Hugs Come In Many Forms



Hello Farmgirl friends!

Grab some kleenex and get in a comfy seat.  Yes… this post is one of those.




Last March my dear friend Kathleen lost her husband Jerry suddenly and tragically to a brain tumor that had only just been diagnosed.  Hardly time to even grasp the diagnosis and he was gone.  You just can’t put into words the magnitude of grief that we all felt.  He was young, active, incredibly fit, and full of life.  And then he was gone.

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  1. Maxine says:

    What an absolute beautiful project, post and friend you are. I just love this so much!

  2. Ramona Puckett says:

    Oh my goodness! This is the sweetest gift! And you were right about grabbing the Kleenex! Thank y’all so much for sharing.❤️

  3. Kim Rice says:

    I had already seen some of these shots as you know, and now I’m sitting waiting for my manicure appointment and the tears are falling AGAIN . Happy tears, for the two friends who came together at a very hard time to console and share something so special for the kids. Something they will share with generations after. Jerry is smiling I am sure!
    Thanks for sharing so much Dori

  4. Cyndie Gray says:

    Oh my stars, this is the most touching quilting tale I have ever read, seen or heard ♥️ How absolutely precious for those adult kids to have that tangible hug available from their dear dad anytime right at their fingertips. Thank you so very much for sharing it with all of us dear Dori.

  5. Kathleen Frederick says:

    Oh Dori ~ no words except thank you, my dear sweet friend. Great big heart-felt everything, Kathleen

  6. Lori Fresina says:


  7. Diane Loehr says:

    OMG – sitting at work reading this post crying! I am so sorry for her loss. My husband died almost 4 years ago from a heart condition, along with a brain tumor that they found. In 3 weeks after being diagnosed he went to heaven. Her children are going to love and use these quilts forever. What a beautiful gift to give them. thanks for this lovely post. Diane

  8. Irene says:

    You are the most thoughtful and creative person. It was a beautiful post. And definitely needed a Kleenex.

  9. Dee Carter says:

    I loved, loved these pictures of your quilts. I do wish I would have done this with my Daddy’s shirts. But a young mother with a 2 year old and a baby, there wasn’t even time to think of it. I do wish……
    You did a wonderful job. I love the square with the tag to hang the shirt with that you included. Maybe yellow. Well you have seen it many times I’m sure. There was 2 lucky kids there!

    Thank you for sharing .
    Dee Carter

  10. Judith Stout says:

    Dori – Thank you for sharing this story. Indeed many tears were shed. My precious husband left for heaven 4 years ago and I have yet to gather the courage to make quilts for my boys and grandchildren. I haven’t emptied the closets so like Kathleen, I have saved every pajama, camouflage shirts and t shirts the boys had given to him.

    You give me inspiration to begin these projects as I see what the quilts mean to the families. Thank you again for sharing. God Bless You.

  11. Renee says:

    Tears welling, heart overflowing!

  12. Ingrid says:

    Thank you for sharing his story. It has touched my heart deeply. Creativity certainly plays an important part in the healing process. May God continue to show His love to you. Very nicely done.

  13. Edith says:

    What a beautiful story, thank you for sharing with us all…. the quilts are gorgeous and so are you two ladies! I will be going to Road to California’s 25th show next week; I guarantee there will be no lovelier quilts at this show than those you two have created!


  14. k says:

    I feel badly that Kathleen didn’t get a quilt for herself.

  15. Cindi Johnson says:

    Oh my, you weren’t kidding about the Kleenex. These are the most beautiful quilts in the world. I have never seen one where the seams, pockets and tags were kept as part of the blocks; that you kept the paint, too, well, I like this method very, very much. Apparently Jerry loves it, too, and he was kind enough to stop by to let you know. This… this beautiful coming together as friends for a purpose, is why we quilt.

  16. Donna Kozak says:

    What a beautiful, touching story – I’m still sniffling !

  17. Marlene Capelle says:

    Well I wasn’t going to cry but dang girl. That was beautiful. Thanks.

