"Sleep With the Angels"
2005 Project - CQMagOnline

Barbara Blankenship 2005

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For those who read my article regarding my experiences at the Houston International Quilt Festival, you will remember Mary Fisher. Mary is a remarkable woman, truly compassionate and dedicated to bringing about HIV/AIDS awareness and understanding, and hopefully overcoming the ignorance and fear so often associated with the disease. I invite you to view Mary's website: www.maryfisher.com or type Mary Fisher into your search engine.

Seeing her exhibit, ABATAKA (Community) II and reading her book, Sleep With The Angels, has certainly made an indelible impression. Her work has remained on my mind in the months since the Festival and with it a desire to help in some small way. In one speech recorded in her book, Mary appeals to the audience to join her as partners in reaching out with compassion to those in need. I quote: "They are the ones when they truly see the crises at our door will say to themselves:
If not me, who? If not now, when?"

So I present to you, our readers, an opportunity to be a partner and to answer this thought-provoking question. We can help and what better time than now! With the help of Nora Creeach, as editor, and Stephanie Novatski and Gwen Frazier as committee members, I would like to propose this project for 2005:

"Sleep With The Angels" - This will be a crazy quilt that we will build together block by block. We will dedicate it to the children with HIV/AIDS and in honor of Mary for her untiring efforts. We hope you will join us in this project by making an embellished crazy quilt block. If you are interested, please contact me at bblank@academicplanet.com.  We need your help and certainly welcome your participation. Together, we can make this a work of art that will bring pleasure to those who see it for years to come.

We will ask that each block depict an angel theme and represent the beautiful work of the Victorian era. A printed angel graphic will be the first fabric piece of each block. These are the major guidelines for entry blocks:

  • Theme:
    • Victorian angels - children and/or women.
      • Use Printed Treasures or prepared colorfast silk. We will arrange to print these for those not familiar with the process.
  • Fabrics:
    • Only: dupioni silk, velvet, rayon, silky blends
    • No: upholstery fabric, sheers, knits, etc.
  • Color:
    • Each block must use gold (ecru or cream is optional) plus 2 or 3 corresponding colors of your choice
  • Size:
    • Blocks must be 8" with only the inside 6" embellished. (We will have to disqualify those who do not meet this requirement.)
  • Name and State or Country:
    • We will want this information on your completed block but ask that each block be uniform.
    • Placement: lower right-hand corner (inside the 6" embellished area) of the block, embroidered or indelible quilt pen, no larger than inch in height
  • Embellishing:
    • We ask that it be quality workmanship using silk ribbon, beading, and embroidery.
    • Please do not use: plastic buttons or beads; paint; nylon lace; non-colorfast fabric, ribbons, or lace.
  • Deadline for completion:
    • April 30, 2005
  • Number of blocks needed:
    • 30 - 35
  • Optional:
    •  include a statement of 50 words or less as to why you are contributing to this cause

We certainly hope the above guidelines are not too limiting. This is the only way we can guarantee continuity of fabrics, colors and theme. Please join us in making this a memorable project that we will all be proud of. When you notify me of your interest I will compile a database to correspond with each of you on a regular basis. I have also created a Yahoo Group for those participating. We can address any questions in this way.

The quilt has already found a home. It will be displayed at the University of Alabama Hospital for AIDS Research. A plaque will be displayed along with the quilt, its history and how it was made. I spoke with Patty Edmonds, a member of Mary's consulting group, and an article regarding this project will appear in the upcoming issue of their newsletter.

Approximately two years ago my husband was hospitalized for six weeks. I wanted to do something special for the staff and with the help of my wonderful online friends, a wall hanging named "Angels of Mercy" was created. The picture appearing in this article was stitched by Pat Winter for that project. When I read Mary's book Sleep With The Angels, I knew exactly what I wanted to do. Although the color scheme will be different, Pat's block will give you an example of what we are asking for.

Once again, we invite you to join us in creating "Sleep With the Angels". We look forward to seeing this project as it becomes a reality.

"To all within sound of my voice, I appeal. Learn with me the lessons of history and of grace, so my children will not be afraid to say the word AIDS when I am gone. Then their children, and yours, may not need to whisper it at all. God bless the children, and bless us all." (SLEEP WITH THE ANGELS by Mary Fisher)

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