A quilt for Emma

This is a story about Emma’s Autism quilt. If you look close, you will notice there are only two kinds of fabric in the quilt top. The one fabric brightly-colored with a puzzle piece design, the symbol for Autism. The other fabric, a solid, used to quiet the other. Emma is like the solid fabric in her quilt … quiet and encouraging. She has always offered practical ways to apply behavioral and social training encouraging those with Autism to thrive and belong.

It was earlier this year when Mary came to me with the idea for making Emma a quilt and two yards of the puzzle fabric. She wanted to in some small way thank Emma for years of encouragement, friendship, and her willingness to share her expertise while working her daughter, Michelle. Actually, Emma has over the years touched many lives in our community. How do you thank someone like that?

While my own daughter, Mimi, doesn’t have Autism, we have our own happy memories with Emma. Years ago Emma came to our home to care for Mimi so my husband and I could go on a date. Emma gave Mimi the nickname of “Meemers,” which is what many at the day center still call her.

Of course I was “all in” on the project! It took me a while to figure out a quilt block to complement the busy Autism fabric. I figured whatever quilt block we used, the black fabric would make it pop. The churn dash quilt block was simple enough and worked well with the busy Autism fabric.

Mary and I even scheduled some time together so I could show her how to piece a few of the blocks. Once the quilt top was finished we went to a local quilt shop, Quilts & Creations, and picked out a backing. The bright green worked perfect! Next we met with Kim Norton, of A Busy Bobbin, to pick out a machine quilting pattern. We all loved the variegated thread and swirly quilt pattern. Personalize It Kingwood made the quilt label and we were finally ready to give Emma the quilt.

After bouncing lots of options off each other, Mary came up with the perfect name for the quilt. “Emma’s Gift of Hope” was our way to say thanks to a very special lady who has spent a lifetime giving to people with Autism.

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