This has been a very unusual summer on our homestead. We are still getting settled into our fixer-upper house and busily working on garden plans. But perhaps the most important part of this summer was receiving the devastating news that my mom’s breast cancer has spread to her brain. In an instant, my image of the future changed forever.


My mom’s quilting room (yes, she has a room entirely devoted to her craft!)

She was diagnosed last fall with an aggressive form of breast cancer. She went through chemo for several months, but after completing treatment tumors were discovered covering her brain – just a month before her retirement. Her doctors estimate she has about six to nine months with us. It could be more or less, so I didn’t want to waste any precious time while she’s clear of mind.


My “concept” fabric for the quilt. I chose this one first, then picked additional fabrics to match

I took the month of July off from work, which is in part why posts have been spotty lately. Highlights of our time together include visiting the Portland Chinese Garden, long talks in her peaceful backyard and working on a quilt together.


I’m in love with each and every one on this stack!

She has long been an avid quilter – gracing our home with lovely homespun gifts like bedspreads, table runners and all kinds of treasures. The bedspread she made for Jay and me as a wedding gift is pictured in this previous post.


Laying out fabrics and cutting strips, then squares

I was delighted when she offered to make a quilt with me, to pass along her knowledge. I started by picking a simple quilt pattern and choosing a concept fabric – the one I’ll use the most of in this quilt. I picked about a dozen more fabrics to match that concept fabric. They are all comforting colors like calm greys, dark purples and warm yellows.


Sewing each square together in a random order. These sewn together pieces will come together to make the big quilt, with my concept fabric as the thick border and backing.

It’s my first time sewing, so the lines might not be perfectly straight when all is said and done. But there’s something so wonderful about the memories we’ve made over this quilt. Lots of laughter and lots of tears and, most of all, lots of love.


Me, my momma and my little brother Mikey taking a “selfie” during an afternoon visit

I’ll share the final quilt with you when it’s finished, but I’m in no hurry. I love having such a great excuse to spend time together. So take a little lesson away from this post: try not to waste a day with those you love. Make memories and say what you need to say. There’s no time like the present.

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Written by Renee Wilkinson