Lake Norman & Mooresville

Skilled Mooresville quilter preserved memories through her work

Green Stamps and a move to Mooresville in 2006 nudged Laurie Jasanay, 54, on her way to becoming a talented and award-winning quilter.

She earned two ribbons in 2009 and nine ribbons for eight quilts (one quilt received two ribbons) at the 2013 Lake Norman Quilters Guild show. But it’s her idea for what she calls “comfort quilts” that portray Jasany’s quilting talent best.

Using a technique to create what is called a rag quilt, she sewed 8-inch squares, a front, with a piece of batting in the middle, a back square, with the seams all visible and the raw edges showing, using pieces of clothing owned by a man who died from cancer. She’s created the comfort quilts as a Christmas gift for two children too young to lose their father.

Charlie Burton, husband of Laurie Jasany’s best friend, Tricia Burton, died when the children – Rachel and Grant – were 8 and 10 years old. Making the quilts was Jasany’s way of helping, because “Had we been closer physically, I would’ve done more for her. I felt so helpless. I was five hours away. I was always there for a phone call. But, physically, I couldn’t be there to help her with her kids, or to help her with Charlie’s illness.”

Making the quilts, though, “was something I could do for her and the kids. Charlie was a big hockey fan as any Canadian is. He was a true Canadian, still playing hockey, baseball, those kinds of things. He loved the Maple Leafs, Toronto Blue Jays. Where it got tricky: I made sure to split the shirts between the two kids. There was one with a logo so I cut the hat in half and was able to sew the emblem into the quilt, including the Relay for Life shirt because he had been sick so long.”

Jasany presented the quilts to the children at their first Christmas without him. Now a couple years later, Tricia Burton says, “The kids still have their quilts in their beds and snuggle with them.”

Growing up in northeast Ohio, Jasany said, “I learned to sew for necessity. I was a young teenager and wanted some new things and we couldn’t afford it. My mother said, ‘I have Green Stamps.’ ... She cashed in her book of stamps so she could buy fabric and patterns so I could make these tops that I wanted, and instead of one top I could make four tops. I was like 11. That’s what started it.”

Green Stamps were popular from the 1930s to the 1980s and were given to customers for making purchases in certain stores. The stamps were saved and pasted into booklets to redeem for merchandise.

Jasany began sewing her own clothes, then home-decor sewing, draperies and pillows, baby clothes for her daughter, then “from there it went to quilting. But, I had never joined a quilting guild in Ohio. I found the Lake Norman Quilters Guild at a quilt show in Charlotte. They bring in speakers so you can learn things; they do workshops. It’s very inspiring. Being new to Mooresville and not knowing anyone,” Jasany said, “for me, it was the camaraderie.

“It was a place I could go where people knew what I was talking about.”