Monday, December 3, 2012

The Missing Hawaiian Quilt - A Heart Wrenching Story

M. R. working on a Hawaiian Quilt
I first met M.R. some five years ago when she came to Maui to visit her daughter Lucy, who happens to be a very dear friend of mine.  MR stands for Mamma Ruth and how she got that nickname is another story.
I knew that Ruth loved crafts, especially quilting, because I had long admired the beautiful Hawaiian quilt on Lucy's bed that her mother had lovingly created for her. Lucy and her Mom worked as a team on the quilt. After Ruth had done the painstakingly challenging work of sewing all of the quilt blocks, Lucy and her friend Margaret from Colorado sewed the quilt together and Lucy's sister-in-law in Washington quilted it. Since then it and it has been a permanent fixture on Lucy and John's bed.

The first Hawaiian quilt Ruth made for Lucy
Last year, just before Ruth passed away she had been working on another Hawaiian quilt which was to have the place of honor in Lucy's guest bedroom.  She had sewn almost all of the quilt blocks together before her passing. A week before she died she and Lucy spread the squares out on the floor and Ruth had Lucy iron them and put them away for safe keeping, because at that point she knew that she wouldn't be able to finish the quilt project. 

The pieces for the second Hawaiian quilt
Lucy decided to put the quilt blocks away in a suitcase, which caused a mishap that turned out okay in the end.  After her Mom died, her brother Brad headed on a trip to Colorado, oblivious to the fact that his suitcase held a precious cargo. Lucy managed to get the pieces back before he left Evergreen, and carried them home herself to Maui.  Little did she know at this point that the quilt pieces were destined for another unwanted adventure.

After M.R. passed,  Lucy hired a local quilter (Ellen) who teaches quilting at The Maui Quilt Shop in Kihei, to finish sewing the pieces. To quote Lucy, "After she delivered the pieces, she gave me a big hug and said that even though she didn't know my Mother, she was so grateful to be able to have contributed to this loving quilt"

Just as with the previous quilt,  Lucy and Margaret decided that when Lucy visited Colorado last month,  they would get together again and complete the work that M.R. had started. Lucy mailed the pieces along with the fabric needed to finish the quilt. Unfortunately Margaret's mailbox in Pine Colorado was robbed before she received the parcel.  Apparently the Sherriff's department had just come in with some mail that they had found after the theft, and even though they have a suspect, the parcel has not yet turned up.
Lucy is so saddened that this precious heirloom and memory of her Mom has disappeared, most likely for good, but is still hopeful that someone might find it and return it to her so that she can complete her Mom's irreplaceable masterpiece.  The High Timber Times in Evergreen Colorado will be publishing a story about Lucy's missing quilt this week and she to offering a $100 reward for information leading to the return of the lost parcel.  She didn't think to insure the package--- I mean who would have thought that someone would steal a box of fabric including an unfinished Hawaiian quilt.  Lesson to us all. Insure everything you send through the US post office!!!!  The only problem is that money can't replace sentimental value but it might help a bit.
I am going to be optimistic that a miracle will happen and someone will return the missing quilt to its rightful owner.  Hopefully my next blog regarding this will be a happy ending to this sad story.

Coming soon:  A happy Christmas story about finishing another one of M.R.'s projects.

Lucy on right Margaret left