun to quilt up all these different blocks, it is so hard to pick which ones to share up close.

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I love that the blue and yellow triangles make a block around the heart blocks.  The quilting makes a frame around them that I just love...

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A lot of ruler work went into this quilt.  I quilt at a speed of about 4 1/2, so it's a little on the slower side so that I can be sure that everything comes out even. 

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Oh my goodness! The back, I love it! It turned out so pretty! 

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Love the triangles in the borders.
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It was a treat for me to work on this quilt, thanks for letting me share the whole story of this quilt with you.

49 comments:

Sharon B said...

Beautiful quilting - you are an amazing women to take this project to your heart!

Gertie Pye said...

I remember reading about Sam last year, and feeling so sad that such a lovely young man was gone so suddenly. This quilt is a beautiful testimony to his memory and your work adds to its beauty even more. Such pretty hearts to remember a wonderful boy with a big heart. Extraordinary quilting as usual Judy x

Vroomans' Quilts said...

How lovely to see this quilt at this stage - I sent a heart and see some of my other blog friends' hearts - all so brilliantly showcased in this special quilt. Thank you for adding your 'special' touch.

bhafer said...

The quilting and the story are so special what a beautiful quilt in every way.

Odry said...

I love it, very cheerful!
laborious quilting :)
Regards from Palencia (Spain)

Flo @ Butterfly Quilting said...

I had read the story of Sam's Hearts before, and so glad that you are the one to quilt it! Your work is so amazing that it will make this treasure even more special.

Anna said...

Thank you for sharing.

Barb said...

The quilt turned out wonderfully and what a wonderful story. I do remember Sam ... thanks for posting this and for your big heart.

tirane93 said...

your work is always lovely, but this quilt is amazing! thanks for sharing the story and the quilt with us.

laurie in texas said...

I truly love seeing your creativity in quilting - you are a great quilting artist. But what I learned from this post today is that not only are you an angel on the outside - you are one on the inside too. I have a feeling when you are old and grey and cross over the veil, you will be welcomed by so many open arms - all those that you have done good things for. And I am sure you will hear these words - "Well done, my good and faithful servant".

Jenny said...

I just love looking at your quilting, your such an inspiration and what a special quilt with such special meaning behind it.

Montserrat said...

me encanta¡¡¡ te ha quedado genial. felicidades.
Montse

Laura said...

It is beautiful and such a beautiful gift from very generous quilters with very big hearts themselves.

charlotte said...

I remember reading about Sam last year. So sad. This quilt is a beautiful reminder of the beautiful young man he was. Great job Judi!

Beema said...

As always, your quilting is amazing. So beautifully done, so perfectly straight where it should be straight and so perfectly spaced. I love it. I also love that you shared her story of how she came to making this quilt, the sad story of the loss of her child, as I know how she feels in losing my daughter when she was only 23 in a boating accident. The shock of losing a child, never goes away. To hold a quilt made in their memory helps so much. Thank you for sharing this!

lifeinredshoes said...

A work of art, from the heart :)
You do amazing work!

Em said...

What an honor and what a tribute to him. Beautiful, friend.

vivian said...

Gorgeous quilting -looks like you poured your heart and soul into it. I remember his story-his memory lives on through this beautiful quilt.

Nanci said...

Beautiful story of a beautiful soul. The quilting says love!

Vicki W said...

What an incredibly special quilt!

kathy said...

Absolutely spectacular quilting! I cried when I read about Sam a year ago, and I cried again today when I read your blog. I can tell you poured your heart into this, as well. Amazing.

Nancy E said...

What a story! Your quilting i amazing. It is just beautiful! Thanks for sharing!

Tangos Treasures said...

Awesome!!

Mary Grace McNamara said...

Beautiful, in so many ways!

Mrs.Rabe said...

It's stunning!

Sarah Craig said...

Oh, Judi, you have done an amazing thing here! It's so wonderful to see the blocks we sent made into a quilt and your quilting takes it so much further - this is truly an heirloom that Mary Lou will cherish for the rest of her life. Such a wonderful way to remember Sam!!

