In the Arms of the Angels

A new and very different Ovarian Cancer quilt

This quilt has been in the pipeline for a couple of months. Originally, the delivery date was in April, which was tight, but not ridiculous. I have now been given an insanely short deadline for this quilt. It must be ready to photograph by 22nd March 2019, in order to feature in the program for the Twilight Dinner which is to launch the Trudy Crowley Foundation, and to be available for auction at that event on 30th March. This design has been approved and I cannot now go back and redesign it into something simpler. Even if I could, I wouldn’t want to; this is my tribute and farewell to Trudy Crowley, a magnificent woman and wonderful human being.

Between now and then, I have to finish Go Teal it on the Mountain, I have other sewing commitments (F2F, etc), I have a 5-day trip to Melbourne in early February, there’s Christmas, and we’re moving house at the end of February. However, I really want to achieve this in order to do justice to the amazing work Trudy started and which the Foundation has been created to continue. My original plan was to make this quilt myself, but that is very clearly impossible now. So, I am reaching out for help from the quilting community, and I know you will not fail me.

Here’s the design, and below it, a list of what is needed.

Note: the cross in each block indicates whether it’s a square or rectangle, it’s not a design for the block

Background: 3 squares across x 4 squares high = 12 x 12½” blocks

  • All fabrics very pale pastel shades of teal, turquoise, sky blue, cream, stone
  • Blocks can be simple chequerboards, 9-patch, HSTs, etc, but any design or pattern is not to jump out or have any strong contrast – this is the ‘wall of heaven’, and is background only.
  • The background needs to be quilted and assembled before the rest of the quilt is built around it. Blocks will be stitched together directly, and the whole panel will be sandwiched and quilted as one piece. Other elements will then be appliquéd to it, and the borders added last by joining strips.
  • NOTE: some of the squares will be covered or partially covered by the wings. Until I have all the background blocks, I will not know what is going where. If your blocks are covered this is not a sign that I don’t like what you’ve made, it’s simply how the background came together to achieve the best overall effect.

Border: 5 blocks across x 5 blocks high, as follows: 6 x 12½” blocks, 6 x 10½” cornerstones, 4 x 12½” x 18½” rectangular blocks

  • Of these, 14 are plain and 6 are cornerstones: shoe, shell, glass, heart, ribbon, logo.
  • Border squares are to be dark shades of teal, greenish blue, bluish green, etc.
  • Cornerstone blocks are to be finished at 10½” square; a border will be added when they are joined to other blocks.
  • Border blocks can be simple squares, HSTs, etc, but the pattern is not to jump out, it is to be a ‘mosaic’ frame around our view through the window into heaven.
  • The cornerstones should be executed in shades of teal, greenish blue, bluish green, etc, on backgrounds of warm cream, stone, caramel, etc, either plain or small prints that read as gentle texture.
  • This border needs to be quilted and assembled in sections before being attached to the rest of the quilt.
  • Cornerstones will be sandwiched and quilted separately, and then attached to the other parts. The long strips will then be added to the completed centre panel, top and bottom first, and then the long side panels with the integrated cornerstones.


  • These will be partially appliquéd and partially 3D off the background.
  • They will be executed in warm cream, stone and caramel with accents of teal, greenish blue and gold.
  • They will be created and quilted separately before application to the background.

Other elements:

  • There is a ‘peg’, an L plate, and a lettered banner. The peg is appliquéd, the L plate is pieced and 3D
  • The banner ideally needs machine embroidery, but may end up being hand lettered if I can’t get this organised (unless I can get the Committee to cough up for it…) Once lettered, it will be a 3D piece appliquéd to the background.

A big thank you to all those who have offered their help. Below, please see a list of names and the work I have tentatively assigned to you, based on my knowledge of your strengths.

Kate Chiconi: logo cornerstone, wings, banner, quilting, assembly
Lynn Hutton: Shoe & Glass paper pieced cornerstones (patterns will be supplied)
Robin Murphy: background/border
Margaret Creek: Scallop shell appliqué cornerstone/background/ border
Tracy Pursley: Ribbon appliqué cornerstone/background/border (TBC)
Sue Brown: Scrappy Heart pieced cornerstone/background/border

Jenny Ladbrooke: background/border

Please let me know if you cannot do what I am suggesting, if you feel able to take on some more, or if you’re not on the list but would like to be. The more help we have, the better our chances of getting it completed in time.

The impossible we can achieve tomorrow. Miracles take a little longer….



