...and here is his family...
Mark and Lee fell in love in high school; I think Lee was 15 and Mark was 16. Because Lee is my "niece-in-law" (my brother-in-law and sister-in-law's daughter), over the years I've watched Mark and Lee go through college--each on atheletic scholarships--get married, and have their children together. Their love has been a joy to the whole family, and to everyone who has known them.
Always, Mark was upbeat, energetic, full of strength. So when he was diagnosed with Multiple Myeloma (a cancer of the blood) four years ago, he took it on like the Superman he was. He underwent arduous treatments, raised money for research for a cure, continued to work as long as he could, and even served as his daughter's softball coach this spring before his body could no longer tolerate treatment and he died.
At his funeral, the Chief of the Manhattan Beach Police told the hundreds of us gathered that Mark in his six years of service on the force touched more people than he himself had in thirty years as a police officer. Knowing Mark, we all knew this humble police chief had spoken the truth.
So you can imagine what an honor it is for me to be making memorial quilts for Lee, Madison, Ashley, Manny--Mark's dad--and Don, Lee's dad. I've been working with Mark's extensive t-shirt collection and some of his other garments, with the goal of creating each of them a cozy blanket to wrap up in, full of Mark's energy and memories.
Here are some of the tshirts...it gives you a little insight into the life of a committed policeman....
I used my rotary cutter to trim out the shirts.
....until I had a pile of the graphics.
Because Lee has continually thought of these quilts as "blankets", I decided to make them as cozy as I could. I am appliquing the tshirt graphics onto thick polar fleece, then will machine quilt them. Technically, this makes the most sense to me too, rather than trying to interface and then piece all those knits, and then layer them with batting and backing.
So I've started on Manny's blanket first (Lee sent me five boxes of shirts and other garments of Mark's, specifically chosen for each person)....
The next step is to hand baste everything down.
I did suffer an accident, unrelated, in the last week...burned my left thumb quite badly making jam! So my work on this project has been slowed down considerably for the moment. But it is what will be going on here for the next several weeks. It is good work, and I am so happy to be doing it.