Lincoln quilter wins national award

May 03, 2004|EMILY BURTON

STANFORD - Miracles come in all shapes, but sometimes just a small square will do. Local quilter and artist Dolores Fegan knows this better than anyone. This week Fegan's quilt square, called "Everyday Miracles" was named national grand prize winner in the Wal-Mart and Carpenter Company annual quilting contest.

The square will join 19 others to form a quilt for Children's Miracle Network, which will be raffled to support Miracle Network hospitals.

Fegan's square features a young girl watching a caterpillar while lying on a

quilt, in the pattern of grandma's flower garden. The octagonal pedals of the blanket rise above the face of the square in a three dimensional flower that gives the scene a unique depth.

The square was inspired by a picture of her daughter Annalise, said Fegan.

"The theme was everyday miracles, and kids are the miracle. Things don't have to be grand to be special," said Fegan.


Her daughter's artwork has inspired other quilts, including a pink princess piece, featuring a hat and heeled princess dressed in beaded splendor. Annalise's own drawing was enlarged to create the design.

Every design of Fegan's is a one-of-a-kind product of various inspirations; a nativity scene, unique fabric designed by her sister, tribal masks, teddy bears. Each quilt pattern is designed and sewn by her hands alone.

Hands that sometimes have a mind of their own.

She is being treated for symptoms similar to those of Parkinson's

Fegan is currently being treated for symptoms similar to those of Parkinson's disease, including trembling hands. It was what changed her life from that of a special education teacher in Lincoln County to a full-time mother and artist.

In her office, art fills every inch of breathing room. Fegan has covered the tops of the art desks with Van Gogh's Starry Night and koi ponds, the shelves with canvasses of acrylics and oils while the walls bear pencil portraits of familiar faces.

"He tells me I should do something with my art, and he gave up half the house for my art room," said Fegan of her husband, Charles.

"It's really nice, she had murals in two of the rooms upstairs," said Charles Fegan.

Quilting has become her newest medium of expression, which was largely self-taught.

"I got on medical leave for teaching, and I was looking for something to do to keep me from going crazy," said Fegan.

Her outlet will be honored with a party at the Stanford Wal-Mart, attended by local associates and a representative from corporate headquarters. She will also be given a new sewing machine and hundreds of dollars in quilting supplies.

Sometimes art is its own reward

The new machine will be nice, said Fegan, though sometimes art is its own reward. While teaching art to challenged children, Fegan said she witnessed how therapeutic it was for them, and how encouraging.

"It was a way for these kids to shine," said Fegan. "It develops motor skills, it engages the mind, different aspects of the mind it's just another way of learning."

Now art has become her own way to express herself during health challenges, said Fegan.

"This is my outlet," she said. "Even if I feel bad, I can sit in the bedroom and do it, or take it in the car with me when we take trips... When you drop the needle, no mess to clean up."

Samples of Fegan's art can be seen on her Web site,

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