My mother-in-law, Cynthia Dolinger, has been under hospice care for the past two years due to an environmentally induced blood disease. My husband and I drove to her home last weekend to be with her during her final days. On Sunday she passed from earth to Glory. As a tribute to her, I would like to share some of her needlework projects with you.
Cynthia enjoyed large cross-stitch projects. On frequent shopping trips to Lancaster, Pennsylvania she purchased stamped linen table cloths and handfuls of DMC floss. She was “into” taupe before it was popular. I have several tablecloths that she painstakingly cross-stitched.
Her love of cross-stitch extended to bed quilts. The stitches of a yellow and green king size bedspread showed so much wear after daily use over the years that she made a second one! The lines of the quilting designs were also stamped on the fabric which she dutifully hand quilted on a king size quilting frame crafted by Amish cabinetmakers.
Another lovely bed quilt features wreaths with ribbons and taupe stitching in the negative space.
The border of rosebuds is equally lovely.
Forty-two years ago, when I walked in the door as her son’s girlfriend, she expanded her needlework interests to include quilting. Quilting is a hobby we enjoyed together from shopping for fabric and searching for stunning quilt patterns, to attending quilt shows and retreats. The fabric of the Maple Leaf quilt is cotton but heavier than quilting cotton. Due to the weight of the fabric, the quilt shows minimal wear despite its forty years of age.
Cynthia found and traced a huge maple leaf for the quilting motif in alternate white squares.
Three of us worked on a Dresden Plate quilt for my sister-in-law, Doli. The wedges came as a pre-cut kit. Doli remembers sewing the Plates together. I helped with the applique, and Mom and I worked on hand quilting it. Isn’t the inclusion of the red wedge so unusual? About half of the Dresden Plates include a red polka dot wedge.
Doli loves purple and irises, so Mom cross-stitched iris blocks purchased, again, in Lancaster.
The quilt has been washed, so the machine quilting design is not readily noticeable. During the photo shoot I wondered who had quilted it since I am their longarmer of choice. Then I noticed the pineapple in the bottom left corner and the heart-shaped leaves and loops, my signature quilting design. Pineapples, a symbol of hospitality, are a favorite decorating motif in their home.
For the past two years, Cynthia has enjoyed sleeping under a quilt that I made. One block of the Log Cabin variation is pictured below. “Heaven’s Light,” published in the October/November 2018 issue of McCall’s Quick Quilts, added luminous color to the hospital bed and cheered her heart during her illness. And now, I rejoice to say that she is enjoying heaven’s light to the fullest.