ALS will never have me

On October 17 2015 my friend Betsy Bragg Pike Howell‎ was diagnosed with fast progressing bulbar onset ALS. I have read her post regarding her journey with ALS and all the changes, struggles, and blessings ALS has brought to her life.

In August of 2016 I read the following from her Facebook posting:

“I have a very strong faith in God and so I never had anger at my diagnosis. In my heart I believe that this is the path God has chosen for me. He wants me to learn something or wants someone else to learn something by the way I walk this journey.
My true struggle is my son. My son is adopted and was a crack baby. He is bipolar, severely adhd and autistic (Asperger). He is 19 and just graduated but still needs support.
My husband died 4 years ago. His mom lived with us for 24 years until I became too ill to care for her and we had to move her to an assisted living facility.”

My heart was breaking for Betsy and her family but I wasn’t sure how I could help or bring comfort to my dying friend, then it hit me, you idiot you need to made Betsy’s son a quilt with pictures of his Mom, Dad and Grandma. I don’t know why I didn’t think of this earlier. I proceeded to contact Betsy through private messaging. Betsy was very excited and touched. It took awhile to find a time when Betsy was strong enough after she found the pictures she wanted in the quilt.

I went over to her home and obtained the pictures. The only guidance she gave me was to make the quilt blue. Her son loves blue.

The first thing I did was to print the pictures for the quilt onto my white fabric specially made to printing pictures on. You can get this from a variety of companies. I like to use Printed Treasures. Then knowing that I was going to put the pictures on point I needed to add fabric to frame pictures since the pictures were printed on 81/2 x 11 in paper they were not big enough to make into 10 in squares on point. I began with a blue and white stripe  and soon realized I need more framing around the pictures so I then used the same fabric I would use for the sashing between the pictures. It worked, I trimmed out the pictures and began to iron them to the on-point Pallon interfacing. Once the fabric and pictures where secured I sewed all the seams.

One final pressing of the back before it goes on the frame for quilting.

Make a quilt with the “Twisted Nickel” method is so quick and easy!

I came up with a secondary pattern without even realizing it until the top was sewn together and I rotated it.

I thought it looked great! I will be doing this again!

When I make photo memory quilts I use Warm and Natural batting. You can quilt up to 10 in. apart and the batting won’t come apart or bunch up. I am able to avoid quilting in the pictures as long as they are 10 in. or smaller.

I don’t think Betsy is going to give this quilt to her son right away.

She was so happy!

I have ALS, I will have ALS until my sweet Lord takes me home, but ALS will NEVER have me! -Betsy