I make comfort quilts for people who are receiving treatments or are suffering with a chronic illness. Most of the times it is cancer. I make a lap quilt, complete with custom label, a carry bag, a handmade card and a book. I include a book by Lynn Eib, either When God and Cancer Meet or 50 Days of Hope in the bag pocket. When I clean vintage sewing machines for people, I ask for any donation towards this. Sometimes they give money, fabric, bags, or other needful items.
The hard part is when I get a request for a quilt for a child. I have never been able to find a book that speaks to the pain and emotions they are experiencing. I have searched and searched- asking professors and professional counselors. The ones I found were unrealistic, sing songy, happy ending or so abstract. My neighbor is a writer. We combed books together and found none. She wrote one and asked me to illustrate it. I am also a watercolor artist (or wannabe).
In the 80s, I spent four long years trying to break into children's book illustration, going to New York, schlepping my portfolio to publishers, with no crack of opportunity. I closed the door and went to get my art teaching certification. I said no. She posted a sign in her bedroom window that faces my driveway so I would see it everyday backing out, pulling in. Things like, You can do! Get started!, you get the idea. She wore me down. It took a year to paint. I posed my grandson according to what I was looking for and he was terrific and I photographed him. Sometimes I was sweating when I painted, sometimes weeping. It was very emotional trying to infuse the pictures with those child emotions.
So, I finished it in August and scanned it. My neighbor's company said they loved it and proceeded to try and find a grant so they could publish it and give the first printing away to hospitals. All the grant groups said no. I said, told you so.
Sandra's company paid for 50 copies to be printed so they could either convince someone to give a grant or another publisher to pick it up. On Tuesday, at 5:00, she arrived at my door with 10 books that I did not know were coming. Although it needs better scans, the book is exactly what I was looking for to give away. It is a miracle that it reached this far.
So now, I need a BIGGER miracle for someone to say yes, they will publish or grant it so it can get into the hands of those children who could benefit from it.
Here is the cover and one page. It is a miracle.