The idea for the initial LMS Quilt project started in 2000 and is the brainchild of Karen Gibson, a mother whose daughter was diagnosed with LMS. Karen made a block for her daughter. It is in the first completed quilt displayed at our first Hugfest in Lancaster in 2002. The idea behind this quilt project was similar to that of the AIDS quilt and in response to the growing need to increase awareness of LMS. We all had heard of the AIDS quilt, but Karen believed we didn’t need to go to that extreme. A secondary thought crossed her mind–make the LMS quilt small enough to be shipped around the country to important events which could increase awareness of this “dragon.” Also, the smaller size would enable it to be sent to those who might be nearing the end of their battle or just going through a tough time so they could feel enveloped by the love emanating from the quilt.
Upon completion of the first quilt, Cana Machine Quilting of Oyster Bay, New York, machine quilted it for us. Karen Gibson completed it with the binding. The second quilt was machine quilted by Marge Geary of the Evening Star Quilters of Mineola, New York. In addition, Marge hand stitched the binding on this second quilt. The third quilt was sewn together, machine quilted and bound by Bobbie Keller, who lost her battle with LMS in 2012. She will be forever in our thoughts and prayers.
Two of the quilts have traveled all over the country and even to Canada. The very first quilt was present in Washington, DC, to welcome a father who ran from the middle of the country to the nation’s capitol on behalf of his daughter, who was battling the “dragon,” so he could help bring awareness to the disease.
The National LeioMyoSarcoma Foundation would like to continue the quilting project as a tribute to those who started the original LMS quilts may years ago. Those who made blocks for loved ones who lost the battle have commented it has helped with the grieving process. We tried to simplify the process for making a block so that sewing knowledge is not required. Blocks can be done in any way as long as they conform to the size needed and contain some pertinent information. Instructions have been developed which include these guidelines as well as some suggestions on how to go about making a block. While some of the quilt blocks are sewn, others use fabric paint or fabric pigment pens, photo transfers, cross stitching, etc. Any medium is acceptable. There also are some premade blocks upon which information can be printed with pens. The finished blocks are then incorporated into a quilt which, when completed, is about the size for a twin-sized bed.
We encourage families, friends, and social groups that have a loved one who is fighting or has fought LMS to show their support and creativity by “Building a Square.”
Interested in being a part of the Quilting Project? Contact firstname.lastname@example.org.