I didn’t attend QuiltCon in February, but I eagerly watched it unfold on Instagram. Over and over again in my feed I saw an incredibly moving quilt. All white with stark black lettering, it read, “I am a woman whose child is dead.” This quilt stirred up intense emotions of sadness among the show’s attendees, and among those of us at home who saw photos of it. Made by Penny Gold, a quilter I’d never heard of, I became so curious. How did this quilt come to be? What was the story behind it?
I started to do some research, learning through Penny’s blog more about her life and the tragic event that inspired this quilt. I felt so strongly that her story, and the quilt-making journey that led to this striking piece, needed to be told to a wider audience.
I emailed Penny rather audaciously to ask if I might tell it. I told her it might be for my blog, but it might be for a magazine (having not yet asked any magazine editors if they might want it), and she agreed to talk to me. With her cooperation secured, I asked several quilter friends which magazine might publish a story like this and all of them told me that if anyone would it would be Generation Q.
So I emailed Melissa, the editor, and pitched the story. And she bought it. (Turns out she subscribes to my newsletter. I had no idea!).
I spent an hour on the phone with Penny and through our conversation I feel like I made a new friend. She helped me to understand where this particular quilt fits in her decade of making quilts to deal with the loss of her son, Jeremy. She explained to me that the black and white side of the quilt that was displayed as the front at QuiltCon is actually the back. Her story will stick with me always.
The article is in the May-June issue of Generation Q which is on newsstands now. This is my first reported story for a print publication. I hope you’ll check it out.