Nancy Martens stands in front of one of the 40 quilts she made in remembrance of her best friend

Quilts in memory of a friend

Special quilts show can be viewed at the Sawyer Sewing Centre for the month of April.

Few experience the kind of loving friendship that Nancy Martens and Jeanne Coverdale possessed.

The pair met at Iowa State University in 1971, in a way that would leave many red in the face. Coverdale was under the impression she was going to have a private room and instead was sharing with Martens. No love was lost though, they soon became inseparable.

“The chemistry was just right,” said Martens, a Victoria resident.

Tragedy struck in 2010, when Coverdale was diagnosed with breast cancer. After going through a mastectomy, chemotherapy, and the installation of a pacemaker and defibrillator to deal with heart damage from chemo, she thought the storm had passed.

She planned a party to thank family and friends for support but before that could take place, she fell sick, feeling dizzy. The cancer had returned to her brain. “When it was obvious she wasn’t going to make it, I thought I’d make 40 quilts for the 40 years of our friendship,” said Martens.

Jeanne died Sept. 14, 2011. She would have been 60-years-old in four days.

“She would be trilled, smiling and doing a happy dance to know I was doing this,” Martens said.

Martens had always been a “solo” quilter but after she announced the project, complete strangers stepped forward to offer their talents and passion.

“Now I’ve connected with the Victoria quilting community and they are pretty amazing.”

Before her death, Coverdale designed a quilt panel from the poem What Cancer Cannot Do. Marten’s 40 quilts will all feature the poem’s theme.

“It has some lovely sediments on it like ‘Cancer cannot kill friendship, steal humour or cripple love,’” she said.

The quilts can be viewed at the Sawyer Sewing Centre at 3400 Douglas St., for the month of April. After the show, quilts will be donated as fundraising projects to agencies serving people with cancer.

“The biggest sadness to me was that me and Jeanne planned a lot to do when I retired, but she died before I did. I realized the other day when I was chatting with a friend that I am still doing a lot of things with her.”

 

Just Posted

The shores will not rock in 2019

Atomique Productions announce Rock the Shores festival will not return in 2019, future is uncertain

Video shows logging operation on disputed Saturna Island land

Tsawout First Nation members opposed to logging on reserve land

Family still searching for missing Langford man two weeks after disappearance

Family hopeful he is alive, offering $10,000 reward

Victoria police concerned about missing man’s well-being

Delmer was reported missing on March 19

Fracking, economy, climate at centre of Green Party town hall in Metchosin

Green Party leader Elizabeth May and local candidate David Merner take questions from community

Victoria hosts ‘Ultimate Hockey Fan Cave’

The hockey cave was recently featured on a Netflix special

Calgary captain has 3 points as Flames torch Canucks 3-1

Giordano leads way as Alberta side cracks 100-point plateau

Fire crews battle large blaze at Courtenay hostel

Courtenay Fire Chief Don Bardonnex said nobody was injured

1,300 cruise ship passengers rescued by helicopter amid storm off Norway’s coast

Rescue teams with helicopters and boats were sent to evacuate the cruise ship under extremely difficult circumstances

B.C. university to offer first graduate program on mindfulness in Canada

University of the Fraser Valley says the mostly-online program focuses on self-care and well being

Province announces $18.6 million for B.C. Search and Rescue

The funding, spread over three years, to pay for operations, equipment, and training

Late-season wave of the flu makes its round in B.C.

BC Centre for Disease Control reported 50 per cent jump in flu cases in first weeks of March

Tofino’s housing crisis causing some to seek shelter at the local hospital

Tofino’s housing crisis is pushing the town’s ‘hidden homeless’ population into the forefront.

Sentencing judge in Broncos crash calls for carnage on highways to end

Judge Inez Cardinal sentenced Jaskirat Singh Sidhu to eight years

Most Read