|Mountain Climbing Quilt
When I was diagnosed with breast cancer in 2015, one of my friends, who comments on my blog as Bushlady, told me to envision the treatment I was undergoing as climbing a mountain. Each step of the treatment was a step I climbed up the mountain. I really liked her analogy and I wanted to make a quilt to represent my mountain climbing. I knew exactly which mountain it was that I was climbing, too!
There is a 7,360 foot high mountain in my country of birth, Sri Lanka, known by several names: Sri Pada or Siri Pada (Sacred Foot) and Samanala Kanda (Butterfly Mountain) in Sinhala, and Adam's Peak in English. It is considered to be a sacred mountain and a place of pilgrimage. There is a rock formation near the top that has an indentation that resembles a large foot print. According to the different traditions of four of the religions in the country (Buddhist, Hindu, Christian, and Islam), the rock "foot print" is attributed to the Buddha, Shiva, St. Thomas, and Adam. It is called Samanala Kanda (Butterfly Mountain) because it is frequented by certain species of butterflies as the mountain is in their annual migration flight path and one encounters them during the climb.
Every year, pilgrims and tourists climb this mountain, Generally, one drives up part of the way and then, climbs the rest of the way. There are thousands of steps built into the side of the mountain to facilitate the climb. Most people climb it at night, in order to reach the top just before sunrise to see the rising sun cast the shadow of the mountain on the clouds below and the surrounding landscape.
I had always wanted to climb it, but never did. Now, I had the opportunity to climb it, in a manner of speaking, thanks to Bushlady's comment about climbing a mountain. One step at a time, of course.
|Close Up of the Mountain
I sent emails to both blogs, explaining I was a cancer survivor who wanted to base my quilt on the pattern shown on the quilt being depicted and asking if they had any objections. Krista at Spotted Stone responded to my email, stating she was happy I found inspiration in her quilt design and asking to be notified when I was ready to show it on my blog, This was in 2016 and, unfortunately, it seems she no longer blogs. I sent her a follow-up email after I finished piecing the top, several months ago, to let her know that I was going to post pictures of my quilt top and have been waiting to hear from her, but, haven't received a reply. I've decided to go ahead and post pictures of my quilt, anyway.
October is Breast Cancer Awareness month. It was in October 2015 that I had the lumpectomy to remove my breast cancer tumor. This quilt was started to represent the mountain that I had to climb to reach where I am, today - four years of being in remission. It is such a blessing!
|Breast Cancer Awareness Ribbon
I was going to sew grey rectangles going up the mountain to represent the steps I had to climb - one for each of my chemo treatments and radiation treatments. But, I didn't like how it turned out, so I unpicked them all. Besides, there was no way to depict all the other steps, in between the chemo and radiation - the immune booster injections, the weekly hydration sessions, the blood tests, etc. I wanted the mountain to be the dominant feature. I decided that the pink ribbon for Breast Cancer Awareness was sufficient.
|Breast Cancer Awareness Ribbon - Close Up
Besides, the pink squares form a sort of up and down effect and that is certainly how it felt, at times: one step up, two steps down, two steps up and one step down! The panel I put in the backing was made from leftovers from those squares:
|Leftovers on the Back
I still need to attach the backing and finish the binding. I am planning to take the last dark pink border to the back to made the binding. I might do some hand quilting, too, and include some significant dates and facts, but, the quilt top is now completed and I wanted to share it with you.
Thank you, everyone, who helped me climb this mountain. All of you who helped, encouraged, and supported me with your prayers, thoughts, and kind comments. I shared my journey in various posts, over the past four years, and you have all participated in that journey with me.
|It is definitely pink!
Today, I am grateful for my many blessings:
- Being alive
- Having access to medical treatments
- Having medical insurance
- Family and friends who have helped me climb this mountain
- Prayers and thoughts that eased my climb