This time last week I posted about my crafty going outs, but I didn't mention what happened as I was on my way home from the Modern Quilting Magazine launch.
As I was walking from the train station to the bus stop to make the last leg of my trip home - I received word that my birth father had lost his battle with Prostate cancer. His funeral was today - but I am on the opposite side of the world and feel very detached from it all.
We never had the conventional father/daughter relationship as we never lived together. When I was 22 we spent a month together in Turkey which was the start of a better understanding of who he was. He was also present for the few weeks before A was born less than 2 and a half years ago - and luckily A arrived the day before he flew back to NZ. Not long after he returned home, he was diagnosed with the cancer - but it hadn't been diagnosed early enough and had spread to his bones. Being the son of a GP he was pretty good at going to see his Dr but a vital test was not made PSA (Prostate-Specific Antigen); which is an indicator as to whether there is cancerous cells present in the prostate.
I was talking to my mum - who had reconnected with my birth father and re-established their friendship after 20 odd years - and she said that she was angry at his Dr for not picking up on the cancer sooner. My dad's family has a history of female reproductive cancers - which we had been discussing when he was over before A was born - but there had been no occurrences of male cancers, little did we know that his body was already riddled with cancer that started in the prostate.
From this anger and a need to do something constructive about it I suggested that we do some fundraising for both the Hospice (which is fully privately funded) where he spent his last few weeks and for Movember charities.
My suggestion was of course Quilt related - as my mother is also a quilter and has a large group of quilty friends. An amazing artist friend of mine had entered a Movember t-shirt competition a couple of years ago and her drawing came to mind - a sausage dog with a large mo' and a monocle. So I got in touch with her and she is willing to donate the design to our cause. I also suggested a few mo' variations for a little variety - she is busy working on a commission so won't have time to finalise the designs for a few weeks. (Take a look at her amazing work www.vincenteknight.com.)
I have had a few ideas about how to go about the fundraising: a couple of bee quilts - 1 in NZ, 1 organised through this blog, cushions for sale, plus the patterns for sale with proceeds going to the 2 charities, I have also had ideas of fabric with the design on... I could go on.
I would however like to put the idea out into the ether - as I'm always having ideas but then getting scared and not continuing - but I reason if I tell the world then I have to do it, plus the Quilty world is so generous that I think together we can get a lot done.
So the big question is who would be interested in contributing to a quilt to be raffled off with the money raised going to Movember and The Mary Potter Hospice (Wellington, NZ). And if not contributing to the quilt would happily buy a pattern?
I am hoping to have the pattern available for sale by my birthday which is mid-April.
If so either comment or send me a message.
UPDATE: My project now has a slogan and a name: Can't Grow a Mo' Sew a Mo' and has it's own menu tab - you can grab a button, sign up for updates and answer a question as to your pattern preference and when the pattern is available (soon I promise) posts your photos to the Flickr group.