Hearts for Charleston — Kathy


This eloquent square by Kathy Dorfer for the “Hearts for Charleston” quilt renders me almost (but not quite) speechless.

Variegated thread thickly applied in a whip stitch spell out the words:  “Love heals”. Kathy sprinkled white ‘thread beads’ around the phrase, making it seem as though it sparkles and pops with power, or perhaps, that it is sprawled across the heavens.



A red cross constructed of slightly darker shades of red is centered within the heart and calls to mind universal symbol for ‘the Red Cross’.  The red cross echoes the theme of healing, particularly healing in a time of emergency.

Organic, tendril-like emanations give us the sense of energy radiating outwards. It is almost as if we can see the healing happening right before our eyes.


Kathy’s white kantha stitch runs horizontally and unifies the blue woven strips. The white stitching integrates her layers and makes me think about the power of binding processes — the binding of wounds, of communities, of ideas.

The back of each and every quilt square has been wonderful to examine. Look at this one! The heart in reverse is a near-empty space, something I find poignant for reasons I can’t really articulate. On the other hand, the emanating tendrils look ganglionic and nearly comical. The white thread beads on the underside connect up in jagged long stitches, creating a shape almost like a cartoon bubble. The phrase is still unmistakable.


Kathy included a beautifully stamped and blue washed card inscribed with an inspirational quote from Maya Angelou.

IMG_2306Thank you, Kathy. Such a striking and loving contribution!

To read more about this project,
please refer to the the sidebar category:
“Hearts for Charleston Quilt”.

13 thoughts on “Hearts for Charleston — Kathy

  1. ravenandsparrow

    Wow. This square crackles with the energy…the electricity… of the healing power of love. Here healing is not a passive process but something intentional summoned from the universe. When I read the quote at the end I thought “Oh yeah.” Really nice work! Its great how each of the blocks so far has looked at the same event from different angles.

    1. deemallon

      “Crackling” is a nice way to describe this. I loved the description of love as active and essential, too.

  2. deemallon

    it is ridiculous to think of these squares in terms of favorites, but sometimes I do, and sometimes this is the one. oh silly! strike that! each is so unique and so full of its own version of stitched prayer, hope, and love that the notion of comparison is stupid. But I will say that this square feels like it will be a very essential part of the whole, speaking for all the rest in a way.

  3. RainSluice

    “Love Heals”: the words are important, yes, but the way these words are communicated here and with this poem, makes the words really sing.

    1. deemallon

      I hadn’t thought of that, but you’re right… it hangs there, but it also (the heart) looks as though it might crawl on those tendrils right off the square. So much dynamism!

  4. Liz

    I don’t know how I missed this post … please forgive my late response. Kathy’s cloth is so rich in color and the words are so hopeful. I couldn’t help thinking if cloth is made with love, perhaps cloth heals, too.

    1. RainSluice

      oh I do believe cloth heals. I keep thinking of the phrase “He’s a man of the cloth” and how that implies “a healer”.


Leave a Reply