Planting Elena’s Garden

I am almost finished with the piecing on the Grandmother’s Flower Garden Quilt that I started several years ago.  My version is named, “Elena’s Flower Garden”, in honor of my mother-in-law, Elena Blackaby.

When I started the quilt they had just admitted her to the hospital.  She had been fighting cancer for some time, but we had heard just the week prior that all looked great on that front.  As I sat trying to learn how to piece hexagon’s in my parents home with my children playing in the yard, I thought about the lovely woman that I had grown to know and love that was slowly slipping away.

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After her death, my husband returned to our home in Raleigh and I returned from the visit that I had planned with my parents long before we had ever known that there would be complications with Elena’s health.  He had return with him, all of her stash, that she had requested to be given to me.  As I sat and went through the boxes, every bright colored piece that had potential to be a flower, I pulled.  Every green that could be a leaf, I pulled. And that week in my grief, I cut patch after patch, slowly amassing enough to create a quilt.

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It has been almost three years now since I started my very quilt using English Paper Piecing, and it is almost ready to be quilted.  I have less than 40 hexies to finish sewing on today.   I still miss her, and I hate that cancer took her away from us way before she would have liked or that we would have liked, but I am glad that I was blessed to know her for the short time that I did.

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