Rosie Rhine of Vancouver has made a name for herself by providing comfort and beauty for grieving customers with her specialty bereavement quilts.
Although she has been quilting since she was young, Rhine didn’t start her business, Rhino Quilting, until 2008. In the height of the recession, Rhine was unemployed. She struggled to make ends meet with only Social Security benefits, so she began sewing quilts for friends and neighbors as a side business.
Then a friend approached her with a heartbreaking story. An acquaintance had lost a daughter and was looking for someone to make a quilt from her clothing as a remembrance.
Rhine immediately took up the task, constructing a beautiful landscape from dresses, blouses and scraps of quilting fabric. From a pile of old clothes, she created a tribute to the young woman’s life.
Since then, Rhine has made many quilts for grieving families. Each is a unique and heartfelt work of art.
Rhine’s favorite creations include a quilt illustrating the life of a couple’s 2-year-old granddaughter, a set of 14 quilts for the extended family of a beloved great-grandmother and, most recently, a patchwork quilt for the widow of a military veteran.
“Specializing in bereavement quilts, I have heard so many stories that are truly heart-wrenching,” Rhine said. “But I love the fact that I can often help these folks, at least a little, by making something warm and comforting in the face of grief.”
Quilting projects typically start with a sit-down consultation between Rhine and her client, during which she receives the necessary materials and backstory to begin the design phase.
She then sketches ideas and creates designs using a quilting program on her computer. The stitching process can then take from a week to more than a month, depending on the complexity of the design.
Pricing is determined by the complexity of the design and the hours spent creating it. So the price varies depending on what each customer requests.
Regardless of how long it takes, Rhine takes pride in seeing her ideas and inspiration come to fruition.
“Designing the quilt and seeing the final product fully realized are always my favorite parts of the job,” she said. “I especially enjoy the quilts that allow me to create something new and different.”
Now, with more than 14 years of business experience, Rhine has her eyes on the future of Rhino Quilting.
“I recently celebrated my 88th birthday, so my biggest goal is to stay healthy and energetic to continue my work,” Rhine said. “I want to keep serving my community for as long as I can and attract anyone in need of a beautiful quilt. My personal goal has always been to make each customer the best quilt I can for them.”
More information on Rhino Quilting’s creations and services can be found at rhinoquilting.com.