My Sisters' Heart
I was thrilled when asked to participate in the Pinktober Breast Cancer blog hop. Cancer is such an ugly word.
I began working in Army hospitals in 1968 and the first doctor I worked for once told me "if you do not get hit by a beer truck or have a heart attack, sooner or later, you will die from cancer. We use to say Grandma died of old age. There is no such disease as old age. We just gave it a name-cancer". In May 1996 when I was diagnosed I called him and told him I felt it would be later and he said "and you are not dead yet".
He was right! But it was a year of more than I expected. That May I was diagnosed with stomach cancer, in June my mother was diagnosed with lymphoma and then I opened my quilt shop, The Quilters Quarters in Leavenworth, Ks. in November 1996. December brought the 10 year all-clear report from my older sister that she was free and clear from breast cancer. We all felt so ALIVE!
Sadly, my sister's cancer returned in January 1997 and she left us in March.
Breast cancer was not through with us yet. My younger sister received the dreaded diagnosis a few years later, twice! Thankfully she is doing very well. My youngest daughter has also survived another form of cancer. What an ugly word is cancer.
I am so very thankful for the amazing advances in the research and treatments for cancer since my older sister was first diagnosed in 1986.
As women, we hold each other and continue to work for even more advancements.
At one time, every woman who worked in my shop was a cancer survivor. The picture below is from the Leavenworth Times in May 2003, showing me and three other employees, my quilting sisters, leading the Walk for Life event.
This picture is my 2 sisters in 1992, the last time we were all together.
Harriet on the left and Kathy on the right. Harriet had all her hair back at this point.
My quilt is named "My Sisters' Heart". I used the Hope and Heart strip set provided by Island Batik. I chose a beautiful white batik background and Daiquiri pink accent.
This is a simple quilt that does not take very long to make. I used a few fun products to make it easier and more fun. I am all about fun in your quilting.
You can make a quilt with blocks set on point much easier with the Omnigrip 20 1/2" ruler. The picture shows the special markings that give you very quick and accurate measurements to simplify the cut sizes for both the side setting triangles and the corner triangles; always keeping the bias on the inside and the straight of grain on the outside of your blocks. The ruler is on sale this month for only $69.99 .
Just for more fun, I used my pink rotary cutter
Unfortunately my cutter is very old but we have the new Sparkle Berry one available. PINK Rotary Cutter – The Quilters Quarters (quiltersqtrs.com)
Aurifil Thread provided a lovely pink thread and Quilters Perfect Klips in pink were also used.
I also found beautiful Breast Cancer bags to carry anything you need for your supplies or for taking necessities to the treatments. Breast Cancer Bags of Hope – The Quilters Quarters (quiltersqtrs.com)
My quilt is approximately 70" square. I have a limited number of kits available for only $69.99
I also own a pink, breast cancer edition hand guided, Gammill long arm - got to keep it fun. This quilt, however, was quilted by a friend on her computerized machine (text me for information).
I am always amazed and grateful to God for how women hold each other up in all things in life, but especially during the hard times. Cancer is not something anyone wants, but with the love and support from our family, friends and even total strangers, we survive. We keep fighting for better treatments and continuously praying for a cure.
Each day we are blessed in many ways and by loving each other, we will get through all the good, bad and ugly that life hands us.
My love to each of you who are either going through cancer or who have been there.
May God bless you all, Jerry
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