In Honor Of


I hadn't planned on writing today until later tonight. Having the day off I was focused on finishing two quilting projects but after reading several posts on the CyberQuilters list about Passage Quilts I wanted to share something with you.

They had a link to a newspaper article that appeared in a paper in Illinois. It was very interesting.

On Monday I had deleted the note I started on July 20th about this special quilt but I think I was wrong in doing that, just as I had been wrong when I hesitated making the quilt I'm going to show you.

Daddy\'s Funeral Quilt
The quilt you see is the one I made for my Daddy when he passed away on July 20, 2001. My brother had been suggesting I make a funeral quilt for him for nearly two years but for some reason I couldn't wrap my mind around the idea. I finally relented and started the quilt on June 2nd of 2001 which was Dad's 90th birthday. The design for the quilt came to me all at once and flowed like a river to near perfection. I used Michael Miller Krystals for the fabrics. The Star of Bethlehem was chosen because it was Daddy's favorite quilt pattern.

Quilt Label
It contains six colors, one for my Mother and one for each of us five children. Each color represents a Bible passage based on the hymn This is My Father's World which was the opening hymn of Dad's radio show during the 1940s.

  • Yellow- The Light of the World (John 1)
  • Purple- Fruits of the Holy Spirit (Phil. 1)
  • Red- Jesus blood shed for us (John 3:16)
  • Blue- Heaven (Gen. 1)
  • Green- Earth (Gen. 1)
  • Black- Death (Psalm 23)

I chose a musical print fabric for the backing.

Label detail
Daddy passed away just as I was ready to start the quilting. A very special friend quilted and bound the quilt in one day so it would be ready to use at visitation time.
I had also made a miniature version of the quilt about 14" square that I hand quilted. It was delicately folded and placed in Daddy's hands for all eternity.

During his memorial service, the quilt was draped over the casket as the funeral pall and the sun coming down through the windows in the ceiling of the church shone directly on the center of the star and it just glowed. I knew then that making the quilt had been the right thing to do. Every year the quilt comes out of the trunk on Dad's birthday in June and stays out until the end of July for all of us to use.

Funeral palls are traditionally a black or white piece of fabric with Christian symbols embroidered. I have a small antique pall made of white cotton with black embroidery. It has a beautiful angel, flowers and a verse in what I think is German. I haven't been able translate it completely. Maybe I can post a picture of it and one of you will know what it says.

Having spent the last 10 years with parents in care facilities I think the idea of Passage quilts is wonderful. I'm going to contact the chaplin at Pilgrim Manor where my Mom is being cared for and see what their procedure is when a person passes away. They have different areas with different care levels so 4 or 5 quilts might be needed.

I'll give this a little more thought as I get back to those projects I wanted to finish today and will share the patterns I design for my Passage quilts.

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9 Responses to “In Honor Of”

  1. Caron July 23, 2008 at 3:47 pm #

    Gayle, what a beautiful idea, and a stunning quilt. Your father would have been so proud of your work on the quilt. Thanks for sharing it – and your story with us.

  2. Andee in AZ July 23, 2008 at 7:42 pm #

    What a beautiful quilt and story. I hope when it is my time there is a quilt around my casket and in my arms (even though I may have to make it myself). The story and the quilt will be passed down and your father and you all will be talked about and remembered fondly for ages. Thanks for sharing!

  3. Phyllis July 24, 2008 at 7:07 am #

    What a beautiful trubute to your beloved father. He was a very lucky man to have such a loving family, and his family was lucky to have had him in their lives, and to be able to share beautiful memories. My very best wishes for your Mother. I think the Passage Quilt is a wonderful thing.

  4. Betty C July 25, 2008 at 2:16 pm #

    The passage quilt you made for your father is perfect and perfectly awsome. You and your family are blessed with the inspiration that flows through you. And the miniature version placed in his hands was a very nice idea. Thank you for sharing the pictures and story.
    Betty C

  5. Debra Anger July 26, 2008 at 12:33 pm #

    I can only repeat what Phyllis has to say… we are lucky enough that you have shared this thoughtfulness with us. Deb

  6. Charlsey Holler July 28, 2008 at 7:49 am #


    Thank you for sharing the tribute quilt to your father. It is exceptional and the sentiments and symbolism are so tender.

    I was visiting friends in Traverse City (actually 30 minutes outside of the city). They were not aware of Moomers Ice Cream as they live 8 months in Texas and 4 months in Michigan but we found a place nearby that had it. They all know about Moomer’s now! It was delicious. I did share with them how quilter’s have contributed to their success and #1 ranking in the world of ice cream thanks to you.

    I am looking forward to visiting again next summer and hopefully can stay longer. Just wish I would have known the name of your store so I could have met you in person.


  7. Debbie kelly August 9, 2008 at 1:02 pm #

    Gayle ,
    What a wonderful tribute for your Father .I know how close I was to mine .I know what a hole it leaves in your heart and soul.It’s just never the same after a parent dies. He would be proud of all your sharing and caring that has been felt the world around, from all you give.

    The passage quilts is a grand idea.I had never thought of doing that .A tender way of remebrance.

    I only wish I had been doing more quilting in 1997 when my father passed.I did managed to make a amish coverlet for him to keep warm with before he died so this all comes back to me after reading about you and what you have done for him. Thanks gain for your sharing with us
    Sincerely Debbie Kelly

  8. Sandi Bathke February 24, 2016 at 2:07 pm #

    This Is a wonderful gift that you created for your father. I work at a full retirement community and we have a Nursing home, assisted living, Home Health & Hospice. We had a volunteer make a beautiful funeral pall for our Hospice. We are looking at having another one made for our new assisted living. Would you be willing to share your pattern, I can’t find the sizes for a standard one?

    Thank You,


  1. Just Takes 2™ Quilt – August 1 Quilt Blocks | Sentimental Stitches - August 1, 2012

    […] so I’m happy. I’ve made more than a few Lone Star quilts including one that was my Daddy’s funeral pall and I’ll share what I’ve learned along the […]

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