Friday, August 27, 2010

Where Bluebirds Fly - a completed story

So, it's finally happened. Yes, the moment many of you and I have been waiting for has arrived. I got my act together and worked and worked and worked and then worked some more... and now I have a beautiful doll quilt. I started dreaming about this quilt long before I even knew that I would be part of the Doll Quilt Swap. I wasn't certain if I would get into the swap and I wasn't certain what kind of partner I would have.

Well...my partner said that I could make what I wanted to...but I'm not sure that this is what she expected! LOL. I was so happy to have the creative freedom to make the quilt that I needed to make. That's right..needed.


Where Bluebirds Fly



This quilt has a fairly obvious reference to the Wizard of Oz, but I wasn't just trying to make a story quilt. At least not that story. This quilt is about the story of my life for the last several years and my husband's and my attempts to have children.


Where Bluebirds Fly 2



We knew that we wanted to have children when we were dating. But thought that we might wait one or two years...I was fairly young and we wanted to enjoy our time together alone for a bit. And we did. We took lovely trips and enjoyed our very long honeymoon stage! But it became clearer and clearer that we would like to try to start a family.



Where Bluebirds Fly - dark side 2



But unfortunately for us, that was not a simple task. What we thought would be effortless turned into years of study, research, surgeries, a miscarriage, more surgery, fertility treatments, prayer, prayer and more prayer. All the while we saw families growing all around us.



Where Bluebirds Fly - witch, house and cat detail




We knew that God wanted us to have children and for me to conceive, but the years of waiting were extremely difficult as all the things that accompany being a married couple without children in a world focused on married couples with children. It became difficult to maintain hope when month after month, year after year, we still had the same struggle and felt little control.



Where Bluebirds Fly - tornado detail



And then it happened, on a miraculous Easter Morning I discovered that I was pregnant.



Where Bluebirds Fly - Colored Side



We were in a happy but cautious daze for months. I unfortunately get extremely ill when pregnant and by the end of the first trimester I had already lost 15 lbs. I couldn't get off my couch to sew!!! :( But that couldn't take away our joy.




Where Bluebirds Fly - sky quilting detail




Our baby girl was due December 21st and I was convinced she would be born on Christmas since we had found out about her on Easter. But she proved her independence early by thankfully coming early! She still was our best Christmas present though!


Where Bluebirds Fly - pond detail




The hardship didn't end with her arrival for me, but we were blessed with an enormous amount of care from family and friends for months afterwards. And Caitlyn has certainly turned out to be an angel baby. Sweet in every way and thankfully allowing her parents to get a decent amount of sleep.




Where Bluebirds Fly - tree detail




She is the greatest joy in our life and is truly a miracle. We tell everyone that we waited so long for her because God was working hard on making her so precious.




Where Bluebirds Fly - Back




So this quilt is a representation of our journey. We were on the dark side with that rainbow just barely glimmering above to give us hope. But since Caitlyn joined our life, we are living in the colored side. Every day is magical, seriously. We are so blessed to have her and she has brought color and joy to our life.



Where Bluebirds Fly - Back tornado detail




When we were waiting for our precious arrival, there was a song that always made us smile. It always made us peaceful and left us happy. That song is Israel Kamakawiwo'ole's Somewhere Over The Rainbow / What A Wonderful World. I'm sure that you've heard it...movies love to use it as a finale song! Well..that is our song. My husband even had a great moment in the hospital when I was (finally!) getting some sleep and brand new Caitlyn was sleeping in my arms. He was video taping and realized that in the background was this song playing on our ipod. He couldn't have planned the moment better. It was the realization of a dream. The reminder that God fulfills his promises in ways that we can't imagine.




Where Bluebirds Fly - bluebird detail




And so a quilt idea was born as well. "Where Bluebirds Fly" represents this journey. So many of you have asked me how I could possibly give this quilt away after all the work it took. But the reality is that I don't need this quilt because I am living it. I am in the magical world. I spend every day with this sweet girl.



Caitlyn and I




Where Bluebirds Fly  finished




91 comments:

  1. Angela, what a beautiful and touching story. Your daughter is such a beautiful blessing. And of course, your quilt is wonderful too. Thank you for sharing your inspiration.