Diana said...

That story is so touching. What an expression of love. Seriously, that is the type of thing I hope I would do. What a great source of love and support from people. I love stories like that. Your talents are truly AMAZING. I love everything you did! Just beautiful.

Kate said...

It is fabulous, Judy. I made one of those blocks, and wondered how a little block could comfort such a huge loss. Now I see how it will work. Beautiful.
Kathleen

Karen said...

Your heart and your skill only make this quilt more special - I know it will be treasured.

Anita said...

What a beautiful quilting job and touching story, so sorry for her loss.

Alyssa said...

Oh, I miss Sam, he's always positive on his Tumblr blog whenever he post a new entry. I'm sure he's going to like this very special quilt. You have such a kind heart Judi for making this extra special. :)

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Rafael's Mum said...

What a beautiful quilt and story. Thanks for sharing it with us. As always, your quilting is very special!

DIANA said...

outstanding quilting
i to run really scary

Larissa said...

Oh Judi, Once again your quilting is amazing ... and absolutely PERFECT for this quilt!!! I DID hear about Sam's passing and remember my heart breaking for this mum on the other side of the world I hadn't met before! Thankyou for sharing this one with us ... it is truly a very special quilt - in more ways that one!!

Sue Daurio said...

Oh goodness that is fabulous. I remember making the blocks and you just took them and pushed this so far over the top, beautiful!!!

Tamie said...

What a special quilt and special quilting to complete it. Blessings to Mary Lou and her family.

Christa Marcotte said...

Beautiful quilt and story!! You take amazing pictures and do amazing work.

Laura T said...

Amazing quilting for an awesome quilt. What a blessing you offer to that family and it made that quilt all the more special and treasured:)
LauraT

Miriam said...

Stunning quilting on a very special quilt. Congratulations on your beautiful work Judi.
Blessings to Mary Lou and family.

Lynda said...

Thank you for sharing the story of Sam's quilt. Your quilting is stunning. A beautiful gift for Sam's family.

Lynda said...

Thank you for sharing the story of Sam's quilt. Your quilting is stunning. A beautiful gift for Sam's family.

Karen said...

What a quilting gift you gave Mary Lou. Wihen we sent the blocks of comfort to Mary Lou we knew this would be a quilt to treasure. Your quilting is the finishing touch to the tribute to Sam.

Judith Blinkenberg said...

One of the most beautifully quilted quilts I have ever seen. I just love the hearts.

Sew Create It - Jane said...

So beautifully quilted!! You did an amazing job on this extra special quilt!!

jeanettesquiltin said...

What a beautiful work of art! So befitting to the memory of wonderful young man!

Rebecca Grace said...

Judi, your quilting is so inspirational!! My heart goes out to you for your publishing snafu. Frankly, I'm offended that the publisher thinks beginning quilters wouldn't be interested in your book. I took my first free motion quilting class two days ago, and although I have a long, LONG way to go, your quilting is so exciting that it motivates me to keep at it. In fact, I just printed out several of the pictures in this post, and I'm going straight upstairs to the sewing room to practice and try my hand at little circles, squiggles, and curliques like what you've done. I wish I could buy your book, but in the meantime, I'll be sending warm fuzzy karma your way. Thank you so much for sharing your beautiful work with others who are just learning!

Amira Ameruddin said...

Your quilting is just sooo amazing! I wish you the best in getting your book published. Your work is si inspiring!

Janet O. said...

Recently I was having an email conversation with another blogger about how I struggled choosing designs to quilt.( I have only been machine quilting a few months , so that is not my only challenge, but it is a big one.) She recommended that I check out your blog. It is wonderful and inspiring. I had to comment on this post (way after the fact) because I see my block in Sam's quilt. You did a gorgeous job!
I'm not too far away--up north in Cache Valley.

Snoodles said...

I know I'm late....work has kept me hopping, and I am catching up on blog reading. What a joy to see my blocks there with those of my quilting friends, and to see how beautifully the quilt finished. Thank you, Judi, for sharing your talents - it's just lovely!