  18. Denise says:

    How wonderful! I wish I had thought of doing something like that with my Dad’s shirts. Such a great gift! thank you for sharing and now I’ve got to go blow my nose! 🙂

  19. Bonnie Baker says:

    Oh my Dori! What timing with this wonderful post. Just before reading it I ordered backing for a shirt quilt for my daughter of my husband’s shirts. It took us almost 1 1/2 years to start the cutting process but it’s done and so is the top. Now to get the backing and get it quilted. It is a journey that you are on as you sew, remembering. There were days when I just could not bring myself to sew; the memories brought tears.
    I wish I had made larger bllocks (they are 6″ finished squares and 9 patches) as it would have gone faster, I think.
    You’re a wonderful friend to have helped with this project!

  20. Candace Segar says:


    That was absolutely one of the most beautiful things I have read and looked at. Thank you for sharing and thank you for such a beautiful and creative tribute!


  21. Nanette says:

    Now I have tears in my eyes after reading this. What a wonderful gift you gave to your friend in waiting for her to be ready for this project. I may steal your idea and pics for inspiration. Someday will come, and those pics will be my inspiration! Thank you and condolences on the passing of such a close friend. Your farm girl at heart friend, Nanette

  22. Pam says:

    Beautiful story. The quilts are stunning.
    The love miraculously told. Thank you so much for telling the story.

  23. Deb Bosworth says:

    You, my friend are a gift to so many. A shining star in the storm, and a huge ray of sunshine on sunny days too. I can’t even formulate an articulate response right now. Just know my heart was deeply touched.
    Sending love and hugs from the beach!

  24. Marilyn says:

    What a beautiful post. The quilts are beautiful. Kathleen’s children will have something they will treasure forever. I can see these beautiful quilts being passed down to future generations. Thank You for sharing this heart warming post. Wishing you and yours a Happy,Healthy and Blessed 2020.

  25. Ann says:

    What an absolutely beautiful tribute to Jerry and such a blessing to have these unique heartfelt quilts to remember their dad and husband. Hugs and tears back atcha.

  26. Gail Larson says:

    Beautiful. Thank you for sharing this heart felt treasure. It reflects the power of love, family and friendship. Thank you.❤

  27. Maureen says:

    Ok, you got me. The tears are rolling down my cheeks. How blessed we are with the talent to make such treasures.

    I recently received a quilt top made with feed sacks and something that looks like gauze, possibly curtain lining? Some of the colors of the cornerstones have bled into adjoining fabrics and the workmanship is the best she could do with the materials on hand. I feel it deserves to be completed and plan to name it “my many blessings quilt.” The maker wanted to make something beautiful and warm for her family. I have all the supplies to get it done and am honored to finally finish it.

    Quilting truly makes us all family.

    Big Warm Hugs!

  28. Elizabeth Stenhouse says:

    I have never quilted and had decided to do this same idea for my children after my husband their Dad died.My first attempt was about Dave being a Marine. That didnt materialize after destroying lots of materials then I decided to use parts of his shirts and add photos but truth be told I dont know how to move forward. I need to do 6 quilt hanging instead of quilts as I dont think I have enough for a quilt now .At a total loss how to proceed . It still a beautiful gift and so appreciated for its thoughtfulness.

  29. Pamela says:

    TEARS & INSPIRATION in one post!
    My tears do not even begin to do justice to your beautiful story. Thank you for sharing
    such a wonderful friendship and caring project. You also inspired me to take on this
    shirt quilt for a 2020 project. My husband’s unexpected death from a heart issue was
    a total shock 7 years ago, and each person’s grief journey is different. Sending love to
    all the ladies who shared this. I will start this new journey making quilts for my three sons. It will be the best gift ever. Have wanted to quilt since the last one I made
    was a baby quilt 40 years ago. Newly retired, I now have the time and you gave me the
    inspiration! Blessings to you and Kathleen. Pamela

  30. MS Barb says:

    Beautiful testimony, and beautiful quilts!

  31. Pamela says:

    Would you please pass this note to your friend Kathleen.
    Kathleen, So sorry for the loss of your husband. After reading Dori’s blog, I wanted to
    reach out and thank you. Not only did you show your love for your husband
    and children by making those beautiful quilts, you also inspired another
    widow (ME) to finally start this wonderful project. Thank you.
    Your grief journey is filled with sadness but also LOVE and INSPIRATION.
    Pamela (Massachusetts native & now Kansas farmgirl)

  32. Lisa says:

    What an absolutely beautiful thing to do!