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  2. Such a wonderful story Angela - and the qquilt is so beautiful. I don't know how you can give it up...and I hum that song every time I see this quilt...his version is so great isn't it?!

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  3. What a beautiful story and such a beautiful little girl! You are truly blessed. This quilt made me think of that song before I read this post too!

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  4. All I can think to say after reading your story is: God is good. Now I think I'll go find myself a tissue :)

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  5. Ok, as if the quilt wasn't already great without the story behind it...I hope your partner follows your blog and gets to read this! What a special special quilt!

    I am so hoping it finds it's way into my mailbox :)

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  6. Sooooo glad I got to see it in person at our meeting tonight! It is GORGEOUS. And, I'm so glad you were able to express your story through your art. Thanks for sharing!

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  7. yep -- you made me cry!

    Thank you for sharing your heart and your story Angela.

    so precious and beautiful.

    And I could only dream of having it.

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  8. This is awesome, I wish I was having this come to my house!! I cant tell if I like the front or the back better. Of course it has a beautiful story and journey behind it!
    I truly know what you went through as I went through the same thing TTC my DD. (assuming you know the lingo) 3 years of it. I found out on April fools day and had brought her home the day before Thanksgiving! Our Angels were truly a blessing to us! Thank you for sharing your story.

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  9. I'm typing this through tears as well. Our stories sound eerily similar, right down to due dates (my daughter was due December 20). We had decided to throw in the towel, we had downsized from a family home to an urban townhouse, and I was all set to be an Auntie Mame-style auntie to my siblings' children. Then our wonderful surprise happened. She'll be 3 this December.

    Congratulations on Caitlyn and may I say again how incredibly gorgeous this quilt is.

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  10. A beautiful story with a gorgeous little girl. The quilt is fantastic too of course it is great to see it all finished! The quilting really finishes it off :)

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  11. Tears in the eyes!- thank you for sharing that bit of your family history and being so open with the journey Caitlyn took.

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  12. Such a wonderful story and such a great outcome. Caitlyn is a beautiful baby. I am so happy for you. I love this quilt and whoever gets it will be lucky, for all your passion for your life is in there. I feel the same about my quilts. People ask me how I can just send them away, but once I am done it is alright for them to go to someone else's house to make them happy.

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  13. I have really enjoyed seeing this quilt come together and the story behind it makes it just that much more special.

    The recipient is one lucky person!

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  14. what an amazing story
    I would save this quilt and give it to your daughter later in life, her first born, or her wedding....
    it has such meaning and would mean the world to her.
    it is an incredible quilt
    I have tears in my eyes reading this post and looking at this quilt
    Kathie

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  15. It has been such a treat watching this quilt come together and now to see it finished is just amazing. It is really a work of art on its own and the story that you told with it makes it even more meaningful.

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  16. God is so good. And your quilt is just beautiful. Thank you for sharing all of this.

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  17. I love how this quilt came together and the story makes it so much more special. I'm glad that all is well with your daughter!

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  18. What an amazing story and gorgeous quilt! I am sooooo truly happy that your blessing was bestowed! Children are the light of life, that's for sure and what a cutie you have there!!!

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  19. I'm crying and have goose bumps! Such a beautiful quilt and such a lovely story with a fantastic ending.

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  20. I've followed the journey of you making this and somehow missed along the way that this was for a SWAP! What a lucky partner!! What a fantastic piece of art.

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  21. Wow!! Your story has stirred up a reminder of what the emotional journey was like. After years of treatment we also gave up, then out of the blue, with no signs, we discovered I was 4 months pregnant. 23 years ago, on April Fools Day I went into labour, he held on until the 2nd of April. You quilt is an amazing representation of a remarkable journey.
    Wendz

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  22. What a beautiful story....I love happy endings! And little girls are the best, aren't they?

    Your quilt is my most favorite Doll Quilt in existence. I can't believe you are swapping it but surely you will make someone incredibly happy when this arrives in their mailbox!

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  23. Oh goodness. First time ever that Ive cried reading a blog. what a great story. I'm glad she's there with now.

    My daughter Amelia loved that song. In fact, from birth until 2.5, whenever she was upset or crying, we'd play it and instantly she'd stop. I mean INSTANTLY. I'm gald we can share such a special song.

