Patchwork quilts honor memory of sister

Homemade crafts celebrated life of sibling who died of brain tumor

| December 2008

The appeal of making patchwork quilts is that you find yourself crafting with your soul. Woven into every quilt we make are bits of imagination, history and memories. One of my most rewarding projects was a collection of miniature quilts that had a special tie with my family.

Even the material used had special significance. I had the privilege of caring for my youngest sister during her last few months, before she died of a brain tumor. We worked together, tying up the loose strands of life’s business. An avid crafter, my sister gave me permission to pack up anything I wanted to take home with me.

When I returned home, I gave some thought to what I’d like to do with my newly acquired supply. I wanted some task that would commemorate my sister’s passing and help ease the grief of her loss. I decided to use the material to construct miniature quilts for my three remaining sisters and myself. Because we all lived in different states, these quilts would be a way to remember one another and the sister who was no longer with us. I decided to make them using my sister’s accumulation of Christmas prints.


Getting started

I am a novice quilter, so, my first attempt was a basic nine-patch quilt that went to my sister in Connecticut.

My next project followed a pattern called the “Snail’s Trail.” I knew the intricacy of the pattern would be appreciated by another of my sisters, who also loved to sew. This quilt challenged my skills, but after a few false starts, I was satisfied with the results.

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