Quilter’s Name: Leann Stites from Thornton, Colorado
Type of Quilt: Memory Quilt
Name of Pattern: Original Design
Featured Date: 5-4-23
My name is Leann Stites. I’m from Thornton, Colorado. I’ve been sewing since I was 8 years old and made my own clothes from Junior High through High School, and then sewed for my 3 boys and nieces. My Aunt May made beautiful hand-quilted quilts for us when we married. I was always amazed at her gorgeous designs. I also made wedding dresses and two men’s sports coats when my boys were little. I loved sewing but found it hard to make a living when I found myself divorced at 28! So, I put my sewing aside and dreamed of the day I could retire and sew again. That day came in 2009 and I took my first quilting course! I was hooked from day one!
Forward to 2011 – I considered myself a novice quilter but embarked on a one year journey to create this Memory Quilt for my precious godchild, Amanda. It took me months to gather the pictures and transfer them to fabric. To print the pictures onto fabric, I scanned the photos into my computer and I used print quality fabric sheets in my inkjet printer. My first time transferring photos to fabric and many mistakes later, I had over 100 pictures ready to be made into a quilt. I chose the best 81 and made them into 9 squares with 9 pictures each. Each square is different colors depicting different times of her life and activities and her favorite colors. I did not have a pattern – this was a create as you go project! At one time, I was short 1 fat quarter to complete the quilt! I drove over 70 miles round trip to find that one piece of fabric. At the last store at 4:30 in the afternoon I found the fabric! However I had to buy a fat quarter bundle to get that one piece! I had lots of pretty stash though!
I completed the quilt in 2012 just after our girls graduation from college. I waited so I could add her graduation pictures to it. She treasured her quilt and proudly displayed in on a wall in her home. I’ve never regretted the time in making this quilt because I adore her and it made her so happy. The picture below is on a magnet she sent me after she received her quilt. It will forever remain on my refrigerator.
In March of 2021, our beautiful Amanda was diagnosed with triple negative metastatic breast cancer. She fought valiantly for 2 years but February 19, 2023 she went home to be with the Lord. This priceless quilt will go to her 3 year old daughter. More love is sewn into every stitch than you can imagine. It’s my greatest work of heart!