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  • American Cancer Society: “Cancer and Creativity”, 1993
Crooked Rail Fence
1993 / 31w x 31h
Materials and techniques: Cotton. No filling. Muslin backing. Rayon thread.
Machine piecing and quilting, strip collage.
Overview photo of quilt; click for larger image (Warning: large file)

Ann's Comments: (October 1993) “This is the second quilt I’ve made since my diagnosis of breast cancer in April 1993. The first quilt was made during the time period of several surgeries (culminating in a mastectomy) and the start of chemotherapy.

In both quilts, I’ve broken away from a lot of traditional techniques. I’ve left raw edges exposed and stitched outside the lines. I don’t know whether I’ve felt free to do these things now because of different priorities, a sense of urgency to get on with new things, or because I don’t give a damn anymore what people think.

I do know that it’s been very therapeutic to make these quilts. Especially in the first quilt, I took out much anger in slashing the fabric apart. Much of the dark areas in it represent the early, dark, depressing, scary, all-consuming days of this illness.
I’ve had my mammograms done religiously the last several years, but I was the one who found the change in a fibrocystic mass that had been there for a while.

The mammograms never showed anything, and I’m really mad about that, because many lymph nodes are involved and the cancer must be quite far along.

By profession, I’m a musician. There is so much music to write and play and so many quilts to make: I really do hope and pray I’ll be around to do them.”

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