The Birdbath Quilt

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Finally, the evening of the meeting arrived and the residents gathered in the lounge. The excitement was almost palpable. According to Edna, it seemed as if everyone had turned out to welcome Tony back. As the five members of the Birds of a Feather quilting bee arrived, Edna beckoned them over. As they took their seats, they noticed Adrianna, Bill and Tony on the far side and waved.

The president quickly called the meeting to order. He said to the crowd that the meeting needed to clear up one piece of business before adjournment, after which an evening of entertainment featuring the Buzz Cut quartet would perform. Refreshments would be served after that.

“Now to business,” he stated. “As you all know, Tony Badowski, a recent resident, had a sudden heart seizure several weeks ago and was unable to make his presentation along with other residents who had projects in mind. I am very happy to say that Tony is here and would like to say a few words.”

As everyone clapped, Tony rose and came to the front. For a minute he stood there and looked about. Then he began.

“I would like to say thank you for everyone’s heartfelt wishes for my recovery. I did not realize when I first arrived here three months ago how quickly this place would become my home and it is because of you, the staff and everyone I have been privileged to meet. I can definitely attribute your genuine caring and generosity to my successful recovery.” As he said this, he glanced over at Edna. “I do hope that next year when project time rolls around, I will be able to make my presentation. In the meantime,” he said smiling, “I’ll have lots of planning time.” And Tony gave a little bow before returning to his seat.

Again, there was applause before the president stood and asked Tony if he would return to the stage as someone wished to make a presentation. That someone was Edna, accompanied by her daughter, Carole.

Edna spoke very briefly about how she had met Tony during his garden walks. She mentioned how they had discussed gardening, designing gardens and birdbaths. She then asked if the remaining four Birds of a Feather would join her at the front for they wished to make a presentation.

As they assembled, Janice stepped forward and unrolled the finished fountain birdbath quilt and held it up for all to see.

Then Carole spoke. “Tony, we wish to present you with this reminder of the project you set your heart on. I would also like to express my thanks to you for re-energizing my mom and inadvertently opening new possibilities for her. We hope you’ll consider this wallhanging, not only as a incentive, but also as a possible auction item on which to bid in order to raise money for a future fountain bird.”

At this announcement, there was more loud clapping and even a few whistles.

Tony was speechless. “I don’t know what to say,” he said as he finally found his voice, “other than where did you find the exact fountain birdbath I had in mind?” Suddenly, it dawned on him. “Adrianna, it was you.”

“Guilty,”she shouted from the audience.

More clapping and laughter ensued.

Then the president stepped in. “That sounds like a good story for later on. In the meantime, since everyone’s so energized, let’s bring on the Buzz Quartet.”

As the quartet stepped onto the stage, the leader, Barry Owens. explained the group’s name. “As you can see, we’re all a little bare on top. When we first noticed our increasing baldness, we decided getting buzz cuts would not only be a great idea, but gave us the name of our group. To begin our program, here’s an old Frank Sinatra tune which I’m sure all of us remember.” And they launched into Young at Heart.

It was a great concert.

After refreshments had been served, the residents had a chance to see the wallhanging up close. This resulted in much conversation about the quilts ‘grandma used to make’. The appliqued birds were so realistic that one woman commented that they seemed alive.

Some asked about having a quilt made and were directed to Bill and Adrianna.

As the evening came to a close and the Birds of a Feather headed for home, Janice was heard singing softly: “Fairy tales can come true / It can happen to you / If you’re young at heart.”

“I think Janice has experienced an epiphany, “ whispered Freddie.




– Read the sequel!



In 1995 I began a series of stories titled The Recorded Adventures of the Birds of a Feather Quilting Bee. A couple of these were published in The Canadian Quilter. Several stories were published in the discontinued Canada Quilts and many more of these quilting short stories were published in Canadian Stories.
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