I met Julie when we traveled together to Japan in the beginning of 2020. We all had a wonderful time, but on our last day Julie received a call that her husband was in the midst of a serious health problem. She was obviously distraught and we prayed together. Everyone made it home safely, and her husband Rick has completely recovered ~ praise the Lord!
Since then Julie has taken a few of my classes, and we’ve kept in touch. A few weeks ago she invited me over for lunch and to help her brainstorm a graduation quilt for her grandson. We had a lovely day and I finally got to meet Rick. Their home is fascinating. It’s a large, older stone home on Big Cedar Lake, with many rooms, nooks and crannies. She said it was in bad shape when they purchased it, but they have made it a beautiful and comfortable retreat. A perfect showcase for her amazing crafts. Julie is an artist and a true crafts-woman, as well as a collector of lovely things. Not only is she a quilter and a collector of quilts, but she has many other fields of interest as well. I really enjoyed my tour. She had quilts everywhere. Even on the floor!
As soon as I saw it I jumped into “quilt protector” mode, and started to try to persuade her to pick it up. She kindly told me that she didn’t have much wall space, and they were her quilts to enjoy however she likes. I had to agree, and I must admit it did look lovely there. (please be kind with your comments 😊).
There were many bedrooms and all with Julie’s handmade quilts. She told me her sons played many sports growing up and she spent a lot of time at practices and games, so she started hand appliqueing stars ~ and three quilts resulted. Here are two:
She had other quilts of her own making and some lovely antique pieces also:
Each one had a story. And you know how much I love stories!
Julie is also an accomplished rug braider,
as well as a wool rug hooker. In this room the quilt was quilted as a whole cloth quilt with evergreen trees, and then she designed the rugs to match on either side of the bed.
Then we headed up past the teddy bear on the stairs.
Her original designs amazed me more and more as I went from room to room. This is her version of their lake:
And this one is of children playing in it:
My favorite quilt was on her bed. I think the central mariners compass had something to do with it.
It looked lovely with the rug she made of their home to celebrate their 50th anniversary, sailboat and all:
As we came back downstairs I discovered she even makes totes out of bird seed bags. What a wealth of creativity!
At this point in the tour we had lunch and… she’s also a wonderful cook 😊. Rick joined us and we shared good food and great conversation.
Now came the best part ~ a visit to her studio downstairs. Julie also makes Nantucket baskets like the ones on the shelf at the top of this blog post. She has many others hanging from the rafters.
Now it was time for Julie to bring out some t-shirts and fabrics she wanted to use in her grandson’s quilt ~ and we began to brainstorm. Decisions were made, notes were jotted down, and time flew. All of a sudden it was time for me to head back home. What a delightful day!
I hope I helped her and I know she inspired me.
I now need to add “the rest of the story”
That was a few weeks ago and I was so looking forward to sharing this wonderful story with all of you. Then I got an email from Julie recently saying she had a health issue that showed up suddenly in the time since I was there. The diagnosis is cancer and she is quite uncomfortable.
In Japan I was praying for her husband’s health. This time I’ve been praying with her, and for her, for her own health, ~ and for Rick too. I know Julie is the type of person who has made the most of every day of her life, and her positive attitude will get her through these difficult times. I am so grateful to have the privilege of praying for my dear friend and, if you are a person of prayer, would you please pray for my dear friend too? She’s already had surgery and is waiting for test results as she recuperates. It’s a very invasive type of cancer, so we’re all praying she won’t have to have chemo and radiation.
God bless you Julie. Many are praying with you!