Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Spring Quilts & Spoons

I am re-posting this blog entry from almost a year ago. I have just finished the flimsy that I am going to give to Quilty Hugs for Happy Chemo. You can see my post about it here. I thought that for today's Let Be Social I would share this with you. It's mostly about people who have chronic illnesses and an amazing piece, The Spoon Theory, written about how you explain that to others.

In the Spring this year, Quilting Gallery had its weekly "contest" with the theme of Spring Quilts. It's a fun thing to do every week. There is a theme each week and you can post a quilt you've made that meets the theme. During the week, anyone can vote for their top three favorites. At the end of the week, a winner is announced and a nice prize is given.

With the Spring Theme, I looked through my quilts. I don't have many quilts in my "body of quilts," so it was easy to look through all of them. I found the quilt below that is called Purple Hugs.

 With all the lovely flower prints, I think it definitely welcomes in Spring.

I made this quilt in Spring of 2012. We moved to our house eight years ago. The neighbors across the street became good friends. There was the Mom & Dad & P their adult daughter. P lives with them because they need her help in keeping their lives in order.

Close Up of Purple Hugs
Three years ago, P was diagnosed with MS. She was 30 years old. She has a great sense of humor and, more often than not, when she comes over to visit it is to laugh. She makes fun of herself and her decreasing abilities. She would hate me for saying this, but she is a model of grace.

When she got her diagnosis, I wanted to make her a quilt. Her favorite color is purple, could you tell? I started looking at patterns with an eye for ones that would be simple and quick to put together. I wanted her to have it soonest.

I went through my stash and started pulling out purples, greens, and pinks. I love purple and green together! I'm not a purple person, but I was grateful I had enough for the quilt. Some of the fabric dated back to my Aunt Marie's stash.

Since I didn't have the money to send it to a LAQ, I decided to tie it. I am always worried that someone will like a quilt less because it is tied. Silly me. It turned out beautifully.

P loves her quilt and mentions it now and again. I'm glad she does. She's a wonderful person.

Many of you, like me, have known or had friends who have chronic illnesses. There are those of you who live "up close and personal" with someone living with this. The two people I have been close to are my neighbor, P, and my mom.

I've written about my mom before (link above). She got breast cancer when she was 42 and I was just graduating from high school. She never fully recovered. The cancer just kept attacking different parts of her body. Twelve years later she died. P reminds me of my mom. Mom always lived on the sunny side of the street, even when it stormed. Her cancer robbed her of her immune system. It robbed her of her energy and ability to have a vibrant life. Hers is not an unusual story in cancer-dom or in chronic diseases.

Mom had to choose her activities carefully. If she decided to go shopping, or over to friends for dinner, take in a movie, she would be down in bed for at least two days.

A few years back I came across a touching piece written by a woman, Christine, who has Lupus. One day while having lunch with a very dear, long-time friend who asked her what it was like to have Lupus. After the years they had known each other, Christine was amazed that her friend had no idea what her life was like. She cast about for some way to explain what it was like to live with Lupus, then she had a brilliant inspiration. She picked up spoons from the table and used them to teach her friend. From that instance, she had found a way to describe living with a chronic illness.

The Spoon Theory stuck a chord with me because it described my mom. I have passed it on to many people in my life who could use it. Whether it be because they need to understand they're not alone or because people say "you don't look sick," I want them to read it.

I cannot download it, or print it, but I can give you the link where to find it. I hope you will read it. Maybe you:
  • know someone who has a chronic illness
  • had or have a relative who is dealing with chronic illness
  • you've had someone tell you or someone you know that they "don't look sick."
  • you get judged when you get out of your car after you parked in the handicapped zone
  • have friends who are unsupportive because you can't come to the party, or go shopping, etc
  • have a chronic disease
Pass the link on to someone. Read it for comfort. Read it for understanding of someone you know.

But, please, read it.

The Spoon Theory

Photo credit: Silver Spoon, by Believe Creations, taken April 6, 2008. CCC license


  1. Thanks for sharing the spoon theory with us. I did have an insight into this idea with my Chrissy's illness. Not only the illness takes away spoons, but also the meds and procedures.
    Here's hoping they find cures for all those diseases!

  2. It is so difficult to go through a chronic illness with a loved one. My husband chronic health problems and my heart aches for him. I heartily agree and hope they find cures for all those diseases!

  3. What a great way to explain that energy and effort are precious to people with chronic health issues. It also illustrates how someone could easily become isolated unless they can explain their situation clearly and get the support they need. Thanks for sharing.

  4. Your Purple Hugs quilt is very pretty. I love pinwheels and have a special place in my heart for tied quilts like my grandma and mother used to make. Quilts are more than just covers.

    1. It's a great pattern: easy and you can make from a jelly roll or scraps. It is too bad that tied quilts are sometimes thought of as 2nd place. I too have some beautiful quilts from my aunt.


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