Strange Quilting Request

Updated on December 01, 2008
R.C. asks from Chapel Hill, NC
14 answers

Hey there- I cannot stop thinking about this so I thought I would try to post here to see if anyone has any ideas for me. I live in Chapel Hill, NC. I am pregnant with my second son who is due Feb 25th. Two weeks ago a woman I loved dearly and had adopted as the Mother than I always wanted (she is the Mom of my best friend) passed away. As I went to the funeral to comfort and find comfort my best friend informed me that "Mom" had started a baby quilt for me when I was pregnant with my first son. As she began chemotherapy her hands hurt too much from the neuropathy to be able to quilt anymore and she was never able to finish it. She gave me a sewing bag with the started quilt all of the pieces cut and pinned together except for the edge pieces- the fabric is there but it has not yet been cut. I really need to have this quilt finished, it would mean so muxh to me. I know that I can pay to have someone complete it for me- while that is an option that I am open to I cannot stop thinking that maybe this quilt can bring me another Mother figure that perhaps could also benefit from this relationship. Is this crazy? I just cannot stop thinking that there is bound to be a loving lady out there who wouldn't mind finishing the quilt with the sort of love that Donna would have put into it if she could have completed it. Both my husband and I have Mother's that are alive but neither of us are close at all and none of us know how to quilt. So- I guess what I am getting at is that maybe someone out there knows of a woman who might be able to help me finish the quilt (all of the pieces and batting are already there and started) in exchange for some compensation and a place in our hearts. I am not sure if maybe I should post something at a local retirement home or something because I am sure there is someone out there who would love to have a happy little guy 14 months old to come visit every now and then. I just cannot stop thinking about it and couldn't help that someone might know of someone local who might benefit too. This can certainly wait until after the holidays. Thanks for listening.

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M.T.

answers from Nashville on

R.,
You brought tears to my eyes reading your request. Although I am not in NC and cannot help you with your request I felt the urgency to write. I think it is because I feel your pain. You reminded me of me. My mother is not good to me at all therefore we are not close and I have longed for a mother all of my life. I was a hairdresser and I found the perfect mother figure.... more of a grandmother figure....and I was very close to this woman and she passed away and it has been about 3 or 4 yrs now and I still think of her very very often. I miss her terribly.
When I was a hairdresser I had someone ask me if I wanted to go to the assisted living home and do hair. I did and there are so many people there without family that are very capable of sewing and quilting and who do that to take up their time. I am sure that you would find a wonderful person in an assisted living home that would be glad to do that for you and would love a visit and somewhere to go home to for Thanksgiving and Xmas and a few other holidays. I saw some ladies that never went anywhere because they had no children. It was sad. I saw others adopt them and take them home for holidays. Also, when I lived in another state for a while, there was woman next door that lived with her son and I "babysat" her during the day. She became like a grandmother to me and we use to quilt pieces during the day.
You could put an add in the paper or start asking people at church or at daycare who does quilt work or ask about an older person that needs a family. I am sure you will find someone somewhere. I just wanted to say that I think that you have a wonderful heart..... it sure seems to be in the right place and I think that your gesture is more than wonderful as to what you are teaching your children.
Good luck in finding the right person. I wish you well.

3 moms found this helpful
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A.B.

answers from Charlotte on

Hi R.,
Your post touched my heart, and I thank you for that. I'm very sorry for your loss. I find your thinking (about how finding another quilter could benefit you both from the heart) to be hopeful and refreshing, and I know that something great will come of it.

My 83 yr old mother has quilted for years, and she met many wonderful people through taking quilting "classes" (it really became more of a social thing as they were all so talented) through the local community college. Had I not recently moved, I'd invite you to go just so you could meet these kind folks.

I know there will be others out there who, even if arthritis bothers their hands and they end up teaching you to quilt as you share coffee and stories, will help you to complete the quilt of memories Donna started for you.

Just in case you're interested: There's a memorial service tonight in Raleigh. http://www.newsobserver.com/news/story/1292550.html

and another one in Chapel Hill on 12/10. http://www.unc.edu/news/archives/dec00/hospice120500.htm

Both of these would also be able to connect you to others coping with grieving during the holidays, and with possible support groups should you need them. You never know where you might find your new adopted "quilting mother"!

My thoughts are with you, and best of luck with the birth of your new baby.

2 moms found this helpful
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A.T.

answers from Wilmington on

Like others have suggested, a quilter's guild is a good choice. Also you may want to look at either the Binky Patrols or Project Linus ladies. I realize you want to keep the quilt and not donate it, but many of these ladies are experienced quilters and might be able to help you out.
Just google the group names and locators should come available. I am in Wilmington, NC and we have both in our area. Good luck!

2 moms found this helpful
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L.L.

answers from Nashville on

R.,

I think you might find what you are looking for at a local retirement home. You might start by taking your little boy to visit (make sure this is allowed as some have very tight rules about non-relative visitors for the residents safety). Another option is to see if there is a local quilting club. My grandmother belonged to a Quilters Club that she went to once a week. I think I would be cautious about indicating that you want to "adopt" a mom and maybe just start out looking for someone to finish the quilt for you.

My mother passed away 6 years ago, 1 year later my dad moved his office to the 1st floor of a retirement community. My kids were there quite frequently because I worked for my dad and it was a safe place for them to wander while I did a few things here and there for him. They adopted a lady there that has become a grandma to all of us and means the world to me. I wish you the best in your hunt for a quilter/adopt-a-mom.

1 mom found this helpful
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R.U.

answers from Clarksville on

send this same letter to your local paper and ask for it to be put in the letters to the editor page. that way you might find someone right there in your town to connect with. good luck. R. uhls

1 mom found this helpful
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R.G.

answers from Louisville on

First I would like to extend my condolences to you and your friend on your shared loss. This finished quilt will be such a wonderful connection to your dear departed friend and may be the perfect connection to a new friend as well.

