Quilt offers ‘memories, encouragement’

John DeMings
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Cross-stitched squares from across North America help create touching gift

Sometimes the joy of the season just falls onto your lap.

For multiple sclerosis sufferer Michael Lortie of Bath, Ont., the joy is a lap quilt made by his former teacher, Jean Cole of Barton.

The quilt took a year to complete and drew on help from across North America.

“The theme was Memories and Encouragement,” Cole says. “There were 24 squares collected from all over North America. Two were lost in mail but I was able to find replacements on the local Facebook online auction.”

Cross-stitched squares came from as far away as Texas. Another woman in Manitoba made five squares.

“All the ladies felt they were giving of themselves to a worthwhile cause,” Cole says.

She drew encouragement came from many non-stitchers in this area and on Facebook, and says a local fabric shop was helpful as was the widow of a local MS sufferer.

“We decided on a lap quilt as Michael now uses a wheelchair. Ideas for designs came from school memories of mine and life events in Mike’s life. The school bus was my husband’s bus on which the Lorties rode to school.

When my wife opened the parcel, she said ‘Oh, my god!’ Michael Lortie

“Another square was of a parachutist as Mike went parachuting before he became ill. We added his comment of never going to view the clouds the same again.”

Cole says the idea came from wanting to do something for the Lorties for their new home built by Habitat for Humanity.

“We were flabbergasted and very touched when it came,” Michael Lortie said in a telephone interview. “When my wife opened the parcel, she said ‘Oh, my god!’ She could see the intensity of work involved in it.

“It’s absolutely beautiful.”

Organizations: Habitat for Humanity

Geographic location: North America, Bath, Texas Manitoba

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  • Carol Ann Sampson
    December 26, 2013 - 18:40

    Wow! What a beautiful idea and a beautiful lap quilt. As a cross-stitcher, myself, I know the work that goes into something like this. You are truly an inspiration!