Pat’s Quilt – The One We Didn’t Really Want to Make Yet

Most of my regular readers will know I have been involved in a patchwork block swap with a group of twelve blogging friends from the States, U.K., France. Germany, the Netherlands and Australia. We were each allocated a month – mine was in October – and we receive three blocks in our previously chosen colours from each of the other participants, making 36 with which to eventually make a lovely quilt.

ovarian cancer ribbon

One of our number – Pat – had been diagnosed with ovarian cancer before the swap began but she felt it would give her something to aim for by participating and she was regularly contributing her blocks despite her health concerns. In the draw at the beginning of the swap, her name was picked for the last month of the twelve month period but, despite offers to swap with her for an earlier month, Pat felt it would give her a target so ‘Miss May’ she remained.

However, sadly, Pat has now stopped her treatment and is receiving palliative care.

The race was on to get the blocks for Pat’s quilt underway and sent to the U.S. for Sue, one of the organizers of the F2F swap, to put them all together and get them quilted by her son on his longarm quilting machine.  So, ‘Miss January’ was dropped like a hot brick (sorry Emmely!) and we all started instead on Pat’s blocks which she had requested in teal blue with tan or cream – teal being the colour of the Ovarian Cancer ribbon symbol.  I never realised I could piece a block so fast!

As these blocks are being made in far flung places and all have to make their way by post to the U.S., the actual, final quilt may take a little longer to come together so we all took photographs of the blocks we made and they were transformed into a ‘virtual quilt’ so that Pat can get an idea of what her quilt will look like when it’s ready.


We all really hope that we will have been in time and Pat will be able to see and touch her real life quilt.

I lost an aunt to ovarian cancer and, although it is a hard one to diagnose in the early stages, there are symptoms to look out for and I, and all the other members of the F2F block swap, would really like to take this opportunity to urge you to familiarise yourself with the symptoms of ovarian cancer — symptoms which are so common and so ephemeral that many don’t consider them symptoms at all. For this reason, ovarian cancer is rarely diagnosed in its early stages, often leading to a poor prognosis. Here are the symptoms: Bloating. Pelvic or abdominal pain. Difficulty eating or feeling full quickly. Urinary symptoms (urgency or frequency). Don’t panic as these are also common symptoms of less serious things but, if you have these symptoms – and they are unusual for you – many times in a single month, please visit your doctor or gynaecologist.   For more information, visit:

or, in the U.K.

or, in French,





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  1. #1 by poshbirdy on January 18, 2016 - 17:44

    Lovely virtual quilt. What a beautiful idea. And such a good way to raise awareness

    • #2 by tialys on January 18, 2016 - 18:23

      Thank you – all the other members of the swap are doing blogs on the subject too because we may as well take the opportunity to try to raise awareness.

  2. #3 by nanacathy2 on January 18, 2016 - 17:48

    I think you are all simply marvellous and am hoping you get it done in time. Bless you all and especially Pat.

    • #4 by tialys on January 18, 2016 - 18:27

      If we were all in the same country it would have been easier – relying on the post office is never a good idea – but then the ‘international’ aspect was in the spirit of the swap to start with so that’s how it will continue.

  3. #5 by jendavismiller on January 18, 2016 - 19:40

    This is just beautiful, and what a tremendous, supportive community. With you, I’m hoping your friend is able to see and touch her quilt. I wish for her as little pain as possible, and that her openness and sharing of knowledge will have spared others.

  4. #7 by on January 18, 2016 - 20:35

    Thank you for that informative and inspiring post. I have a close friend with this beastly disease. This time last year we’d almost given up hope, and now she’s in remission and having her hair cut regularly again. Prayers for Pat and bon courage.

    • #8 by tialys on January 19, 2016 - 00:49

      That is such good news about your friend Viv. It is encouraging to hear that, even with such a nasty disease, there can be hope.

  5. #9 by Jan Marriott on January 18, 2016 - 21:52

    great post and thanks for the heads up.

  6. #10 by sewchet on January 18, 2016 - 21:56

    I have all these symptoms and more and am having surgery tomorrow for what appears to be a huge polyp, hopefully benign. Ovarian cancer was the main worry as they call it ‘the silent killer’. I do so hope that Pat gets to hold the quilt – such a wonderful effort by you all:)

    • #11 by tialys on January 19, 2016 - 00:40

      I wish you all the very best for your surgery tomorrow and for the best possible outcome. It must have been a very worrying time for you and it will be wonderful to be able to put it all behind you. Bon courage. X

  7. #12 by katechiconi on January 19, 2016 - 00:33

    Thank you, Lynn… If we all post about the quilt, and the disease, the information will spread like water ripples and we can do so much more good than simply making Pat’s quilt – which is pretty amazing in itself, considering the timing!

    • #13 by tialys on January 19, 2016 - 00:45

      The trouble is, those symptoms are sneaky. I think I’ve probably had all of them at one time or another, usually individually, for varying reasons. I guess it’s just a question of listening to your body, knowing what isn’t normal for you and not being afraid to get checked out.

      • #14 by katechiconi on January 19, 2016 - 00:51

        It’s having them together and repeatedly, and knowing, as you say, that something is ‘off’. How much better to have it checked and be given the all clear, than the other way round.

  8. #15 by lovelucie1 on January 19, 2016 - 14:50

    I didn’t know the symptoms, so thank you so much for sharing.
    As for the quilt, it looks fabulous already. I imagine none of you were anticipating to be affected by one woman’s such courageous journey when you all set out. Fingers crossed and love sent.

    • #16 by tialys on January 19, 2016 - 15:23

      Thanks Lucie. If that’s just one more woman that is aware of what to look out for, I count my post a success. Please pass it on to any of your friends or relatives who may not know – more awareness means a better prognosis.

  9. #17 by Dartmoor Yarns on January 19, 2016 - 21:37

    Sadly, even when we’re aware of the symptoms ovarian cancer is so good at hiding. I had a close friend who was (apparently) fit as a flea one week and diagnosed with stage four ovarian cancer the next. Sending my love to you all, and especially to Pat.

    • #18 by tialys on January 20, 2016 - 10:12

      I’m sorry to hear about your friend. That’s kind of how it happened with my aunt.
      I think Angelina Jolie is on to something. Once you’ve finished with them, have them out. I suppose it wouldn’t be that simple in the ‘real world’. After all, it’s still a fairly major operation and I don’t imagine it would be available on the NHS.

      • #19 by Dartmoor Yarns on January 20, 2016 - 11:50

        Thank you. Sorry to hear about your aunt. I thought Angelina Jolie had had her breasts removed? It would also cause all sorts of early menopause problems if you had it done before that.

  10. #20 by tialys on January 20, 2016 - 12:54

    Her ovaries and fallopian tubes too.

  11. #21 by Postcard from Gibraltar on January 23, 2016 - 00:46

    What a beautiful quilt. Thank you for raising awareness about ovarian cancer knowledge is power. I sadly lost my Aunt to it several years ago. Sending love and positivity to Pat.

  12. #22 by nettyg on January 23, 2016 - 04:22

    Lovely post Lynn, beautifully said.

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