In Honor Of

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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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