Wednesday, May 19, 2010

A Quilt for Dana

It is at times such as this one that I am not so sure that being a quilter is my calling.  I always rise to the occasion and respond appropriately, but it really puts me through a stressful time.  I try to post only about quilt-related things, but this post is about more than quilting and it is a little longer than I what I usually contribute.

A friend and co-worker has been diagnosed with a rare form of cancer and her prognosis is not good.  While I have family (my Mom) members and friends who are cancer survivors, this situation with Dana is difficult for me.  I have worked with her for 7 years.  She is a conservation attorney and while not measuring at more than 5 ft in height and probably not weighing more than 100 lbs., I have witnessed her go up against the badest of the badest in the industry and win.  She is a strong woman and her illness brought forward a strength so formidable that she vows to keep working until...

A group in the office decided to make a comfort quilt for Dana.  I was asked to participate, because I am the resident quilter and Dana's friend.  Then several non-quilter staff members came to me to ask for my assistance because they wanted to be a part of Dana's quilt and to let her know how much we all care.  We are contributing blocks but some wanted specific designs.  One person came to me with fabric only with no other requirements than to add any ocean critter that I wanted to the block.  Another staff person wanted something pretty and pink with flowers (oh boy!).  Still another wanted a block showing sea lions because she and Dana have "a thing" for sea lions.  I struggled with what I would do.  I didn't want to do another cancer ribbon or ocean critter.  I wanted to do something that would make Dana laugh out loud (she has a wicked sense of humor), so off I went to my stash.  After searching through every bin and bag, I found what I wanted -- Laurel Burch's Ocean Songs.  I had completely forgotten about this fabric and the piece with the mermaids rang the bell.

What immediately came to mind was the story of Yemaya, the goddess of the ocean.  While Yemaya's story is a myth, the legend tells the story of a goddess and mermaid who protects the ocean and its creatures.  According to the legend, Yemaya's first gift to humans was a sea shell in which her voice could always be heard.  To this day, we honor Yemaya when we hold a shell to our ear in order to hear her voice, the ocean.

Not only has Dana been a protector of our ocean and its inhabitants, her voice will be remembered forever through her litigation and for her contributions to our Earth.  It is a simple block.  It will make Dana smile because she will be the first to tell you that she is no goddess, but that one can dream.  And as far as being a mermaid...don't we all wish...
Dana's Block


Piece by Piece said...

Dana's block is beautiful, I am sure she will
love the quilt.


Quiltluver said...

That looks like the perfect fabric. She will love it. Sending up prayers for her. Karen