The Fisherman’s Quilt
There he was, holding up the Fisherman’s Quilt that I’d made for him, grinning ear to ear. I thought how happy he looked and what a great husband he’s been. I wondered if he had any idea how much I’d thought of him… I thought of him when I imagined a special quilt for our 30th Anniversary. I thought of him as I selected really special fabrics that would evoke strong feelings for him of being outdoors and fishing, two of his favorite things. I thought of him when I cut those squares and when I laid it out and with each stitch. I thought of him as I chose the thread and all the times he’d been the one who had held our family together. I thought of him as I carefully took it off the Gammill after it had been quilted and folded it up to give to him later. That’s what quilting does. It makes us think of the person we’re creating the quilt for while we’re creating it. And all those thoughts make us feel closer to them.
Last year for our 30th Anniversary, we went for an Alaskan cruise – which was a life-long dream of my husband Herb. While we were there, I had to track down the quilt stores, of course. I’d always heard that Alaska has great quilt stores, so I made it my mission to find them. Herb didn’t mind, because he was fishing. He did a shore fishing excursion in Juno and I walked around the downtown. The fabrics were authentic to the region with the animal prints and Eskimo symbols for animals.
While I’d been at a quilt retreat with some friends in Kansas last year, I found a pattern called Flower Stalls by Beyond the Reef. I imagined it as a special quilt with fabrics I found in Alaska.
Let me just say that I’m able to do what I love because Herb is so solid and steady (and covers our insurance!). In fact, if you’ve got a couple minutes, I’d like to tell you more about us.
Herb and I met at our church the summer after I graduated from High School in 1986. We were both going to be missionaries to children that summer through Child Evangelism Fellowship. When I first met him, we were sitting around a table and he was painfully shy and only spoke when he was asked to share his name. I, on the other hand, had just been to a concert and couldn’t stop talking about it.
We went to a ten day training around Morrison/Red Rocks where we learned how to teach children. He’d already been doing this for 3 or 4 years and was one of the teachers. We were going to be assigned to different quadrants in Denver after we were trained. A mutual friend introduced us and helped us get to know each other. In the evenings we would have worship time. I was asked to sing a solo. When Herb heard me sing to “Angels Watching Over Me” by Amy Grant, he said that was what did it! (Really, who could blame him?!)
On a dare from my friend Joliene, I wrote Herb a letter and invited him to go with me to see a Christian comedian. Of course, I had to dare her to do the same with her love interest. Unfortunately, the guy she wrote the letter to declined her offer, so it was the THREE of us on our first date. Ha! AWKWARD.
I was leaving to go to college in Oklahoma in September. Coming from a divorced family, I paid a lot of attention to the couples that I knew that seemed healthy, so I’d been looking for a Christian man who went to church and who valued their relationship with God. I did end up going, but right before I left, Herb took me to Black Eyed Pea and we had their Chicken Fried Steak and their giant tea. With sweaty palms and a quavering voice, he asked me if I’d go steady with him. He knew I might date other guys while I was at college, but he wanted to stake his claim!
I did date two other guys at college. Both of them were jerks. I couldn’t wait to see Herb again. We talked on the phone, we wrote letters… I still have all of them! I came home for Christmas and he was a bit aloof. I didn’t want to be the pursuer. I backed off. I saw him in the back row of church with his friend and I was frustrated that he wasn’t with me since I was only home for a few weeks. I was working at Cloth World to help out during the holidays. I was determined to be nonchalant with him until he decided to pursue me. Over pie at Red Lobster (I know what you’re thinking – who goes to Red Lobster for pie?! Just stay with me here…) he opened up to me and shared the intimate details of his childhood, family and struggles. After that night, I knew I would marry that man!
We married at First Baptist of Lakewood in 1988. We had a reception with cake and mints and punch. We started our family right away. Our son Andrew was born a month before our first anniversary. Our son Johnny was born 2-1/2 years later, in 1991. I stayed home and did daycare for years so I could be with my boys. During that time, I also started nursing school with Emily Griffith and got my Licensed Practical Nurse (LPN) degree from there. I got my RN from Front Range Community College after Johnny started 1st grade. In 1993, I took a position as a CNA at North Suburban and then finished nursing school. I continued to work there as a nurse for almost 25 years! I quit 1-½ years ago to quilt full time.
For 15 years, Herb worked at Collins Dynamics for a small assembly company. After 9/11, the economy changed and he lost his job, along with all the other employees there when they moved the company. Now he delivers mail with the USPS.
We’ve lived in Denver, Aurora, Lakewood, and Thornton. My going to nursing school put a strain on our marriage and our family. Herb knew that there were sacrifices. He helped with everything while I was in school. He grew and bonded with our boys while caring for them while I was gone. I never could have done it without him!
The thing I love most about Herb is that he’s ALWAYS on my side. He’s steady and certain. I’ve never doubted his commitment to me and our family.
He has always supported my ideas and respected my determination to fulfill my goals. He has a strong, quiet confidence that I’ve come to rely on and trust. My husband is FOR me. The trust and respect runs deep between us. He’s supported my quilting business 100% since the beginning, and I am grateful. We love to go on trips together. In 2018 we bought a camper shell for Herb’s truck (named the truck Juan) and now we have our own Juanabego and we can’t wait to put it to good use this year! We have three grandkids and look forward to spending time with them and Herb is looking forward to more great fishing! And if you ask me, I’d say he’s my best catch!
Hi, I'm Dawna. Welcome to my Blog. I love to share my quilting passion as well as my desire to be Continuously Creative! Through this blog I will share what I'm working on or any new products I find so that you too may be #ContinuouslyCreative!