This post is one that I am not really sure how to write...
When I was 4, my Grandma Anderson (mom's mom) passed away. When I was 9, my grandpa remarried a lovely woman named Lorraine. For reasons I won't get into here, it took me a long time to think of her as a grandma person in my life, not any fault of hers. (Probably more to do with me being a teenager...)
She battled multiple myeloma for a number of years, in and out of remission, always such a fighter and the true picture of a survivor. I ran in her honor three times with Team In Training and raised over $10,000 for The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society between 2008 & 2010.
She hinted every time I saw her how much she would LOVE one of my quilts. I started thinking about how I could make a really special quilt for her and then it hit me: what she loves most is her family, blood or not.
I emailed the whole family asking for pictures "of their family" for a project I was working on. I didn't mention the quilt to them at all. I printed the pictures on sew-in inkjet fabric sheets (thank you 50% off Joann's coupon!) and make this my project for the Coast 2 Coast Quilting Bee.
By June or July of 2010, I had all the blocks back from the other ladies in the quilting bee. Unfortunately, my time was consumed by work and school (plus there were some that were larger/smaller than the requested 10.5" square and I wasn't sure what to do). And I needed to make my blocks, plus figure out what I wanted to do with the extra pictures I wanted to use but did not send out to the bee.
In November 2010, Lorraine's health was getting worse and she ended up in the hospital, and eventually in hospice care. I knew that I was not going to get the quilt completed in time for her to use and enjoy it. I took all the blocks, extra pictures, and fabric with me to visit her. She got to see the pieces of it and showed it off to the other family members that were there. She passed away a few days later, just before Thanksgiving.
A year later, I finished the quilt Christmas eve, in order the give it to my Grandpa for Christmas.
Below are a few shots of the quilt. Somewhere, I have pictures of Grandpa opening it, taking in what it was, and enjoying it. I fear those were lost when Mr. Crafty's hard drive crashed but I know my Dad got video of it. (My photographer brother is supposed to bring my a CD of the images he took of the quilt when he visits from Beijing next week. Will post more/better pics if he does.)