A Quilter’s Tale of Hurricane Florence

Bea Lea with her quilt inspired by Hurricane Florence.

Last year, and for several years before that, our country and the world at large have been privy to the true power of Mother Nature—namely in the forms of hurricanes, earthquakes, fires, and mudslides. While I have not personally been affected by these disasters, so many people have lost their homes, livelihoods, or just feared for the unknown. Bea Lee, a talented quilt designer for our titles, weathered the storms (literally!) last fall. Read on to discover her story of Hurricane Florence.


Hurricane Florence on the horizon

Hurricane Florence forming | Photo credit: NASA/Handout

Hurricane Florence forming | Photo credit: NASA/Handout

When hurricanes are forecast here in North Carolina, my family doesn’t freak out too much. We lived in South Florida for eight years and have been through several big storms—so not a big deal, especially because we live so far inland here in North Carolina. BUT when we saw the path of Hurricane Florence heading straight through North Carolina and realized that the eye was pretty much going right over our home, I did panic a bit and at least brought the patio furniture into the garage. North Carolinians get those standard groceries when a storm is approaching so milk, bread, eggs, and water were sold out in the stores. Gas stations had a long wait and eventually ran out of gas altogether.

Fandangle fabric by Christa Watson for Benartex, used in “Florence”

Fandangle fabric by Christa Watson for Benartex, used in “Florence”

School was canceled and then the hurricane hit. It turned west and hit more of South Carolina and went up to the western part of North Carolina and Tennessee. So we ‘just’ had wind and rain. We had minor water damage because the rain seemed to come in sideways, but overall we did fine and we only lost power for a few hours. The power company had line men come in from Oklahoma to help, so it was all hands on deck.

Creativity during chaos

“Florence” • McCall’s Quick Quilts April/May 2019

“Florence” • McCall’s Quick Quilts April/May 2019

In the midst of the chaos, I was attempting to sew a quilt for McCall’s Quick Quilts. Throughout the three days of Hurricane Florence, we lost power numerous times but I managed to complete my quilt in between the power outages—thus the name of the quilt, “Florence.”

Now, in this hurricane story, I have to mention the next storm that hit us two weeks later, Michael. It was worse for us than Florence. Florence really wasn’t that bad for us inland in North Carolina but it did flood a few roads. When Michael arrived the roads flooded everywhere and one road between our town’s middle and elementary schools completely collapsed (it had a small stream running under it) and it still isn’t fixed.

Detail of “Florence”

Detail of “Florence”

Our friends let us borrow their generator to at least power up the fridge and then we could charge electronics at home, so that helped a lot, then that night or maybe it was the next day, we got power back!

Oh, the joy of flushing a toilet and having running water to drink, brush our teeth, and shower. The modern conveniences that we take for granted!

P.S. I did do some English Paper Piecing during the times that we had power, take a look at what I made.


Bea is a prolific designer and quilter who has created many patterns for The Quilting Company. She recently designed “Hearts and Stars” for Pre-Cut Patchwork January/February 2019 and “Home Again” for the upcoming Quiltmaker May/June 2019.

“Trip Around the Rainbow”

“Trip Around the Rainbow”

 

Check out this FREE mini quilt pattern by Bea, “Trip Around the Rainbow.”

Happy sewing!
Anissa

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