06 April 2010

America the Beautiful

Last week I was elated to learn my friend Mary Jafek's quilt had been accepted into this year's Denver National Quilt Festival. I've had several requests to show off detail in this marvelous quilt, and I am very happy to oblige.Exquisite Embroidery DetailA State I Love to VisitMy Home StateOne of the Most Beautiful Embroidered BirdsWhich State Claims The Rose?For those who didn't catch the rest of the story last week, Mary's quilt will be hanging at the Denver National Quilt Festival next month.

This quilt has the most amazing story.

Dwila Gerih of Wauneta, Nebraska, hand-embroidered all 50 states, state flowers, state birds and dates of statehood during the long commutes to and from Denver while her husband was being treated by Bruce Jafek, my friend Mary's husband. Dwila presented the embroidered squares to Dr. Jafek as a gift when her husband's treatment was completed. Mary pieced the quilt, and Merrie Jones of Aurora, Colorado, quilted it.

Dwila didn't follow the embroidery guide exactly, a woman I'd love to meet one day. I love when people make designs their own!

Bruce and Mary JafekShe improved upon many of the embroidery designs, in my opinion. After receiving this amazing gift, Mary decided not to try to wash the blue embroidery guides off, at least for now. She didn't want to chance ruining one of the squares with a test washing, and there's no way she could toss the completed quilt into any solutions, regardless of recommendations, without testing on something less valuable first. We may try to duplicate Dwila's efforts later on, but for now, you can see some of the original iron-on blue. To me, the quilt is still fabulous, and knowing Dwila tried to make the designs even better makes me appreciate her work even more.

Dr. Jafek, who toyed with the idea of becoming an architect before deciding surgery was his bag of tricks, designed the quilt layout at his wife's request. He then added one of the finishing touches by coloring and lettering the label (shown above) for the label on the back of the quilt. How's this for a doctor's handwriting?!?

I was honored to add just a tad to the quilt, too. I added the hanging sleeve, and I attached the quilt label. I now must attach a bigger label in another corner of the back of the quilt before "America the Beautiful" goes back on exhibit. Quilts at the Capitol last year wanted a 4-inch label at the top of the quilt; the Denver National Quilt Festival wants a bigger label at the bottom of the quilt. So Dr. Jafek made two.

Mary and her husband currently are serving a medical mission in the Philippines. That's why I've been entrusted with her priceless quilt. This is will be the second show it's been accepted into since it came into my care.
America the Beautiful by Mary Jafek, Dwila Gerih and Merrie Jones


  1. Oh dear, beutiful...

    There is an award for you in my blog, go and get it :)

  2. Lots of work there! Beautiful quilt!!

  3. Truly and awesome project! I really admire the patience it took to complete!


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