Here is a heartwarming story from one of our Kennel Quilt Team Members. We know you will find it very moving.
Quilting has been a passion of mine for decades and although I consider it my work, my play and my time for camaraderie, it also plays a hidden role that I don’t often mention.
You see, I made this heavy transition several years ago from Firefighter to Quilt Professional. Simply put, I went from big money and a crushed spirit to low income and an incredibly high joy factor. My point is, that for me quilting has also been a tremendous source of healing. The most difficult times drove me into my studio for hours on end where my mind cleared of the pressures as my machine hummed its tune. I was able to ease away the pain in a cocoon of creativity with the warmth of my black lab Oliver at my feet.
Brandy & Oliver
When I was asked to write this article for TQPM I never imagined how hard it would be to write those words. (sigh) Oliver passed away this past summer at 11-1/2 years old. He was our pup before we had our son Gavin. Here’s the note we shared with friends and family:
It is with very sad hearts that we announce the passing of our gentle, loving dog Oliver. He had attitude, charm, and was always at our side. He played hard and loved much and had a fun-filled adventurous life. We will miss him dearly. You were a “Good boy, Ollie!” We love you pup…
When Oliver passed on August 26, 2013 we had my in-laws as house guests which was wonderful because they were the ones who babysat Oliver if we ever went away. And it was nice to have them there for Gavin in such a sad time. It was hard to escape into my studio with visitors, but my mother-in-law is also an avid quilter, so I invited her to join me. I was preparing for a booth at a local dog-themed winery called See Ya Later Ranch (www.sylranch.com) that was having an SPCA fundraising event. With Oliver gone I decided to donate all my profits in his memory.
So we set to task cutting, piecing and quilting like mad to create a pile of adorable kennel quilts to go along with everything else I had for sale. I’ve shed many a tear on that old Bernina. The sale day was sad with Oliver missing from my side because there were hundreds of dogs attending the event, but I held it together for the day. I had this little note on the table…
In the end I had some kennel quilts left so I did an online search to find a place to donate them. That’s when I found TQPM and the Kennel Quilt Team. The more I read, the more it seemed like the perfect fit and before I knew it 7 kennel quilts were on their way to Colorado. I had put so much heart in to the quilts and they had really helped me ease my mind when I was missing Oliver most, so I wanted them to go where they could really make a difference. I’m thankful that something as simple as a quilt that has such strong healing qualities for me can be sent to a pet that needs comfort in difficult times.
We thank you, Brandy for sharing your story.
Brandy Lynn Maslowski is a quilt teacher, speaker, judge and the host of the new online radio show Canadian Quilt Talk. Brandy Lynn Designs offers quality patterns, workshops, and judging for your quilting event. Connect with Brandy Lynn today on the Explore Fibre Blog, Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest and more at her website www.brandylynndesigns.com.