  33. Oh Dori. The first time I tried to read this post, I had finished teaching a class and had errands to run, so I stopped at a local cafe for a bite as it was way past lunch time. I decided to browse a bit while sitting there by myself, and catch up on my reading. I went to read your post. I had to close up my phone because I was about to bawl my eyes out! What a wonderful, touching tribute and gift to those who have lost their loved one. The quilt is a gift, but also the fact that you made it with and for your friend and her children- that alone is another gift. I also believe that our departed loved ones can reach us through dreams, and I bet Jerry is so very grateful to you for doing what you did, and that is why you had the dream. What a touching post, and a testament to great friendship. Hugs to you. ~Nicole, Suburban Farmgirl

  34. Cynthia says:

    This is beautiful what an honor and what a special friend she has in you. This is something she will treasure it always. You can also make a teddy bear with those shirts and clothes for a teddy bear out of his shirts, or a ragdoll if there’s grandchildren or children. My husband had made I’ll call the quilt out of his BTUs which is his army every day fatigues that he doesn’t wear anymore for my son and then he put a sheet behind it so it’s not a true quilt like what you made but still just as precious and it’s warm for my son to sleep with. I was wondering how did you figure out the pattern to do this for because I would be a very basic no knowledge quilter I would love to do that even with my sons clothes he’s 28 years old but I still have some of his baby clothes And school clothes. It would be just the precious keepsake. Please respond I’m a farm girl too but I live in Washington DC now

  35. Thank you for this post. I too have saved the shirts of my late husband whom I lost to a brain tumor over five years ago. My intent is to make two quilts, one for our daughter & one for my son. I’ve agonized over which pattern to use, which design, would there be enough fabric once I started, etc. I’m so glad to see you kept it simple which hopefully will inspire me to do the same and just get started. When my husband was living, I often teased him if he wore a nice plaid shirt, that it would make a nice quilt block. He would say, don’t you start cutting up my shirts for your quilts. But I think he would agree it would be justifiable now.

  36. Rosemary Benson says:

    It teared me up! As a quilt maker I could really relate. Thank you for sharing it all.

  37. Oh Yes, definitely needed hankies! Very heartwarming, thanks for sharing such a very personal story with all of us.
    When Daddy passed I wasn’t allowed a single thing of his . If I could have had all his favorite wool plaid shirts you can bet I would have made them into a quilt.

  38. Carol says:

    Oh, Dori … This couldn’t have come at a better time. Nine days ago my beloved Leon died. He had been on hospice for 4 months and when he passed we were alone together. It was 4 am. I have the blanket he was under when he passed but I want to make a quilt from his shirts … something to wrap myself in with his wonderful and strong hugs. Yes, the tears came when I read this post … but I felt the love and comfort put into these quilts as well. God Bless you. Thanks, Carol

  39. Theresa Demott says:

    So beautiful! It made me cry.. I lost my dad this last January.. This made me think of him…

  40. Christine Alred says:

    What a beautiful thing to do~ We lost our beautiful 35 year old daughter-in-love in October of 2019 due to a terrible car accident and this is something we thought of doing, but as yet, we are not ready.

    I am so sorry for your friends loss. This is such a heartwarming tribute. Thank you to all of them for sharing this. God bless~

  41. Utterly lovely! I’m glad I was able to gift Dave’s shirts to a young man in dire need but I’m afraid if I’d thought of a quilt with his shirts, I might have wavered. As it was, his request was to use the first quilt I ever made in lieu of flowers on his casket. That’s what I did for his wake and for his graveside service, he had a flag and full military honors.
    Grief takes as long as it takes; God bless you.

  42. Carolyn Hogue says:

    This beautiful story has me in tears. We were on vacation with friends, and the fellow had a medical event that has turned out to be inoperable brain cancer (glioblastoma). Now, we are watching the gutwrenching process of radiation and chemo, knowing the likely outcome. His name is Jerry and his wife’s name is Kathleen . . . gives be goosebumps.

    • Dori Troutman says:

      Hello Carolyn,

      Oh my goodness… what an amazing coincidence. And it gave me goosebumps too. Wow.

      And that a gut wrenching process must be so horribly hard to watch. My heart breaks for you and for your friends.

      Thank you for writing.

      ~ Dori ~

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