Quilt Finish · Sawtooth Stars · Something to Think About

Leisa and the Sawtooth Star Quilt

Leisa and I at quilt show

Back in the day, Leisa and I were always hanging out at quilt shows. But now, she spends a lot of her getting chemo treatments, dealing with ALLeukemia, and hanging out at UCIrvine, where she is being treated.

LeisaJohn on NBC news

Here’s a video clip from the NBC Nightly News that explains it all.

So I floated the idea of a quilt for her, texting out little group of sewers who have hung out for a while.  Everyone was on board: Lisa, Marlene, Laurel, Caitlin, Simone, Beth and I.  But what block?  Well, you know I’ve had Sawtooth Stars on the brain since the beginning of the year, so we all scrambled to put blocks together, with Laurel sewing the blocks together and our quilter, Cathy, getting it done in record time.  Laurel bound it for us, too.

LeisaSawtoothQlt grouping

Laurel and I worked on the arrangement for all the fun Sawtooth blocks we received from everyone.  We finished it in time for Leisa’s birthday, and Laurel took it over to her.


A couple of weeks later, I had the chance to catch Leisa in between hospital visits.  (Her dog Marley loves the quilt.)


Close-ups so you can see the quilting of loops and hearts and flowers.  Cathy shut down her business after this, so it was one of the last quilt tops she did.


The backing is the Tula print with bears all over it.  Because of this we called the quilt:

Leisa Quilt Label


And then this arrived in the mail: I’ve known Leisa for years, and she knows the way to my heart is a lovely note.  Tomorrow she heads back to her hospital for more treatments, and we hope our hugs provide solace as she works her way through this difficult part of her life.  My heart goes out to her and to her family, and I’m cognizant of others who have suffered the ravages of cancer.  I can only hope for healing for you all.

tiny nine patches

Shu Embroidery

Recently I learned of a young woman on YouTube, Liziqi, who is worth watching.  As one commenter wrote, “Li Ziqi makes Martha Stewart look like a slacker.”  I learned about her video on garlic through the seasons and I was hooked (trust me, you have to watch this).

I found the episode about Shu Embroidery.  She doesn’t actually weave the base cloth for her embroidery in this episode, but I have no doubt that she probably could.  (In this video, she makes a quilt).  The music is tasteful, the mood serene, and the fantasy about living off the land in the Chinese countryside is complete.  While I usually shy away from excessive YouTube watching, I’m going to make an exception for Liziqi.

Liziqi screen shot

To you, to Leisa: Life isn’t easy, as a screen shot from Liziqi’s website attests.  And while her saying is a bit cheesy, it does have some truth:  we can live with our hearts engaged, thinking about each other, and bringing forward our best offerings.

Like a quilt.

16 thoughts on “Leisa and the Sawtooth Star Quilt

  1. Sweet husband, compassionate friends, and a beautiful quilt, all in tribute to a lovely woman. She must feel treasured.

  2. Beautiful thoughts, feelings, memories and prayers in that beautiful quilt. I made a quilt for a friend when she started chemo 5 years ago. She’s back in treatment again and takes the quilt with her every treatment. Last week she asked me to make her a mask. I had just enough of the same backing fabric to make her a mask. She loves being coordinated!

  3. What a lovely quilt. Sadly, I have been part of making a comfort quilt a couple of time, but I know that they are always appreciated, and it’s wonderful to wrap someone up in love.

  4. So much love for Leisa! Your comment about garlic reminded me so much of my dad. He was such a fan of its healing properties.

  5. Oh, Elizabeth, this is so sweet. I have followed your friendship with Leisa since we first “met”, I even follow her on IG and remember that she was not doing well when you were at QuiltCon. And I DID see that news clip on NBC, but did not realize it was Leisa – shame on me! I think about her and know that while her road is rough right now, she has the love of so many wonderful people – family and friends like you – praying for her and always sending loving hugs, silently or by way of one very special quilt.

  6. I loved seeing Leisa and her beautiful quilt. She remains in my prayers every day. This Covid must be especially hard on her with limited visitors.

    I will have to check out You Tube. She sounds very resourceful and creative.

  7. Thank you for sharing a quarantine story that is full of love and caring and the commitment of friendship. The quilt is beautiful! I pray for a happy ending to that story. And Liziqui on youtube was so relaxing to watch. My husband really enjoyed the garlic one.

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