The Making of Merci La Vie for the American Cancer Society

If you haven’t heard

If you haven’t heard, over the last 6 months we’ve been making a second Merci la Vie quilt at Bunny Hill. Yes, I said a second quilt!  It’s a very special version of Merci la Vie because it’s been hand appliqued by women who have either experienced breast cancer, or had a friend or relative with it.  Every stitch is dedicated to women all over the world.

Merci la Vie from Bunny Hill Designs

I’ve had a lot of help from some very special women, and I’ve shipped blocks to be appliqued to Norway, Australia, Utah, Arizona, California and Idaho.  As the blocks have come back with the applique complete, I’ve watched this quilt come together and I realize how special this second quilt is.   The quilt will be donated to The American Cancer Society as soon as it’s quilted.  The American Cancer Society was the place we turned to when we found out my daughter-in-law Diana had breast cancer.  It was also the first place to step in and offer free help with programs and classes to support women who have been diagnosed.

To all the women who helped me with this second quilt I say thank you from the bottom of my heart.

Merci la Vie Quilters

Merci la Vie Quilters

From Norway, Asne Kostveit a friend and the owner of the quilt shop Quiltefryd in Norway.   She makes me smile, laugh and I love to be around her.  I only see her when she comes to Quilt Market, and it’s never long enough.

From Idaho, Bonnie Olaveson the amazing Moda designer from Bonnie & Camille.  Not only did she complete a block for this quilt, she coached and encouraged my daughter-in-law Diana, as she went through breast cancer treatments.  For Diana, Bonnie’s friendship, and support was like having someone hold her hand along the way.

From Utah, Jill Finley, the amazing designer who completed her block while finishing up her own breast cancer treatments and surgery.  I love and admire this woman so much!  To my amazement when she returned her block she volunteered to stitch a second block!

All the way from Australia, my friend and fellow designer Rosalie Dekker whose talent and personality brought happiness and sparkle to this quilt.  I’m so honored to have her be a part of making this quilt.  She’s an inspiration to everyone who knows her.

From California/New Zealand, my friend and professional organizer, Sandy Newman who English paper pieced all the hexagon flower blocks in this quilt.  Her delicate stitching brought the hexies to life.

Many other women have joined me in completing this quilt.  Thank you to Kim Stephens for her beautiful work preparing the applique for stitching along with her perfect embroidery.  Thank you to Sue Falkowski and Chickie Ricciardi for their wonderful applique, Nancy Ritter for her perfect “piecing together” and binding of this quilt.

Karolyn “Nubin” Jensen from Arizona will work her quilting magic on this quilt.  She’s won awards with her beautiful quilting and if anyone can make this quilt come to life it’s her.

I’m not sure what The American Cancer Society will do with this quilt, but it’s my wish that it will take on wings bringing hope to everyone who sees it.  It felt so good to be a part of this project!

Much love to all of you,


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  • DeAnna Julie Dodson - What a beautiful quilt and even more beautiful story. I’m sure the quilt is even lovelier in person.

    I hope your donation does a lot of good for this worthy cause.ReplyCancel

  • mimi'sdarlins - This is such an amazing collaborative effort, and kudos to you and all the ladies who joined forces to make this beautiful and very meaningful quilt. I wish good health and recovery to all these wonderful women.ReplyCancel

  • sunny - What a beautiful quilt! And sewn with so much love.ReplyCancel

  • Mary ann - So beautiful and full of the love and caring of strong women!ReplyCancel

  • pam - It see so many familiar faces there. What a wonderful quilt!ReplyCancel

  • Tammy - Thats a wonderful story with this quilt. I hope the quilt can be seen and story shared with many cancer patients during their treatment and recovery.ReplyCancel

  • Modalissa - what a wonderful project for a great cause. Thank you to everyone.ReplyCancel

  • Dani - What a beautiful quilt and story. My thoughts and prayers are with all of the women and their families too. I hope we can purchase the pattern soon. My beautiful Mom is battling Inflammatory Breast cancer too. God bless you all.ReplyCancel

  • Karen Shackleford - Thank you all, and especially you, Anne, for this fabulous quilt for the American Cancer Society, honoring all women who have been touched in one way or another by breast cancer. So fun to see photos of Chickie and Sandy Newman. Beautiful women doing beautiful work!ReplyCancel

  • Karen in Breezy Point - What a beautiful project–and so special to have had so many wonderful women work together to create it!ReplyCancel

  • Melody - Wonderful quilt and how fabulous to see darling Rosie Dekker’s beautiful face. A truly inspiring group of women, including you dear AnneReplyCancel

  • Beth - A truly beautiful quilt. Love the fabric and colors. Very touching stories by some awesome women. I hope all of them and Diana are winning their fight against breast cancer. Prayers for all!ReplyCancel

  • Hildy - Wow, what an amazing story behind this beautiful quilt! And quilted by so many wonderful women. My mom was diagnosed with breast cancer early this summer and went under surgery and then therapy through the summer time. Luckly she now finished with it and everything went well:-) Hope that everyone is that lucky!ReplyCancel

  • Christine B. - What an incredibly special quilt made by some very talented and inspirational ladies! Just remarkable! Hugs Christine xReplyCancel

  • Susan - So beautiful, from the quilt to the ladies who made it. What a labor of love!ReplyCancel

  • Susan - What a wonderful project and gorgeous quilt – a special meaning to many people!ReplyCancel

  • Jackie - Incredible quilt! Incredible women!ReplyCancel

  • Jennifer down - Dear Anne, The quilt you and your group of extraordinary women have created for the Cancer Society is inspiring. Well done to all who participated. I am a palliative care nurse in a hospital in Brisbane Australia. Thanks to the generosity of many local quilters every patient in our unit has a quilt on their bed that suits their taste and they can even take them home if they wish. These quilts made with so much love and care are very much appreciated. At times when I am sitting by a bedside doing a procedure ,to take the patient’s mind off what is happening I talk to them about the quilter who made the quilt. Telling a little about them and their family,many have also been affected by cancer. May the day come that nurses like myself are no longer needed. Much love and best wishes Jennifer.ReplyCancel

  • donna - This is the sweetest thing ever and really touches my heart. What a special quilt.

  • Barb R. - This quilt is just so special – what a precious gift all of you are doing and give to The American Cancer Society. Truly a gift of love, beauty, graciousness and generosity.

    And, Anne, I think we all send our love to your precious daughter-in-law. I hope she is doing well – blessings to all of you.ReplyCancel

  • Lorraine Isaac - What a beautiful quilt and what beautiful memoriesReplyCancel