The Story of a Survivor

This is a story about a friend, and a quilt.  It all started with a package of pink and green 5″ squares that I picked up from a local quilt store.  In the package were several squares of fabric with the pink breast cancer ribbon.  As soon as I saw that pink ribbon I knew I wanted to make a friend, a breast cancer survivor, a quilt.   This friend has been a breast cancer survivor for 6-7 years now.  And although I didn’t know her at the point in her life that she was battling this horrible disease, she truly is the definition of a survivor.  To say that her journey of breast cancer was probably the lowest point in her life is an understatement.  But she overcame and she beat cancer’s butt!  More than that though, she is thankful for the journey and for where it took her.  She uses her past experiences to be an ‘angel’ to others taking the same path, and she has walked over 180 miles to raise money for cancer research.  So, in celebration of life, in celebration of her journey, and to honor her for her continued fight against cancer, I felt that using my talents to make her a quilt was a small way that I could recognize and support her.

from her facebook page

from her facebook page

The two small packages of squares that I purchased were barely enough for a baby quilt, so I raided my stash and scrap bin — turns out I have quite a bit of pink and green fabric — and found enough matching fabric to make a lap quilt.  A total of 154 5″ squares to be exact


I had the top pieced in fairly short order and then it sat for almost 4 months.  My favorite parts of quilting are the designing, picking out the fabrics, and piecing the top.  I find so much satisfaction in the creative process of it all.  Sandwiching the quilt and actually quilting it all together is a drudgery to me.  Might I feel different if I had a long arm?  Maybe.  But my brain doesn’t find that part as stimulating, and I therefore just don’t enjoy it as much.  But it has to be done.  So, when I went to the beach for a weekend in November with my guild for a retreat, I thought that would be the perfect project to take with me, and hopefully complete before the weekend was over.

And, I am happy to report that I did finish it.  It took the entire weekend, but it was quilted and bound before I left.   I was able to take pictures of it before I left the coastal region.  It was such a beautiful day and the sunshine really brought out the bright colors. I love it!  It finished at approximately 55″ x 70″.



The back was pieced with even more of the same pinks and greens.


And she loved it too!  Dear friend, may you continue on your journey of inspiring others!


Linking up with Finish it Friday at Crazy Mom Quilts, Link a Finish Friday at Richard and Tanya, and Can I Get a Whoop Whoop at Confessions of a Fabric Addict.

13 thoughts on “The Story of a Survivor

  1. Beautiful quilt and a heart-warming story. Love the pinks and greens.
    I am with you – love the designing and piecing process, but not so much the quilting. Have several pieced tops waiting to be quilted.

  2. This turned out so lovely. I know what you mean about not loving the quilting part though I am better at doing them now but not all that confident. But, looking at this quilt I was wondering if it could have been just squares sewn together then sandwiched and then putting like bias tape for the lattice down through all layers as the quilting base. That would cut down on dreading the quilting part I would think and it would go together rather quickly. Well no matter how you do it It is beautiful.

    • Thank you. I didn’t think about bias tape, but that certainly would have worked. I would have had to have more 5″ square to make the quilt large enough, but it certainly would have taken the stress out of slicing through the quilt top, insert the white strip, and then sewing it all back together again matching the seams. Someone else has also asked how this was done, so I plan to put a tutorial together and post it this week.

    • I saw a similar quilt on Aspen Hill but did not follow her tutorial. To me, her method of inserting the white fabric strips individually into each 5″ square would have been too time consuming. So instead, I sewed all the 5″ squares together. Then I carefully (and prayerfully) cut all the vertical lines 3/4″ from the seam and inserted long white strips that were 1-1/2″ wide. I sewed all that back together, and then very carefully (and prayerfully) again, I cut all the horizontal lines 3/4 inches from the seam, and inserted a 1-1/2″ strip of white. I realize this might be confusing and you’re not the only one that has asked. I’ll write up a tutorial and post it this week sometime. I think that will make it much clearer.

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