Thursday, January 21, 2010

A Patchwork Quilt for "Gracey-Blue"

This patchwork quilt has quite a story to tell - a history if you will.

I certainly had no idea where it would end up over the years. It is over nine years ago that she sat in my office. A young frail woman, smiling cautiously as she prepared to leave treatment - having successfully completed 2o days of in-patient treatment for substance abuse. My office, always welcoming, safe, peaceful, a haven for those who sought refuge and understanding, love and new life. My office was a gathering place - for clients and co-workers. There were times at lunch that folks had to stand because there wasn't enough space. We hid for a while in huddled love and shared food to gain balance and strength to continue our work of serving those in need. Some days I would run small therapy groups in my office and the "work" they did in the intimate peaceful setting always left me humbled by their courage.

This day,in late 2000, she sat in the high backed chair - holding the patchwork quilt close to her. She shared that her grandmother made it for her and that she took it with her every where. As she moved on from the treatment setting she would be going to a "Sober House" for women. She feared that the quilt would get stolen. She asked if she could leave it with me and that in time, less than a year she was sure, she would have her own place and then bring her quilt she loved so much "home".

That was over nine years ago. Unfortunately she is one of the casualties of the devastating disease of addiction and a cold statistic representing so many who die from this disease. Her quilt was draped over that high-backed chair where she once sat holding it. And there it stayed as a comfort and security for thousands of other people choosing to be in treatment and who sat on that very quilt sharing their "truths" their "it's" with me. That quilt has heard it all- it holds their pain, their joy, their hope and courage, their faith, their love, their losses, their struggles and their successes - their lives are in the very fiber of the quilt you see pictured above.

As my life changed and I was in my office less and less due to my illness I brought the quilt home. I have it draped over my vanity chair as a cushion of sorts and comfort as I primp in the morning with my hair and make-up. And then we came to know of "Gracey-Blue" - our new adorable puppy. A rescue pup -on a transport bus from Arkansas today!. She was abandoned in the woods with her litter-mates and found wet and cold and raw with flea bites she scratched. She has been nurtured by a wonderful foster family along with her litter mates. They called her "ICY", we re-named her, "Gracey-Blue".

This is a picture of "Gracey-Blue" formerly known as "Icy"....... how cute is she? And so the patchwork quilt is being bestowed to Gracey-Blue to comfort her and keep her warm and snugly here, in her forever home. She is a golden retriever and husky mix and is three months old and she has beautiful bright ice- blue eyes. We are meeting her at the 'drop off' on Saturday morning with lots of other folks who are adopting rescue dogs. We are SO excited. Every time Skipp and I look at her pictures we both fill up with tears of joy. :-) I will post next week after she arrives and include pictures of her here, happy, with us. "YAY!!!!

Who ever knew that the patchwork quilt would become a warm comfort for an abandoned puppy - seems it's purpose and meaning hasn't changed all that much over the years. It is still providing safety and comfort, warmth and security and is being given with love.......yes, LOVE


Choices said...

Hi Gail,
Such a beautiful story about the quilt for Gracey Blue. So warm and loving. Quilts do have such histories and stories that go along with them. You might be interested in a book series about quilts by Jennifer Chiavanini.
Take care.

Gail said...


Oh yes, quilts tell stories of life and death and hope and memory - and thank you for sharing about the writer about quilts. I will check it out.

Love Gail

Margie said...

Gail, this story about the quilt really touched my heart!

And now the quilt will keep that adorable little puppy you are adopting warm and cozy ....that is so wonderful!

Gracey-Blue is so beautiful and I know she is going to get lots of TLC in your home!

Thank you for sharing this lovely post, so touching!


Gail said...


So glad you were touched by the story of the quilt AND that you think "Gracey-Blue" is beautiful too. :-) We are so anxious for her to arrive.

Love Gail

Whitemist said...

Simply Cool!
A sad story with a proper ending!

Gail said...



Love Gail

Wanda said...

Touching story Gail...I can see how fulfilling your job was, but at the same time how it presented disappointments as well.
It's nice now to add a good memory to the story of the quilt. Gracey Blue is the cutest puppy I've seen in a long time...We lost our Gena, a white Westi, 3 years ago this past Thanksgiving.
Take care,

Teacher's Pet said...

Gail, you wove the story of the quilt and the adoption of the puppy together magnificently.
Thank you for sharing loving memories...for taking great care of the quilt. She entrusted it to the perfect person.

Wonderingsoul said...

I love the quilt. There is something about a blanket / quilt. I'm so sad to read about the original owner's struggle and loss in the addiction war.

Gracey - Blue is the loveliest name and I am so glad you guys are getting her! What a beautiful one she is!
Sharing a little of your huge excitement, Gail.

Much love

Gail said...


I am thrilled and honored to have you share in the excitement of us getting our new pup - Gracey-Blue". :-)

And it is sad that the woman who first had that quilt fell prey to the disease of addiction. :-(

So good tosee you, keep onkeeping on...

Love to you my brave one

Gail said...


"thank you" SO much fr your kind and understanding words to me. I was formulating the post in my mind for a few days and it all came together yesterday. I am SO glad you thought it well done. Coming from you, a teacher, it is quite the compliment!!

Love to you

Gail said...


Wow, so nice to hear that you think Gracey-Blue is the cutest pup you have seen in a long time.

Sorry to hear of your Gena's passing - :-(

And Wanda? You okay? I sense/feel a sadness from you. Please let me know if you need anything from me, k?

Love you

Diana said...