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  24. Oh I a so honoured that you would share such a story. We are lucky to be blessed with 3 first try pregnancies and 2 lovely children and an angel baby so I can never know the hardships that you have been through. But I so appreciate it when people allow others to share their lives and stories and yours has touched me so much.
    I agree wholeheartedly, that song is just magical and I also have it on my I-pod to play and remind me how amazing life really is.
    Thank you.

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  25. What a touching story, and wonderful quilt! You really did a great job of expressing yourself through the quilt - its beautiful!

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  26. Well, now I'm crying at work. That is such a beautiful story and such an amazing outcome. I'm just so touched.

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  27. Angela,
    Authors create novels that take us through a journey. Artists decorate canvas to portray deep ideas. You have used layers of material, stitch, colors and themes to convey deep deep emotions. You have put into one place an era of your life. Very moving, poetic and artistic. Well done.

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  28. What a moving story, and what a beautiful quilt! You are very blessed to have such a perfect gift, in both your child and in your artistic ability.
    My husband and I are also young, and we will be trying to begin our family at the start of the new year. I'm excited, but also afraid we may have difficulty conceiving (the women in my family usually do). I'm glad that you were blessed to have such a precious and perfect gift from God!
    Ashley / StarSparrow

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  29. oh....I'm all misty eyed.
    I've lived that month by month existence, and lost precious possibilities, but thankfully, I my boys now.
    Wonderfully written Angela.

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  30. Wonderful story. I have a boy that was discovered on Easter morning too. His birthday is Dec 20. That is a magical time frame to have a baby in. Congratulations.

    God bless, CASharp

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  31. What a beautiful story - and how wonderful to capture it in such a beautiful way. Having been on both sides of that myself - I treasure my now 5 year old and those dark days seem further and further away now.

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  32. What an absolutely amazing quilt! And I'm very happy about your happy ending! God works in mysterious ways and I'm very happy you have such a beautiful girl to love! The quilt is truly a work of art! I can't even imagine how you did it but it is gorgeous!!

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  33. Oh my goodness! I saw your quilt on KarrieLyne's blog, so I had to stop by and read your story. Absolutely beautiful. I have tears in my eyes!! I have no doubt that God will continue to bless you over and over. Thank you so much for sharing your story of hurt, hope and blessings. It's all a part of life and I'm so happy for you that you're now living with your miracle.

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  34. Oh my goodness, what an amazing journey. Thank you for sharing your story and this beautiful quilt! I know Karrie Lyne will treasure it!

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  35. Beautiful quilt, but truly wonderful story! Thanks for sharing both with us.

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  36. The quilt and your story and your baby girl are all so beautiful!!

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  37. Well, I just read that your quilt arrived and have to admit that I was hoping it would come to me. heehee What a beautiful story you have shared about your baby girl and all you went through to get her. I am so happy for you and enjoyed reading about the story behind the quilt. Gonna go get a tissue now...

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  38. What an amazing quilt and story! Thank you for sharing!

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  39. Oh, I have goosebumps. I got here through KarrieLyne's blog. What a beautiful story and an absolutely amazing quilt. Congratulations on your gorgeous daughter!

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  40. God Bless you! I've walked in your shoes and after 20 years of trying, praying and believing it was impossible, God granted me my two precious daughters and a life to be with them. Your favorite song happens to be mine also ... just something about the way that version is sung. I know it starts with "this one's for Gabbie" but my second is Abbie so I always pretend to hear "this one's for Abbie." Congratulations on your blessings!

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  41. Tina H. in CaliforniaSeptember 3, 2010 at 12:46 AM

    A beautiful story! Wishing your little family lots of happy days and memories. The quilt is truly a piece of art. I just wonder how hard it was for you to give it away.

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  42. What an amazing quilt and story. That song is also one of my favorites.

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  43. What a beautiful and touching story. And such a beautiful quilt. I can't really add anything to all the comments above, except thanks for sharing. And I thought as I scrolled down that I recognize many of these names from other blogs. Even though the chance of us meeting each other is fairly remote, we are still a community and threads of our stories,and our quilts, bind us together.

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  44. thank you for sharing...it's a beautiful story. Hugs to you & family

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  45. What a beautiful quilt and a beautiful story.

