Thursday, November 7, 2013

#TBT - Throwback Thursday - Pocket Full of Prayers

Quiltin Jenny

It's Throwback Thursday here at Quiltin' Jenny, and I hope you'll link up and share your own creative adventures from your pre-blogging days.

Today's quilt has a very special story behind it.  Nine years ago, my friend Lisa was rushed to the emergency room because of numbness in her face and a terrible headache.  After several days of panic, worrying about an aneurism or a stroke, she was diagnosed with a brain tumor and scheduled for surgery.

Her group of friends pulled together and did what we could.  We brought dinner, we ferried kids, and we drove her to chemo and radiation.  Mostly we prayed.  We prayed together in groups saying the rosary and we prayed alone in the early morning hours of Adoration.  We prayed hard, and when it was over and the tumor was gone, we rejoiced.

Unfortunately, that joy lasted less than a year before the tumor was back.  When we found out that it had returned and that Lisa would have to leave for The Brain Tumor Center at Duke University in a matter of days, I turned to the one thing that helps my heart when it hurts.  Quilting.

Gracie's note to Lisa
I sent a mass email to all of Lisa's friends and asked them to bring me little things: prayer cards, notes of encouragement, religious medals or relics - anything they thought would make Lisa feel our love and prayers surrounding her while she was far away.

I had seen this envelope quilt block on Simply Quilts with Alex Anderson, and immediately started cutting out the pieces.  Within 48 hours I had the quilt together and a huge collection of items to put in each little pocket.  As each person came to see the quilt and bring their contribution, we shared stories and hugs and a few tears.

Lisa loved the quilt and all of the messages.  I hope it comforted her during the next three years of constant travel to and from Duke, chemotherapy, blood draws, hospital visits, and dealing with insurance companies. 

Lisa died four years ago last week, the morning before Halloween.  Sometimes I still can't believe it.  I was so sure that she would be the miracle. 

I learned so much from Lisa in that five years about attitude and determination; even the doctors were baffled at times by how she just kept going.  She was a wonderful friend, an awesome mom, and a true inspiration.  I miss her so much!

This quilt is perfect for letting someone know how special they are to you.  It is easy enough for a true beginner, and would work for so many occasions, especially when words are not enough. 


Now I want to see your blast from the past.  Link up and let us all see!



  1. That's a beautiful story, Jenny. I am sure that quilt meant the world to your friend. Thanks for sharing.

  2. What a wonderful idea and gift and a treasure to your friend as well.

  3. Wow, that's really special and beautiful of you all. Quilting sure is an amazing way to bond to work through the hard times with love.


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