Monday, September 20, 2010

And she does it again...

This is the second time we've been lucky enough to feature Amy from Diary of a Quilter.  You can check out our first feature here.  Make sure to check out some of her tutorials, including a darling table runner and 32 minute messenger bag.  Here is one of her latest quilts and stories:
An old friend of mine got married this summer. Not that that's unusually big news, but this friend has had quite the journey.  We've been friends a long time - high school, college roommates. Years later we even ended up getting married within weeks of each other, had our first babies within months of each other - and then things changed drastically for her.  Her first husband was diagnosed with severe mental health issues.  She was pregnant with her second baby and no longer in a safe situation. Tragedy of the cruelest kind.

As I get older and find out about more people I knew in my adolescence who have grown into serious mental health issues, it breaks my heart. Because there's so much stigma, and so many helpless feelings there. I have another friend who's husband has cancer.  While equally tragic, it's socially normal to rally around someone battling something like cancer, but how to help someone who is battling their own brain turning them into a different person is daunting. It's not like you can just bring them a casserole and hope they get better. Mental health issues are not for sissies, I tell you.
Anyway, after years of being a single mom, putting herself through graduate school, and supporting her girls  all alone, my friend married the greatest guy this summer. If anyone deserved a big dose of happiness, it's her.  And so, to celebrate a new family, I wanted to give them a quilt. 
As I shared this story I've been touched by the number of people who have been through similar experiences in their own lives. Mental illness is an issue shared by people across all walks of life - probably more than we would ever suspect. I hope that it is an issue our culture can come to understand better and that we can remove some of the stigma so that more support can be given to the individuals and family members who are so deeply affected.
The inspiration for this quilt came from a picture of a throw-pillow I saw in a magazine. (Don't you find that sometimes you find quilt inspiration everywhere?)  Everything came from the stash, including the back and binding. I love that feeling. My only regret is the binding. I don't love it, but it was too late by the time I finished to change it. These pictures were hastily taken 10 minutes before I had to leave for the wedding. (Such is the life of our crazy summer.) I am publishing the pattern for this quilt this week. You can find more information at Diary of a Quilter.

Congratulations to your friend, that is such a sweet story and kind gift.  Thanks Amy!!

6 comments:

Angie said...

That is a mighty great stash that Amy has! The quilt is beautiful and the colors are so inspiring. Thanks Amy for providing the pattern.

Ellen said...

Beautiful quilt and lucky friend!! Love the design!

AMKreations said...

I LOVE that...the colors are amazing...what a nice job! I follow her blog too!

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