Libby's HandsThe road to recovery is tough, but Libby Lehman is sewing again! Ricky Tims shared a “giant leap” day recently with Libby in her home studio in Houston, Texas. His thoughts about the emotional, successful day will lift your heart!

From The Quilt Show: Stroke victim Libby Lehman is on the road to recovery and is back in her studio for the first time in 2.5 years. Guided by Ricky Tims, she embarks a new quilt journey and teaches us about courage and kindness. Libby suffered a brain aneurysm on April 30, 2013, then suffered a massive stroke recovering from her surgery. She remained in an induced coma for months. Doctors said that she would never be able to speak or understand speech again. Libby proved them wrong!


Here is an open letter from Ricky Tims to his Facebook followers about the day he spent with Libby:

Hi all,

Many of you may have heard by now that Libby attended the Winner’s Circle at IQS on Tuesday night in Houston. We asked her on Monday and she said yes. Lester cautioned me that she might change her mind – but she didn’t.

Earlier on Tuesday I had pre-scheduled a play day in her studio. She has not turned on a machine or done anything in regards to quilting since she fell ill on May 1, 2013. That has been her one ‘stubbornness.’ I told her that I just wanted to enjoy time with her in the studio and that she did not have to do anything and I would not push her to do anything she didn’t want to do. I would make the quilt and she could help me with choices.

Long story short – I sewed one seam – then she wanted to sew the second one – and I didn’t sew anything else the rest of the day. WOW.

She needs a lot of assistance with things like rotary cutting (which I only did once to create 6” squares), help threading the machine, and also for changing the needle. But when it came to sewing quarter inch she was spot on. When she did free motion it was, as she said, “Like riding a bicycle.” The most miraculous thing was that she grabbed a pair of scissors to trim fabric along a single line of stitching – WITH HER LEFT HAND! – and did it like a champ. I thought she might accidentally cut into the fabric trimming so close, but she didn’t. Libby is a lefty, and it was her left side that was affected from her stroke. She has had to learn to write with her right hand, but her left side has improved greatly.

I will have a video edited and posted of her day in the studio, but right now we are in the thick of things at Quilt Festival.

She enjoyed her day and was never frustrated. She was a joy and a delight the entire day, many times hamming it up. She also would become very tender and say very kind things about friendship and determination. Oh, and she named the quilt “Courage and Kindness.” It seems she was inspired by the movie Cinderella, and that everyone should show courage and kindness. We didn’t get the quilt entirely done, but you will see the quilt in the video once it is posted. It is “very Libby!”

It was an emotional day and a true success. One giant leap for Libby.


Used with permission.


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April Hathcock

What a story!! I fell ill in 2003 after major surgery and was unable to breath on my own, was put in a drug induced coma, and on a ventilator for 6 weeks. 12 years later I am as strong as ever and I certainly hope and pray that your recovery is swift. I have a love of sewing, Embroidery, and quilting that has kept me going all this time.

Beth Morris

Wow! Libby can teach us a lot just by watching this video. Thank you Ricky for sharing these inspiring moments. Courage and determination from Libby and kindness from all those who have helped Libby get back into her studio even though it was not expected. God is great 🙂

Giuliana Nakashima

This proves: You just can’t keep a good quilter down.

Congrats to you(both) and thanks for the inspiration of determination and friendship.


I am truly touched. What a lady. I am cheering her on.

Harriett Raindl

I have known Libby since 1976-77. I met her when I worked with Lester at Coldwell Banker. I have been following her recovery and this story just warms my heart. I am so thrilled for Libby, Lester and their family. Prayers certainly have been answered. Love all of you, Harriett Raindl

Our Dear Libby,
I see Gods hands in this. You had a Angel helping you.
You are in my prayers.
God Bless

Mazeltov. Libby you are indeed a miracle quilter. You too Ricky

Go girl

Rosalie Nieznalski

Libby: You have been an inspiration to me since I first watched and listened to you stitch with your “Thread Play”. at a Martha Pullens school in Memphis, Tennessee? several years ago. I’ve been at your Ricky Tims’ schools several times and have enjoyed you and Alex Anderson and Ricky. I’m so glad you have such close friends as they are, and have had God’s helping hand from day one.