    I found you through the recipient's blog and she seems so pleased to give your quilt a home...sounds like a perfect partnership!

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  46. I've also come over from KarrieLyne's blog to share the story of the beautiful quilt. Even without knowing the story it was beautiful, but knowing the story just amazes me even more. I am so glad God blessed you with your gorgeous girl, and I am so glad your amazing talents were shared.

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  47. Beautiful Story, adorable baby, and gorgeous quilt!

    Thanks for sharing!

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  48. What a beautiful story with such a wonderful, happy ending! Beautiful details in the quilt! God bless your family!

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  49. What an amazing story and such a beautiful quilt.

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  50. After so much anguish, what a wonderful outcome. And in the end, children are always worth it. Thank you for sharing. And what an AMAZING quilt. Congratulations! :)

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  51. I knew I loved your quilt from seeing it on Flickr but reading your story behind it makes it so much more beautiful! Thanks for sharing and I'm so happy for you and your family! Enjoy your days in the sun!

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  52. What a beautiful story, I am so happy for you to feel that you are living under Gods Rainbow everyday! Your swap partner was very lucky to get this too.

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  53. wow! what a story. thank you for sharing and for bring your inspiration to such a beautiful quilt.

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  54. What a beautiful story and an amazing quilt. Thank you so much for sharing.

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  55. Lovely story!! Thanks for sharing it with us. I teared up a bit while I was reading it. We're there now. I've got a two year old, but we've been trying for another since she was less than a year old. Month after month. I'm sure it'll happen someday. Thanks for sharing your inspiration - and your creativity. :)

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  56. What a beautiful quilt representing a much more beautiful story. My husband and I also had difficulty having children. I had four miscarriages, but was able to carry my wonderful son to full term. Just like your Caitlyn, James is the light of our life and was worth all the tears,and heartache that we went through. He's nineteen now and I'm not going to lie, there were times that he drove us to distraction, he a normal boy, and believe me, there were a couple of teen years that were a bit trying. But he is a good man with a kind heart, a wonderful sense of humor and I thank God every day that we were blessed with him. Thank you for sharing your story and give your precious angel a kiss for me.
    Patty

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  57. Reading this made me cry-- what a beautiful story! I remember the first time we chatted about our babies, you mentioned the struggles you and your husband had on the road to having Caitlyn. You are obviously an incredible mom. It's wonderful to see how happy and appreciative you are.

    And the quilt is awesome too!

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  58. Thanks for sharing your story...I read your partner's blog and her post led me to yours...this quilt turned out so well...I am amazed by it...and am glad you got that long waited for daughter.

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  59. Wow. That's all.
    Wow.
    Thank you so much for sharing this lovely part of your life.

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  60. What an amazing story and such a beautiful quilt to go with it. Truly an inspiration. And how amazing of you to share it with others.

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  61. Angela,

    The quilt you made is stunning! I have been through those "dark days" myself. Thank you for sharing your story and your quilt. I know it can be a difficult one to share. I'm also blessed with a darling little girl that turned out to be a complete surprise for us. God is good! Caitlyn is beautiful!

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  62. OMG. I was salivating over this DQ on Flickr and couldn't wait to see who received it. I was visiting Freckled Whimsy's blog this morning and saw her post. After coming to your site and reading your post, this quilt is even more amazing to me! Add to that the generosity of letting it go and you quite simply are an ARTIST! Congratulations on all of it. And thank you again for sharing this vision with the rest of us :-)

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  63. your quilt and your story are gorgeous. What a beautiful baby girl.

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  64. Angela, your quilt is absolutely stunning! You are truly an artist. The story behind it is so touching. Caitlyn is such a beautiful blessing from God. Children are wonderful gifts and bring so much happiness! Our best wishes to you and your family!

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  65. I saw your quilt on Speckled Whimsy. I had to come over and read your story. I am sitting here crying. Thanks for sharing. Enjoy every moment with her because they grow up so quickly.

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  66. Sorry, that was freckled whimsy.

