Friday, September 28, 2012

"Tribute to a Hometown Hero" Show & Tell at Local Guild

My quilt "Tribute to a Hometown Hero" has been seen by quite a few folks but before I gave it to Lowell I wanted to share it with my quilting friends at my guild meeting. I belong to Village Quilters Guild in Loudon, TN. and we meet the 2nd Friday of each month. Our guild is very active with 280+ members. Each month time is set aside for "Show & Tell" and I was pretty nervous about showing my quilt. Little did I know but my friend, Gail Pearson had told President Jackie Trombly about it.

Next thing I know Jackie starts talking about my quilt. She  begins by refreshing the story behind the quilt as alot of the women remember the events that cool Fall week concerning this young Marines death and how it  affected everyone whether you knew him or not. She also spoke of the State Trooper's accident and then I was asked to come forward with my quilt. By now I wasn't sure my feet knew how to walk and prayed I could speak. As I handed my quilt to the ladies who would hold it up I heard a gasp. I turned around to look at the quilt and for the first time I saw it from a distance. I told them how I had known Frankie's parents and the struggle in life they had. How Frankie had come into Lowell's life by giving him a ride home. Frankie was 12 when he decided he wanted to stay with and Lowell. I knew Lowell's grief was beyond belief and I wanted to do something special for him. I asked Lowell to gather some of Frankie's t-shirts and I would make a t-shirt quilt for him.
It took me several months to figure out what I was going to do but once I started it took on it's own life. The signatures were from his fellow Marines that Frankie had served with. I found a Marine Corp pillow panel, American Flag and Marine Corp fabric to use. As I am talking about Lowell's accident and how I hoped this quilt would help in his healing process I could feel tears begin to swell in my eyes. Oh no, not now!
"Tribute to a Hometown Hero" is a very special quilt and means alot to me as my hubby was in the USAF when we got married.  Now that he is retired and rides with the Patriot Guard I will always have a special place in my heart for those who have served in the past and serve now to protect our freedoms. When I finished talking I was in disbelief as everyone in attendance were on their feet applauding. Now the tears were streaming down my cheeks and all I could say was Thank You.
During our break they asked if I could lay the quilt out for everyone to see. I told them not to look close as I am new at quilting with my Long-arm machine.  After the meeting so many ladies came by with such kind words. I never dreamed it would effect people the way it had.  After it's visit I knew it had a healing strength sewn in it along with lots of love and prayers from anyone who saw it.

Patricia Reagan Swatzell
August 10, 2012

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