The inspiration for it was a set of Alexander Henry salesman's samples that were donated to me by Mr. Irv Horwitz when he retired. I really like the scenes of cowboys on the trail at sunset and thought they were compatible with the "barnwood" fabric I had recently purchased. I remember quilting this on a family trip to Branson, Missouri. You can't see it in this small picture, but I quilted in the space around the stars by tracing circles and bracketing them with straight lines.
After finding out that Avice and Cami Hoff were starting a new Project Linus chapter in Northeast Montana, I decided to send it to them, thinking it would be appreciated by someone with a western lifestyle. Almost immediately upon its receipt, they learned of a teenage boy named Shane who had been very seriously injured in an ATV accident and delivered the quilt to him. We were all baffled--and thrilled--to learn that the quilting design I described above was actually the brand of this family's ranch!
The next year, Avice emailed me the following letter from Shane's parents:
"Dear Avice and Cami,
After Shane's accident last summer, you brought him a Linus quilt made by a lady from Missouri, At the time, the quilt meant so much and as Shane got better, the quilt really became a blanket of love. It covered his legs all day and night and still does.
You know how his granddad was very special to him. Dad called or visited each day, wrote poems and songs, prayed to God to give Shane back his health and walking abilities. He had started a poem about the "Cowboy Up Spirit Quilt".
Granddad died of a heart attack after Christmas. We think he actually died of a broken heart over Shane's accident.
Shane couldn't go to Granddad's funeral but he sent his quilt to serve as a pall at the funeral and Pastor Dave intwined it with the sermon which gave us all something happy to remember and think about. Lots of people admired the quilt and touched it and prayed for Shane. When I took the quilt back to Shane and told him about Granddad's services, he was so touched and hugged the quilt. He said it didn't smell like Granddad so I spritzed it with some Old Spice, cause that is what dad always wore. It helped Shane to believe and try hard.
Last week, Shane was able to stand up on his legs with help from the therapist. We think the quilt holds a special power of love and belief. Shane wants to ride again and has his granddad's saddle and tack in his room to remind him each day.
Thank you and thank you to the lady who stitched Shane a new life in accepting, believing, and having determination.
We are so glad Shane has recovered so well. It didn't look like he would live."
The satisfaction I feel from making that quilt is greater than anything else I have ever made. It seems that I was guided in a divine way when I made it. I encourage every quilter to make at least one quilt to donate to a worthy cause. You will be richer for it!