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  67. Wonderful story and wonderful quilt. Bless you and your family. Jane

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  68. Wow! A friend of mine linked me to your quilt and I've been admiring it for days. It wasn't until I went to blog about my first time quilting that I found your blog about it. Thank you so much being so open about the story of the quilt and for posting it for others' enjoyment! Can't wait to see your Etsy shop when you have the time to get it running again! (I understand the joys and challenges of infant-hood and wish you all the best in enjoying it!)

    I talk about your quilt here:

    http://mamahootdesigns.blogspot.com/2010/09/quilting-for-first-time.html

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  69. I found you through quiltstory, and I just love this quilt! The details are amazing. And the story is so sweet.

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  70. I read your story and a story of this quilt on Quiltstory. I am truly amazed by the beauty of this quilt! I can't even find the words to describe how I love it...

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  71. oh my word, i am dying over this quilt!!!!
    i came from quiltstory ... wow ... so super impressed! love it.

    i'm so happy you got your sweet baby girl :)

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  72. Oh that quilt is so remarkable...then I read your story and felt it was so remarkable as well. Brought tears to my eyes. Congratulations on your quilt and baby!

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  73. This is so incredible, Angela. I just had a miscarriage this past weekend and now your beautiful doll quilt is even more amazing to me because of the story behind it. Absolutely gorgeous.

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  74. That is such an amazing quilt. you are so talented. i have always wanted to try a landscape/pictureque quilt, but have no idea how to. i love how you have the light and dark merging with each other. and i really love your little witches. i think it's cool that the witch on the back looks like she is conjuring the tornado too. love your quilt.

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  75. An amazing story and an amazing quilt! And amazing that you can give away this quilt!

    I’m so happy for you both Caitlyn came into your life!

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  76. Followed your link from flickr to your sewmamasew post & just had to read about your doll quilt after seeing the photo! I got tears in my eyes reading your story. I am so glad it had a happy ending, & a new beginning in your beautiful daughter!

    The quilt is an amazing piece of art, & definitely one of the best things I've seen in a really long time. Thank you for sharing it & the inspiration behind it. You are truly an artist!

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  77. How wonderful is that! What a joy and a blessing. I love the beautiful representation on your quilt and the story is so touching. Congratulations to you and to your family.

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  78. i finally read this post after so long. i remember seeing your quiltie in the dqs pool when you were working on it & i was so blown away. hearing your story has me in tears...tears of joy for you, your husband, your darling girl. what a wonderful world, indeed.

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  79. I watched as this quilt was getting made... only today did I see the final picture and get linked to your post. What a gift that you shared with all of us. Thank you. I get it. Best wishes as a momma!

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  80. I saw this quilt a while back. I loved it. The work, the color, the design, the thought and the story that goes behind it. Very beautiful and touching.

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  81. I always think that you are important dear. I am trying to print this story, but all I get is the first picture and the first paragraph. Can you send it to me another way so that I can print out your story honey? Thanks Sweetie

    YaiYai

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  82. This post brought tears to my eyes. What an amazing blessing Caitlyn is. What a wonderful story quilt too.

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  83. Ok i'm reading this at work and trying not to cry. Not only do I absolutely love this mini-quilt but your story and inspiration for are just beautiful. I'm so happy for you that after all your trials and patience, your miracle finally came :) Thank you so much for sharing this touching story with us!

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  84. What a magical quilt and story to go with it, thanks for sharing

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  85. What a touching story with such a happy ending! Gorgeous work!!

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  86. Angela, I JUST NOW put two and two together and realized that you are the one who made this amazing story quilt. I can't tell you how much your story has touched me. I have shown this quilt (pics on Flickr) to several people as an example of just how inspirational and amazing quilters are.

    I really want to thank you from the bottom of my heart for being talented, generous, honest and patient. You really are an inspiration to not only the quilting community but also the community of women and families that needed to have this story in their lives.

    You are so stinkin sweet!
    Chris

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  87. Beautiful story, beautiful quilt! Seriously amazing work!

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  88. As if the quilt couldn't be more beautiful, the story is. Powerful.

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  89. I love hearing the stories behind the quilts. I particularly like how the "good" side takes up significantly more space than the "bad" side.

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  90. What a beautiful quilt to go with such a incredible and difficult journey. I'm so glad for you that you got your happy ending.

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Thank you for taking the time to comment! I appreciate every one that I receive.

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