Angels Watching Over Me, by Beverly Hicks Burch

Angels Watching Over Me

By Beverly Hicks Burch

Back in the 1990s I worked with a group of woman from my church to put together a quilt to raise funds for an orphanage in Romania. At the time the Cold War had just ended, the Berlin Wall had been freshly fallen a few years previously and many of the former Soviet pact countries were in a world of hurt…children in particular.

One family in our church had a burden for the country of Romania, the children and orphanages especially, and they did mission work there to aid and help the people. This particular orphanage needed simple things…diapers…even a septic tank.

So, I presented the idea we quilters use so often in the quilting world to raise funds for our favorite charities and causes: an opportunity quilt.

I had a large area in my home where we could meet and I agreed to teach the ones who knew nothing about quilting. We did a simple appliqué design and then I sashed it and added borders. If memory serves me, we raised a little over $2,000 for the orphanage with the quilt…and one lucky person got to take home a beautiful quilt.

We had started out with a group of women from the church, some other friends from other churches and some friends of mine I knew. For a while we meet twice a week…and we were having a blast. We would start around 7:00PM and work till about 9:00 or so and take a refreshment break. About that time a lot of the husbands began to show up, too and we’d have a house full. Some would leave, and then some would stay and we’d work until the wee house of the morning.

After the opportunity quilt was finished we were just having so much fun we hated to break it up, so we kept meeting. We called ourselves the Central Alabama Cut-up Quilters and Night Owls…and believe me…we resembled that remark! For the longest time we met once a week…yes, I said once a week… We did a Christmas Quilt by doing a block of the month. We had a quilt block challenge…we did some fun stuff…

When the ex had to take an out of town field assignment that took me and my son out of state for a few months, I left my home open for the group to continue to meet…and a few times I called to join in while they were there.

By 1994 unbeknown to me there was a secret project going on and I was surprised with the project at our Christmas party that year. It was the top for a beautiful appliquéd angel quilt.

I was very, very touched and needless to say I would need all the angels I could get watching over me the following year. For you see, it was in 1995 I went through my second bout on NON-smoking lung cancer and I had 60% of my left lung removed.

Just before my surgery I decided I would need something to keep me busy while I was convalescing. So, I made the backing for the quilt, basted it together and had it ready to start quilting when I got home.

And, quilt I did. Many times when I was quilting the quilt I asked myself, “Was I on drugs when I started this?” And then I think, “Duh, maybe!” Why? Well, I outline quilted around each angel and each row is about ¼ inch apart! I wanted the angels to have the appearance of motion…but, it was very laborious…and, I think in the end worth it!

Anyway, today I was switching out some things, getting ready for yet another move and it dawned on me I hadn’t photographed Angels Watching Over Me yet, so I decided to do that today and share the results.

Angels Watching Over Me

Angels Watching Over Me

Littlest Night Owl block

The “littlest” Night Owl’s block – he just got his class ring!

Kecia's block

 One of the girls…Kecia

Mom's angel block

My Momma’s block

AWOM - border detail

Border Detail

AWOM - quilting detail front

Quilting detail – front…see all that outline quilting?!

AWOM - quilting detail background

Quilting Detail – Back

AWOM - quilting detail background with binding

How the border looks on the back of the quilt…

© 2010 Beverly Hicks Burch All Rights Reserved.


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