34 thoughts on “In the Arms of the Angels

  1. anne54 says:

    “The banner ideally needs machine embroidery, but may end up being hand lettered if I can’t get this organised (unless I can get the Committee to cough up for it…)” I would like to send you some money to get this done. I can’t contribute any quilting skills but I can help out in this way. This means so much to you, and you give so generously of your time.

  2. Gosh you really do have a lot to fit in in the next few months! Good luck!

    • katechiconi says:

      It’s all a bit bonkers, isn’t it? To be fair, the Committee have no idea of the amount of work involved in producing a quilt, so wouldn’t see a problem with bringing the date forward. But I’ll be hanging onto that Good Luck and hope not to need it!

  3. Jenny says:

    Hi Kate, another stunner n the pipeline, happy to make a couple of pale 12.5” squares for the background to the wings/banner. I’m thinking chequer board and choices that ensure it bends into the background? But happy to be redirected. Jx

    • katechiconi says:

      You are spot on! And need I say, as soon as possible…? Glad you like the design; the quilt’s title is from the Sarah McLachlan song, played at her funeral, so it seemed appropriate to work with wings…

      • It will be done over the next couple of weeks and in the post by end of December. Earlier if poss but have eye surgery planned today and then small matter of Christmas! But chequer board is less time consuming than other designs I’ve done!!

      • katechiconi says:

        Eye surgery? Eek! Are you sure you want to take this on? Not that I want to dissuade you, but do take care… best wishes for a speedy recovery.

  4. tialys says:

    Yay for Anne!
    A glass of wine and a shoe? It’s as if you know me 😉
    Of course i will tackle those and I expect I could also manage a simple pieced border or background block or two if you need me.
    This is a lovely design and should be a showstopper at the launch of the Trudy Crowley Foundation dinner.

    • katechiconi says:

      Quite apart from your ninja skills with paper piecing, it seemed a perfect fit… I’d also love another block; let me know if your stash looks more dark border or light background. I just need to keep track of who’s doing what so I don’t end up with too few or too many of anything. Thank you so much for helping once again 🙂

  5. nanacathy2 says:

    Gosh Kate you don’t like an easy life. I want to wish you all the best with this quilt. I know that it will look amazing, best of luck to you and all participants.

  6. Robin Murphy says:

    I have some nice pale moda grunge lighter than the one i used for my mountain sky, should be good with some creamy stone i have for background , also have some dark teal left over as well, so i am good to go. Will start this weekend.

  7. magpiesue says:

    I’m delighted to make a heart and possibly other background or border blocks. Not sure right now what I have left in the way of teals, I suspect mostly dark and mediums. Happy to do some shopping though! What is the ‘L’ for?

    • katechiconi says:

      Oh thank you, Sue, a dark teal rectangular border block would be great. The L stands for ‘Learner’. In Australia learner drivers have to display an L plate on the back of their car while they’re learning. It’s supposed to make other drivers more tolerant and understanding… I thought Trudy might need to show her ‘L’ while she was getting used to her wings…

  8. craftycreeky says:

    I’d be delighted to make a scallop block, I’ll make a couple of background blocks too, either border or centre, just let me know what you need 🙂

    • katechiconi says:

      The cornerstones denote things important in Trudy’s life, or things she loved. She loved the beach, and the shell is to symbolise this. If you could also make a border and a centre block, depending on what you have in your stash, that would be brilliant! Thank you so much!

  9. Nanette says:

    A different sort of design, it will be stunning. Did the Comittee give you a brief of what they wanted and you came up with the design? I did offer in another post to make blocks but it looks like you have a lot of ‘ hands in the air’ offering but sing out if you need more.

    • katechiconi says:

      I’m sorry, I must have missed the comment, and I’d love it if you could make a pale background block or two, if you have time?
      With the design, I was asked if I could make a memorial / tribute quilt because they knew of our work with the Ovarian Cancer quilts. That was the extent of the brief, it was up to me what I made. I had been to Trudy’s funeral, and took from the ceremony those symbols you see in the cornerstones. The song ‘In the Arms of the Angel’ was played at the funeral, and that gave me the wings; everyone said Trudy would become an angel, and would still be looking down at us. So that’s how I arrived at the design.

  10. kymlucas says:

    Sounds amazing. Sorry I am not a quilter. Can you use any donations/funding at all? Could send via PayPal.

  11. rutigt says:

    What a beautiful quilt and I´m so sorry I can´t help you. I will next time, that´s a promise! Looking forward to see the finished quilt. I guess it will be wonderful!

  12. […] I want to do a few more Splendid Sampler blocks. Top of my list however was some quilt blocks for Kate Chiconi. Kate is making a beautiful quilt to be sold to raise money for an Ovarian Cancer charity. It’s […]

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