|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
Beautiful! I love it!ReplyDelete
what a meaningful quilt ... and how sweet of you to share the story that goes with it-I send you so so many good wishes as you continue to be a 'success story'-ReplyDelete
all regards and fond wishes from here-
Thank you, Barb. In a way, I think we all have our personal mountains that we climb; I know, from what you've shared, that your daughter is climbing one, herself. Please let her know that she is not alone in her climb and that I keep her in my prayers for good health.Delete
That's a very beautiful quilt, Bless. And the story behind it makes it more meaningful.ReplyDelete
4 years later, now you are at the top of the mountain! Enjoy the beautiful scenery from there, for a long long time!
Thank you, Nil. The view from the top of the mountain is lovely! :)Delete
Beautiful quilt and an heroic journey for you! I wish you many happy, healthy years to come now!ReplyDelete
Wow...that is one very high mountain! I can't imagine! Andrea
Thank you, Andrea.Delete
Yes, it is a very high mountain. :)
Such a lovely quilt with a beautiful story behind it. You are an inspiration and always an encourager. Your hope, faith and determination are depicted clearly in the quilt. Well done! I do hope Krista gets to see this postReplyDelete
Thank you, Angela. I remember you sending me a prayer, which I used to say during my treatments. :)Delete
What a wonderful quilt. I love the symbolism it holds in telling the story of your journey.ReplyDelete
Your image of the mountain is fabulous. I think it's revealing as far as your spirit is concerned that you made your mountain beautiful.
I'm so happy for you that your good health has returned.
Thank you, Debra. I was limited in my choice of fabric for the mountain as I was sewing it with what I had in my stash and there weren't a lot of green fabric. But, I had pieces leftover from a nightdress my mother sewed for herself, from a blouse she sewed for me, from a dress of my daughter's, etc. The butterfly fabric on one of the borders was given to me by a former neighbor. A lot of the fabric holds memories. :)Delete
I love your mountain quilt, it is a real masterpiece and I find the mountain itself looks joyful! I hope you will be able to exhibit it somewhere one day, and that it will bring hope to other cancer patients and survivors.ReplyDelete
Thank you, Bushlady. Thank you for inspiring me to make it, too, and being with me every step of the way. :)Delete
Wow. I'm struggling to find words. The quilt and it's story is fantastic. I hope you will also write this down so your daughter will know the story of the quilt.ReplyDelete
Congrats on the four years. Mum was diagnosed five years ago. At that time I didn't imagine she would still be with us. It's such a struggle. It's really good that you share your story as I know others will find inspiration from it during dark times.
Thank you, Sharon. :) My daughter does know the story, but, I will write down some of the important facts.Delete
Congratulations to your Mum on her achievement! 5 years is a landmark, I've heard!
It's a beautiful quilt and even more special because of the meaning behind it.ReplyDelete
Thank you, Eileen. :)Delete
Even though I knew some of your story, I did not know about the specifics of the mountain. The story brought tears to my eyes. I think it would be wonderful if your quilt were on loan/display at the cancer center where you got your treatments with an explanation like you gave us today. I think you would touch and gave a lot of people hope.ReplyDelete
Thank you, Live and Learn. If I had made only the mountain panel, then, I might have considered offering it to the cancer center for display. But the quilt is too big, I think, for them to display. But, I have considered making another, perhaps smaller version, of the mountain only, for the cancer center. In the meantime, I am knitting hats to give to any of their patients who might want one. I'll take them to the center on my next visit, in December. :)Delete
I go to a cancer center for my trigeminal neuralgia treatments and see the patients and their families. I thought about how that quilt and it's story would be uplifting for them, not to mention how pretty it is. You're right that a smaller size would be much more practical. And you may want to move on from that quilt.Delete
I have taken the quilt top, only, and shown it to my cancer medical team - the oncologist, the radiation oncologist, the nurses, etc. They admired it, but, they didn't express any wish to display it at the center. Of course, it didn't occur to me to offer, either!Delete
How beautiful! 💗ReplyDelete
Thank you, Akasha. :)Delete
The quilt is utterly gorgeous, but I mainly stopped in to let you know that the fires and power cuts have made the news over here and I am thinking of you and sending prayers and good vibes LM xReplyDelete
Thank you, Lyssa. So far, both my daughter and I are safe from the fires and we both have power. Hopefully, it stays that way!Delete
Omgosh--that is the most fantastic idea for a quilt-climbing a mountain---and reaching the pinnacle after all the treatments.ReplyDelete
Hubby underwent 3 bouts of cancer- each one different than the one before. The last was very serious- head/neck cancer with only 3% chance of survival. He is 3-1/2 years cancer free now. All that to say that I likened it to crossing an unsafe old bridge--with potholes and missing boards and having to skirt the bad parts and seek the safe steps all around the obstacles to safely reach the other side. I think if you can envision something it helps to grab onto a path to healing.
I LOVE the colors of your quilt and what it symbolizes. Great job and wishing you always good health. xo Diana
Thank you, Diana. I am so glad to hear that your husband has been cancer free for over 3 years! Wow, 3 bouts! That must have been so rough! He is a true fighter! Or, an expert bridge crosser! :)Delete
Congratulations on your quilt and your years of being in remission. I love your attitude of gratitude.ReplyDelete
Thank you, Stephenie. I have so many things for which to be grateful! I feel blessed to be alive.Delete