After returning from Cape Horn, I took all the fabric I had collected throughout the western hemisphere and made a presentation at the Capitol City Quilt Guild in Lansing, Michigan about my adventure. By the conclusion of my presentation, women volunteered to work with me using the fabrics and making quilts to tell the story of the Two Continent Canoe Expedition. Barb, Enola, Gail, Mary, Jan, Irene, Eda, Jane, Daisey, Jean, Pepper, Carol, and others worked weekly for years making three quilts to tell the story of paddling 21,000 miles. When the three quilts were finished, the women continued meeting and quilting together. When I married Joe they attended our wedding and made a wedding quilt for us. When I got cancer, they worked with Lisa and Andrea to make and send a prayer quilt. On the back of the quilt is a patch with these words; "This quilt was made for Valerie who brought us together and showed us the value of dreaming dreams and having the courage to make them come true. Every seam was stitched with strength, every knot was tied with prayers, and every edge was bound with hugs and love. OXOXOXOXOXOXOXOXOXOXOX....."
The quilt hung on the door of my room at the University of Washington Hospital. At the Pete Gross House, the quilt padded the head board of my single bed. In the dark of the night this past week, I was over come by sadness. I pulled the quilt over me and drew it close.
11 months ago