Bereavement Quilt - Tree of Life

“Tree of Life” Bereavement Quilt

I recently made a series of quilts for a mother who lost her daughter to cancer. Katie her daughter had struggled with tumors all her life and eventually the cancer won, when she was only in her thirties.  Her mother wanted a quilt for her young granddaughter, made from Katie’s clothes, which I made. Eventually I also made one for the mother.  The quilt above is the one I made for the mother. Although Katie had to struggle with her disease throughout her life, she grew into an accomplished and beautiful woman, who embraced life and lived it to the fullest. Among other things, she became a world-class chef, owning her own business and eventually working with Cirque de Soleil as a chef.  Her mother wanted the quilts made from the classy chef outfits she owned – mostly black or white jackets – with various black, white and/or gray pants.  As the Tree of Life was a favorite of Katie’s (she had a “Tree of Life” tattoo), this was the theme chosen by the mother.

Detail of Bereavement Quilt

Detail of “Tree of Life” Bereavement Quilt

She also requested the three red cranes flying in front of the moon.

Detail of "Tree of Life" Bereavement Quilt

Detail of “Tree of Life” Bereavement Quilt

The leaves of the tree were made from the porous lining of some of the chef outfits.  They were made of very thin black polyester, and allowed for some ventilation through the tiny holes. I backed them with white fabric so they would show up against the black sky – and was very pleased with the effect they made.

Bereavement Quilt Detail

Detail 3 of “Tree of Life” Bereavement Quilt

The “ground” in back of the roots was made from Katie’s one tan jacket.

"Tree of Life" Bereavement Quilt

“Tree of Life” Bereavement Quilt

My client was very happy with her quilt, as was I.  I can’t think when I’ve enjoyed making a quilt more.  This one clicked from the very beginning, something quilts rarely do.