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Quilting through Parkinson's Disease

Kae McQueenWhile we endure frigid temperatures, Oris “Kae” McQueen works hard to wrap others in warm, one-of-a kind quilted blankets. Kae  has created hundreds of quilted pieces over the course of many years and since her diagnosis of Parkinson’s disease in 2001. In spite of her 20 year battle with Parkinson’s disease, Kae continues to create intricately beautiful quilts.

Kae lives in the Hearth at Folkestone, a PHS community in Wayzata, where she uses quilting as an outlet for her creativity. Kae’s daughter Anna says Kae's kitchen table is filled with colorful fabrics and an ever-whirring sewing machine. Anna shares that although the symptoms make it difficult to use intense technical quilting skills, Kae’s sense of color and flow are far more developed, allowing her creativity to bloom. 

Since moving to Folkestone, Kae has created hundreds of clothing protectors for other residents while also working on beautiful lap quilts. Kae says she makes quilts for her children and grandchildren as well as church and Parkinson’s charity raffles. She enjoys finding unique colors and fitting them together in one-of-a-kind designs.

Each full-size quilt takes about a year to make. Currently, Kae is crafting a quilt of her own design with bright flowers and a variation of hexagon paper piecing. Her favorite quilt however, is the award winning state fair wall hanging. The unique piece features a bright sunburst pattern surrounded by a deep purple border with intricate texturing and detail.

Kae is devoted to her craft and won’t let the challenges of Parkinson’s disease get in the way of her quilting. She continues to craft unique and beautiful quilts from her kitchen table that doubles as a sewing studio. Her daughter says, "You'd be hardpressed to eat at her table. Her sewing machine is always out." Kae's dedication serves as inspiration for us all and her beautiful quilts speak for themselves. 

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