Thursday, September 2, 2010

Quilts to Warm Our Hearts

Today has been both a good day and a sad day for Greg and me.  I was able to deliver six more quilts to Lawrence Memorial Hospital.  Their gratitude is genuine and very heartwarming.  The nurses love getting them and giving them.  That was the good part.  The sad part is a close friend of ours lost his son today.  He was a second grader and was hit by a car after school and died.  I was reminded that when we first started this project with the quilts, I was asked if we were agreeable to having the nurses give a quilt to a family who had a loss of a child at the hospital.  Denise, the nurse in charge, felt that it was something they wanted to do.  We of course agreed that would be fine.  I was also reminded this evening that I hope we never have to do that.  We all know how uncertain life is for all of us.  It never goes exactly the way we have planned.  For this family, the unimaginable has happened.  I know tonight I will tell my family how much they mean to me.  I hope you will do the same.

I thought you might like to see where the quilts are going.
This is a picture of the front of Lawrence Memorial Hospital.

Isn't this a fun quilt? Black, pink, and purple with bright lime green on the front and back.  Can't you just see a little girl with big beautiful eyes picking this one?

This one has bright colorful crayons in the blocks.  A boy or a girl would love this one.

This one is a very simple two color quilt that would be good for a young child or a teenager.

We are now at 31quilts that we have donated.  Each one represents a child who is sick.  Hopefully most of them will have a short hospital stay and be back home happy and healthy.

Sunday, August 29, 2010

Back on Track

We have things repaired, replaced and back on track at our house (fingers crossed behind my back).  I was actually able to get back into my sewing room yesterday.  It was great to be in there messing with fabric again!  Touching fabric for you non-quilters may seem weird, but you quilters know just how good that feels!! I have so many ideas for quilts that I can't wait to start. 
   Some good news came my way this week.  Nan, who hosted the charity swap for fabrics for our group and Shannon, who is a friend of Nan's, have volunteered to help quilt some of the quilts for us.  This is a huge offer on their part and I am very excited to have them joining in.
  To give you a little bit of insight, I thought I would share our process. Right now, I collect the fabrics from anyone who shares their scraps with us.  I try to put together a kit for a quilt top. One of my favorite things about the process of making a quilt is cutting the fabric.  Sometime I have what I need and sometimes I have to scrounge to find what will work.  After I get the kit together and cut, I pass it on to Beth, Shelly, or Susan.  They will sew the quilt top and return it to me.  I then "sandwich" the quilt with batting and backing and quilt it.  I will then pass it on to Beth, along with the binding.  She puts the binding on and sews on the label.  The quilt then gets passed on to my friend Carrol who has recently began washing them for us. They have to be washed in fragrance and dye free detergent and softener to avoid allergies.  Then they are put in a stack ready to be delivered to the hospital.  So, if things are going well, we always have quilts in progress and some ready to be delivered.  Our "assembly line" works quite well and takes advantage of everyone's abilities.  I admit sometimes I just can't stand it and I sew a quilt top myself when I really have other things to be doing.  Sometimes I will make a quilt block that we haven't used before to see if it is one that we can make quickly and will work for us.  Since we are making quilts for "almost newborns" to 18 year olds, we need lots of variety.
   Here is a picture of a block I have been playing with.  Who knows, you may see it in a quilt soon!

There are two lessons I have learned:

1.  Figure out how to make it work with what you have.

2.  You might not like it but someone will.

This is a very simple quilt made of pastel 4 1/2 inch squares but is one of my favorites.  It is soft and sweet.

Yellow is my favorite color so of course this one is one I like.

This quilt is anything but soft and sweet!  It is one of the first ones we made and it was made with fabric we found at an estate sale.  It is a prime example of lesson #2.  I don't like it but the kids at the hospital did!

Time for me to play with fabric!