Patches of Life

Memory Quilt

Memory Quilt

Last year, as I was purging the closet of items, I discovered t-shirts from vacations. Memories of adventure and fun times spent with hubby were difficult to discard. I decided to reuse and recycle the colorful tees in the form of a quilt.

I contacted Tina from the Missouri Quilters Guild who recommended a woman name Liz Huff.  We met over coffee and discussed the specifics of the quilt.  Recently, she completed her son’s memory quilt, and brought that as an example.  I was impressed with her craftsmenship.

After Christmas, I met Liz for the unveiling.  The beauty, balance and harmony of the quilt pleasantly met my expectations. Her skillful hands stitched a masterpiece of color and personality like a series of vignettes carefully laid out by an artist or illustrator.

Blocks of fabric representing scuba diving trips, beach vacations, concerts, and liveaboard cruises connected as my eyes scanned the quilt.

The St. Louis Komen Race for the Cure tee stirred up emotion. A sunny morning in June, hubby and I walked in a sea of pink with more than 60,000 participants.   Proudly, the two of us displayed our shirts in memory of Mom who contracted breast cancer at age 82.

The “We Be Div’n” t-shirt caught my eye.  In the early ‘90’s, I became scuba certified through Hydrospace Dive Shop, Panama City, Florida.  During my skills test in the deep blue, my instructor, Thomas J. Offitt, complimented me on my ability to remain calm underwater.

I reminisced about the Sting concert at Riverport.  Hubby never alluded to our seat location prior to the show.  Turns out we’d be sitting in Row 2.  The musician’s song “Walking on the Moon” would never seem more appropriate to me.

The mint green tee with the black Labrador represented the Sanibel Island trip.  The vacation came at the perfect time – three days after my biopsy, and two days after a work layoff.  Sharing that first sunrise on the beach with my soulmate, he asked, “What do you want to do with your life?”

“I want to write.”

“Then do it.”

Four years later, I’m living that dream.

The Jimmy Buffett concert literally brought back a flood of memories.  Russell, ankle in a cast, hobbled on crutches in a torrential downpour at Riverport.  Miserable and crabby, I was soaked to the core.  My friend Lisa showed up with a pair of dry socks for me.  What a good friend.

Woven throughout the quilt were bits of a yellow-orange batik sundress – a souvenir from a dive trip to Little Cayman, and a chance encounter with a wild dolphin named Spot.

Finally, the House of Blues t-shirt from Russell’s birthday weekend in Chicago reminded me of great food, cultural events, and the especially entertaining Blue Man Group.

These twenty-something experiences barely touched the surface of our adventures.

Much like Claude Monet trusted his eyes as he recreated the world outdoors, Liz patched our life together – one block at a time.  My thanks to this special lady.