We never had the conventional father/daughter relationship as we never lived together. When I was 22 we spent a month together in Turkey which was the start of a better understanding of who he was. He was also present for the few weeks before A was born almost 3 years ago - and luckily A arrived the day before he flew back to NZ. Not long after he returned home, he was diagnosed with the cancer - but it hadn't been diagnosed early enough and had spread to his bones.
Being the son of a GP he was pretty good at going to see his Dr but a vital test was not made PSA (Prostate-Specific Antigen); which is an indicator as to whether there is cancerous cells present in the prostate. I was talking to my mum - who had reconnected with my father and re-established their friendship after 20 odd years - and she said that she was angry at his Dr for not picking up on the cancer sooner. My father's family has a history of female reproductive cancers - which we had been discussing when he was over before A was born - but there had been no occurrences of male cancers, little did we know that his body was already riddled with cancer that started in the prostate. When he was diagnosed he was given a prognosis of 5 years – he survived less than 2 and a half.
In December last year he went into hospital, and only came out to move to the Hospice – where he died. Although we didn’t have the normal father/daughter relationship – we were starting to form something new. I was looking forward to my 3 sons getting to know him – my eldest shares his birthday – 24th November.
From this anger and a need to do something constructive about it I suggested that we do some fundraising for both Mary Potter Hospice (which is fully privately funded) where he spent his last few weeks and for Movember charities. My suggestion was of course Quilt related - as my mother is also a quilter and has a large group of quilty friends. So this project is very much International; a quilt will be made in NZ and a quilt made by me here in the UK.
So the big question is who would be interested in contributing to a quilt to be raffled off with the money raised going to Movember and The Mary Potter Hospice (Wellington, NZ). Mary Potter Hospice is where a lot of family members including my father and his dad my Grandpa, and friends have spent their last days – it is a beautiful and calm place not like a hospital.
What I need help with is to make some blocks – I have named the project ‘Can’t Grow a Mo’ Sew a Mo’ (tho’ of course those who can grow a mo’ both male and female – I can't yet just chin hairs... - are welcome to contribute blocks) and basically aim to make a lap/single bed sized quilt. I had a lot of fun making 5 blocks the other day and have also drawn up some famous and not so famous inspired Mo’s that are available as a PDF on my website. (To make the mos symmetrical fold paper in half, draw one side and then cut out – they can also be cut freehand from fabric in the same way.) Can you guess whose they might be?
The blocks can be very improvisational – but need to fit with in a few guidelines to make them easier to pull together into a top: Blocks are to be square or rectangular - as it will make it easier to fit all the blocks together whilst maintaining a rogues gallery look. The finished block sizes - anything up to 12 inches, so 12.5 inches with seam allowance. The finished block must have a frame, of any design - as simple or fancy as you like. Any colours you like. Draw inspiration from the Mo's of the men in your life or from famous Mo's.
Mo's can be made of what ever you want to use; felt, faux fur - blocks and frames however need to be 100% cotton as it will make it easier to piece the top. Machine applique with topstitch is probably easiest - especially with some of the fancier moustaches. The blocks will need to be back to me by the first week in October at the latest. I know that there is only about 6 weeks until my deadline for return of the blocks – but I’m hoping that the generosity of the Quilty world extends to the short notice.
If you email me at firstname.lastname@example.org I will let you know the address to send the blocks to. I have started a Flickr Group – so please join and add your blocks. And here's a button to help spread the word.
I will open the raffle for the UK quilt at the Start of November and the tickets will be available via my website – although not applicable outside the UK; unless you are willing to pay postage. I will also have the details of the NZ quilt for the Antipodeans among you. I look forward to hearing from you all – maybe we'll end up with enough blocks for 2 quilts?
Danielle - email email@example.com