Now. Hmm... where to go to find a mother ... (Wow! That almost sounds like a book doesn't it? "Where Can I Find a Mother?" by Rachel C. available in hardback. Coming out in paperback on January 1, 2009. Reserve your copy now! ...) Okay, enough nonsense.

If you are a member of a church or social organization, put feelers out there. Put a request in the church bulletin or group newsletter. When you get responses from people, make it clear that you are "interviewing" to find just the right person, who can imbue the blanket with the same love and respect your deceased "2nd hand mom" offered. You don't need to specifically mention you are looking for a surrogate mom but you do want to be honest about wanting someone you can feel comfortable with and to whom you feel a certain connection.

You might also want to check at any local quilters guilds. Most larger communities have one nearby. You may need to call around to quilting shops (of which there are several in your area) to locate one.

1 mom found this helpful
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E.T.

answers from Memphis on

Hi R.,
I would look into some local churches. My mother-in-law quilted all the time and she was in a quilting group at her church. She took turns making quilts for all of our family members and when she unexpectedly passed away 4 years ago she was in the middle of a quilt for my teenage niece. My father-in-law contacted a friend from the quilting group and she was more than happy to complete the quilt and my niece was ecstatic to receive it as a Christmas gift that year. Hope you find someone to help with your quilt and to help you through this difficult time.

1 mom found this helpful
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A.B.

answers from Nashville on

I live in Murfreesboro TN and piece quilts. Making baby quilts is one of my favorite hobbies. If you do not find someone closer to you to finish the quilt for you, I will be glad to do so. BTW....I have 14 grandchildren. When I had only 11, I made all of them a quilt for Christmas that year. You can contact me at [email protected]____.com
I am very sorry for your loss and know that this quilt will become not only a gift for your child but a warm memory for you as well.
I know I am too far away to be the surrogate mother you are looking for but I would be able to e-mail, text, and occasionally talk by phone if that would help you. A person can never have too many friends. I am not an expert quilter but I do enjoy it and would put love into it. I do mine by machine...not by hand.

1 mom found this helpful
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C.R.

answers from Raleigh on

Hi R.! I live right next door in Durham, on the border of CH. Unfortunately, I'm not the quilting person you're looking for, but if I were in your situation I would look for the nearest quilting shop. If you can't find one, check in with the craft stores. In fact, there is a women's craft co-op in CH that has beautiful quilted pieces for sale. You could find out who made them, and then she could point you to the quilters in the area. I'm sorry I can't think of the shopping center name, but it's in between Fordham and Franklin...(I just moved here from CA) if you're coming from Durham it's before Whole Foods. There is a "SteinMart" and Rite Aid and a new "stainless Steel" Starbucks. The store is on the same side as Rite Aid and near a shoe store. I hope this helps! C.

1 mom found this helpful
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E.W.

answers from Chattanooga on

R.,

First of all, I am sorry for your loss. Nothing hurts worse than to lose someone close to you like that, especially someone who was your mother figure.

Do you go to church? Maybe someone at your church could do that? Or you could try a retirement home, but keep in mind a lot of times a retirenment home sometimes has poeple that really can't take care of themselves much anymore. I wish I had more suggestions for you, but I think your church might be your best place at this point.

E.

1 mom found this helpful
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M.S.

answers from Memphis on

I am so sorry for your loss. You might check with some fabric shops to see if they know of a quilting group, or a church or seniors group. I know there is one that meets at my church but I am not near NC. Good Luck.

1 mom found this helpful
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M.W.

answers from Fayetteville on

first of all I would like to extend my condolensces. If you are still looking for someone to finish your quilt, check out your local quilt guild. There are so many members who would be willing to help you out and you will find that many of them are very warm and inviting. Instead of just one, you may receive many new Maternal role models. I did a quick search for you and found this guild which may be the most local for you.

Durham-Orange Quilters' Guild, PO Box 51492, Durham, NC 27717. Meetings are held at the Church of the Reconciliation, Elliott Road, Chapel Hill, NC. For additional information, contact Merrilie Brown at ###-###-#### or [email protected]____.com

If this does not help, I used to belong to my local quilt guild in Fayetteville, NC and know first hand that it is filled with many hospitable and charitable members who would love most likely provide a group effort to help you out. Their information is:

Tarheel Quilters Guild, P O Box 36253, Fayetteville, NC 28303. Meetings are held at Westminster Presbyterian Church, 2505 Village Dr Fayetteville, NC 28303. For additional information write guild or contact Annette Hester at [email protected]____.com

BTW: I am not sure if the contact info is up to date on either of these. If not, look up your local quilt shop and ask them there.

I do hope this helps. If you need any more help, feel free to contact me directly. Although I do not hand quilt (I am a machine quilter only), I do know of hand quilters from my guild and I could ask them for you.

1 mom found this helpful
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E.V.

answers from Asheville on

Hi R.,

What a touching story.

I have a friend who is a quilter, she's very good and creative. She makes custom made quilts, lives in Asheville, NC - here's her website http://QuiltBowTik.com (she just got this website launched two days ago and is still adding content to it).

I hope this helps and my best wishes,
E.

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P.B.

answers from Raleigh on

Hey R.,

If you are looking local I would try Bernia World of Sewing.

###-###-####
6013 Glenwood Ave
Raleigh, NC 27612
berninaworldofsewing.com

It is pretty much just a Quilters Shop. I quilt a little myself but am not able to offer what you need at this time, tho it is hard not too! ; )

I hope you find what you need!

P.

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