Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Blogger’s Quilt Festival-A Letter To My Son

Welcome to the Blogger’s Quilt Festival.  It took me over a year to make this special quilt, and I wanted to share it with the readers from the Bloggers Quilt Festival. The quilt is 25” x 30”, was made and quilted by me, and could be in the art quilt, wall hanging and applique quilt categories.
Those who are regular readers of my blog know that my brother passed away from complications of scleroderma in November, 2010.  In June of last year, I decided I wanted to learn how to make a portrait quilt and took an online class from Marilyn Belford through Quilt University. I had never taken an online class before, but it was a great learning experience, and Marilyn is a great teacher. I selected a picture of my brother as the subject. 
This is the picture I used for the quilt inspiration
Giles_Marc-boat small
The first step in the process was to make a line drawing from a blown up picture
The audition process.  Marilyn was very tactful when she said my facial fabric choices were great if I was going for a “impressionist” look.  I had to change my direction.
The finished quilt
Mark quilt
Here’s a close up
Mark quilt closeup2
My mother wrote a letter to my brother on the first birthday after his passing.  It was a beautiful letter, so I decided to use the letter for the label on the back of the quilt.  I framed the letter with a wood-patterned fabric so it looks like a picture frame. 
Mark quilt letter label
I named the quilt “A Letter To My Son”.  We had a party in the nursing home for mom on her 79th birthday in May, and I gave her the quilt. She loved it.  She is currently with hospice, and has loves looking at it hanging on her wall.
Moms 79th birthday quilt
For those who would like to read the letter, I’ve reproduced it below.  Be warned, however, that there might be some tears involved.

A Letter to My Son

Written by Judith Reid on July 18, 2011

Tribute to Mark Reid

July 18, 1956 --November 30, 2010

Dear Mark,
So…how is it? Eternal Life – so far, I mean. Are you surprised to be there as we are for you to be there? Not that we are surprised you are in heaven, mind you, but surprised, shocked, and saddened that you are there so soon. It doesn’t make sense to us who are left on this side of life. Does it make sense to you from there? You had too much life yet to live, and in the midst of our disappointment, your earthly life was cut too short. There were too many family photos yet to take with you in them; too many conversations yet to have; too much life to still enjoy. You were multi-talented being a carpenter, building a house, which together with Ruth, was made into a loving home. Also, you were a mechanic and a gardener which you so much enjoyed doing. How much you both enjoyed and followed NASCAR and boating with friends. Your move to Ft. Myers, Florida was so enjoyable with meeting new friends and visits with old neighbors from Michigan, which was short-lived due to your illness.
What wonderful life lessons you taught your children to carry into adulthood and how proud they were of their Dad and how much they loved you. They are forever grateful for the delightful and precious relationships they had with you. You and Ruth have raised them very well with a wonderful married relationship. What a great gift you gave us and yourself by packing so much life into so little time. We were so proud when your first born daughter Amanda became our first grandchild and Grandma & Grandpa Reid had their first great grandchild.
Please allow us some time, and some space, to cry, grieve and mourn in our loss. For you were vital and full of life for your family, your friends, and your community. That which you gave was reciprocated, as evidenced by the outpouring of love and care of others during your celebration of life. You were a wonderful loving son who was deeply loved and you will be in our hearts forever. We miss you, especially your phone calls, your smile and that tinkle in your eye.
Love Always,
Mom & Dad
Hope you enjoyed the quilt show.  Thank you Amy for hosting the Blogger’s Quilt Festival.  Check out all the beautiful quilts in the Festival.


  1. What a special quilt. You did an amazing job! I might need a tissue.

  2. This is an amazing quilt! I wish you had posted the photo and the quilt side-by-side! I was scrolling up and down to see how much the two look alike! Thanks for sharing!

  3. Love the story and the picture of your mom. Special.

  4. Very, very special quilt. Just another way that quilting is used for healing. Thanks for sharing this process and story.

  5. Thank you--and may the making of the quilt helped you heal also!!

  6. That is just beautiful! the quilt, the sentiment and your sharing with us!!!!

  7. Wow! This is really amazing. Good job.

  8. What a touching tribute to a great brother and a great mother by an amazing sister. Kudos. Thanks for sharing this treasure.

    Come see my entry #46 Batik Tulips
    applique, hand quilt, wall hanging

  9. What a great story quilt. Beautifully done, all the way around!

  10. Amazing work and a great story. Quilts are such healers.

  11. What a wonderful quilt and remembrance of your brother! He looks like he really enjoyed being out on the water, just like my brother did.

  12. You are amazing. You did a wonderful job on that quilt. What a wonderful tribute to your brother. Your mom is a special lady. Your post has touched my heart. Thanks for sharing.

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