Shenandoah Album - Julie Brown Neu

Shenandoah Album

The rum cakes are out of the oven, the bread is rising, and my family is out doing some last Christmas shopping so I have a few minutes to catch up on the blog and share about my final quilt for 2018.

For five weeks, beginning on the 3rd of November, I put all other work aside and made a quilt for a beloved cousin of mine. She is eight months older than I am and grew up nearby so she was my playmate as a kid. When she was diagnosed on her 44th birthday with Stage 4 Breast Cancer, it came as quite a shock to everyone. Because she no longer lives nearby and I am not with her in person, I got started on a quilt literally the moment I hung up the phone after hearing the news.

She majored in horticulture and had an early career working in plant nurseries so a botanical quilt was an easy choice. As we are both natives of Virginia, I chose a pattern from the Virginia Quilt Museum called the Shenandoah Valley Botanical Album Quilt, which was made in 1858. The pattern calls for much larger blocks and more of them in order to make a bed quilt, but I chose instead to make 20 12″ blocks to make a throw quilt. Of course, the applique in the original quilt was needle-turned and I chose machine-sewn fusible applique with batik fabrics instead. In the interest of time, I had planned to machine quilt, but once the blocks were done I realized that I would be doing the quilt a real disservice if I didn’t hand quilt it so hand quilt it I did. I quilted hours a day nearly every day until it was done. The callus is just now going away!

I said a prayer with each stitch I made. So far, her treatments are going well, but please hold her in the Light for a full recovery.

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