It sounds as though the quilt itself has been on an amazing journey! I wonder how far it will go and how many more it may comfort.
Love Di

Gail said...


Yes, the quilt has journeyed long and hard. I feel as if this is it's final stop. All roads led here, to Gracey-Blue" who was left wounded and cold in the woods and now has this comfy quilt to sleep upon. Amazing. :-)

Love to you

Wonderingsoul said...

Thank you so much.

Thank you for everything.

I loved the story here, even if the backdrop was the tragic loss of another.

I'm not brave, Gail.
I wish I was.
I'm not doing the best and I want to run away from everything and everyone.

I know you have been here.

Thank you for knowing.

I look forward to seeing your pics of Gracey-Blue and wish you and Skipp so many beautiful moments with her.

No doubt she will keep you very busy over the next few weeks.


Gail said...


thank you , thank you, thank you.....

and please, know that you are brave - every time you show up here or there you are courageous and brave - know that!! I know how hard it is for you to do that, to show up - and I am humbled by your courage. And if you can hear it, embrace it, "I loev you".


cinner said...

Gail, thanks for the message, the story of the quilt is wonderful. I can hardly wait for Saturday to come for you. I will try to pull up that video later today. take care Gail, it was a beautiful story.

Gail said...


The video is worth 22 minutes of your time. phew. :-)

And we are hardly able to contain ourselves about "Gracey-Blue" "YAY"!!!

Love you

sarah said...

I think you are one very special gentle person. I loved this post. Sarah

Gail said...

Hi Sarah-

and "thank you". I am SO glad you came by. :-) I so appreciate your kind words to me.

Love to you

Lola said...

I love this story Gail!
I like the quilt and Gracey Blue is WONDERFUL.
By the way, we adopted our "big boy" too.
Have fun with your puppy!

Shen said...

What a wonderful story. I feel for the woman who left the quilt... so much empathy - so much "that could have been me" - but also the love and trust she had for you.

We got two pups from a shelter last year. They are half rat-terrier and half beagle, littermates - a brother and sister. We named them Bonnie and Clyde. Bonnie is about 19 pounds full grown, now, and Clyde is about 40 pounds! They are quite a pair and we all love them so much around here. Even our old labrador- Jake, who is almost 14 now - has come to love them. He can't go up the stairs anymore, but he greets the little dogs when they rush down the stairs in the morning with his tail wagging and his nose perked up to their smells. Our little "pack" go out together and roam the acre of land out back in a kind of happiness that people can't know.
There is no regret about the past, no fear for the future. There is only this moment, this puddle, this bird calling from a tree, this winter-pine scented breeze that exists, and to them it is all good.

Its a wonderful adventure when you get a puppy. You get to see their entire life unfold and, although we have to say goodbye, it is always a bitter-sweet moment because we know that we were blessed to have known their gentle spirits at all.

Comrade Kevin said...

I wish sometimes we added to the quilt without worrying so much as to whether we had the proper material, or whether it matched, or whether we were doing it right, or whether we even had the right to modify it in the first place.

PENolan said...

Girl - I sure hope Gracey Blue doesn't chew the living shit out of that quilt. You might want to give her a nice cozy, raggedy beach towel in the beginning.

She may have gotten passed a lot of those puppy behaviors with her foster family, but dogs who miss out on being socialized with their proper pack can take a while settle into domesticated life.

My mother's dog Sophie was also dumped in the woods. She's a Chihuaua/Jack Russel. When she was a puppy, she swiped my mother's brassieres out of the laundry basket and ran around the house waiting to play Tug-O-War. The Jack Russel in her increases the mischief quotient, and it was funny as hell -rough on the brassieres, though.

Have fun!

Gail said...


And your BIG BOY is beautiful. :-)

I am so glad you enjoyed the story of the quilt.

Love Gail

Gail said...


You are SO right about that beautiful quilt - I have already replaced it with a big old burgandy bath towel. The quilt is what I now put on my lap if she is going to nap on me. phew. And she wont let me out of her sight - she cries hen I go to the bathroom.
Love the bra story.

I wont be blogging much for a couple weeks - Gracie Blue is quite an energy zapper in the best of ways. :-)

Love you

Gail said...

Hi Shen-

the quilt has traveled long and hard.
I love the name of your rescue dogs - 'Bonnie and Clyde'. Sweet. :-) And that they include Jake in their fun and adventures. Wonderful. And yes, Gracie-Blue is unfolding and she is lovely.

Love to you

Gail said...

Hi Kevin-

I don't know what the squares meant to the grandmother who quilted it. I wont change any of it, for sure. Gracey-Blue might make some new designs though. :-)

Love Gail

Eileen said...

I don't see my original comment here. I know they don't show up right away, but it's been awhile so I guess it got lost in cyberspace. That's been happening to me a lot, either that or I get booted off the blogs when I hit the 'submit comment' button. Oh well.

Anyway, I love the name Gracie Blue and it's good that it's similar to 'Icy' so no confusion for the pup!
And I was so sad reading about the original owner of the quilt, but I know she's at peace now and I'm sure she'd be happy to think of another wounded one finding comfort wrapped up in it.
And I'm sure Gracie will find lots of love in her new home!
I know for sure you will be busy!
Love to you,

Gail said...


I didn't get your other comment. And ya, blogger really misses the mark some times.

Gracey Blue is ALOT of work - phew - so I wont be blogging too much. I am going to put up a 'I am buys with Gracey Blue post' later if I can - phew.

Have a wonderful Sunday
Love Gail