My first large finish of the year is dedicated to an old friend of mine that recently got diagnosed with Metastatic Melanoma in his Brain and Spine. He has been in and out of the hospital for a few months now while the doctors try to do what they can to combat this cancer. In the meantime, my dear old friend Mike has been using his faith and good-hearted nature to spread blessings to others through his words and his actions.
He is a martial arts instructor and had to shut down his studio due to this diagnosis. A friend of his requested to see his logo for a fundraiser that he was going to put on for him and that logo is what spurred me to grab one of my Work-in-Progress quilts and finish it up for Mike and his family.
I had the 2013 Sugar Block Club top all done and hanging in my sewing room. It is a beauty of black background with red and white accents. It was absolutely perfect for this incredibly special project.
Mike and I go back a long way. Our relationship has had it’s ups and downs but has always stayed pretty solid with a mutual love and respect no matter the separate directions that our lives took. It hits me hard that this wonderful person has been diagnosed with such a horrible disease. He is too young and too strong, both physically and spiritually, to have to suffer through this. Both of the strengths I just mentioned are what is getting him through this difficult time in his life. I feel that I need to do anything I can to help him and his family. I finished this quilt so that they may find comfort in it physically or be able to benefit financially by auctioning it in a fundraiser of some sort. That decision is up to them and what they feel they need to do.
Now – you’re here to hear about the quilt so here goes:
The top was completed in early 2014 but put away as I didn’t know how I wanted to quilt it or what I was going to do with it. Once I saw that logo I knew I had to incorporate it into the backing somehow. I designed a Karate Belt paper pieced pattern by taking a photo and tracing around the edges of the belt.
The back was pieced and sashed by basically using the size of my ruler to determine the size of the blocks (14 1/2 in.). I didn’t want it completely symmetrical so I offset them vertically and randomly placed the 2 colors. I chose the white and red floral because I didn’t want the quilt to be all black and dark. I think it adds just the right amount of contrast. The backing came out so cool that it is almost reversible.
I sashed it with the same prints and added some random other blacks as well. I bound it with a scrappy black and white binding strip made from more of the black print and the white and red floral.
During this process i discovered a very cool little trick to keep my binding contained while I was sewing it on the back of the quilt. I lifted up my extension table and put the foot in the middle of the the strip roll-up.
Mike started an organization named Kick Like Mike whose mission is this:
At Kick Like Mike, we strive to improve life for those supporting their loved ones in their battle against Cancer. We work with various restaurants to provide meals for families supporting their loved ones while they are hospitalized during their cancer treatments. We also work with various service providers to help maintain the homes of cancer patients so their families can spend their time where it is needed most, at the side of their loved one. Where there are people in need, we’ll be there lending a hand, a smile, and an encouraging word.
You can support his cause, Kick Like Mike, by clicking on the button on my sidebar or here. If you would like to know more about his personal story then please visit his personal page here and help Mike ‘Kick Cancer’s Butt!”