Saturday, 10 July 2010

A very special quilt: Part 1

I've debated long and hard about what to write about this quilt. Do I just tell you about its assembly from a sewing perspective and leave it at that? Or, do I tell you the backstory of how it came to be? Some of you already know the story, but most do not. Here goes...

In late March, my colleagues, Randy and Ingrid Friesen, unexpectedly lost their 17-year-old son Chris. By all accounts, he was a happy, healthy, and much loved young man. His life and his passing have touch the lives of so many people...myself included.

Though I never had the opportunity to meet Chris, I immediately felt I wanted to do something for Randy and his family. I think this is the phenomena that leads to so many casseroles being made and delivered to families who've lost a loved one...but I digress. Within the first couple of weeks, I came up with the idea to create a quilt out of Chris' clothes and I gotta be honest, it took all of my courage to email the suggestion to Randy. I got even more nervous when he and Ingrid accepted the offer.

We met just once to discuss the items they'd chosen; a mixture of Chris' lacrosse jerseys, tournament t-shirts, favorite t-shirts and a few special items from family photo shoots and other events. The selection also included several jerseys from Chris' teammates who'd surrendered their jerseys following the funeral service (didn't I tell you this guy was loved?) Not trusting my memory, I used masking tape to write notes on some of the items so I'd be sure to handle each one appropriately in the design of the quilt.

Thank goodness for those notes because the boxes of clothes wound up sitting in my bedroom for weeks before I had the time to get started, but once I did, the whole thing came together in less than two weeks. I have seriously never had a quilt, or any sewing project for that matter, come together as easily as this one did.

This morning I had the pleasure of surprising Randy in his office with the finished quilt. His response was very touching and he politely listened while I blathered on about what was what and how to care for it (blathering is what I do when I'm nervous). I hope that he and Ingrid have found some time this evening to sit down and enjoy the quilt together.

Thanks to many of my colleagues who knew I was working on this project and offered words of encouragement. Thanks to The Dear Sweet Husband for helping me free up some time to dedicate to this project. And a special thanks to Randy and Ingrid for trusting me with such precious material.

For the crafty folk who read this blog, the sewing details follow in a separate post.

If you haven't seen it already, please check out Randy's response to the quilt. Be sure to have some tissue on hand because it's a wee bit of a tear jerker. He gave me a heads up that it was going to take him a few days to write the post, and when you read it, you'll know why it took time.


  1. Kudos to you for taking on such a challenging project and doing such a wonderful job.

  2. Kim - what an amazing gift you gave them. And a very brave challenge on your part. Good for you!

  3. what a wonderful way to bring so many happy memories together. you did an amazing job with it kim!

  4. Cynthia van Ginkel11 July 2010 at 17:22


  5. what a thoughtful idea kim. i'm sure chris' parents will treasure this quilt forever.

  6. Great Great job Kim!!!! When you showed me the sketch of your concept I knew that you were going to do such a great job!!!!

    cheers - elena

  7. Thank you all for such lovely comments. Circumstances aside, this project has been such a positive experience. I am so honoured to have been able to do this for the Friesen family.

  8. Wonderful job on something that can be cherished forever ... Well done :D

  9. Kim - I am Randy's sister, Cathy and I just want to thank you for what you have done. The quilt is remarkable and is such a beautiful, thoughtful, compassionate and amazing gift. I truly appreciate your heart in this - Cathy

  10. ^Trina & Cathty - thank you both for your thoughtful comments.


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