It is no secret I enjoy making quilts for other people. I have given them as birthday, wedding, baby and “just because” gifts. But my favorite thing is making comfort quilts. Making a quilt for a person who is going through a rough time for whatever reason is the most rewarding sort of quilting. I love the idea of imagining this person who is sad or feeling blue receiving a handmade gift. The person then knows there is a another person, somewhere out in the universe who felt the desire to lessen their pain even the tiniest bit by spending time making something for them.
Who knows whether this person would understand the time it takes to make a quilt? Or if this person knows there is expense put out to make this gift? That isn’t the issue. For me it is all about wanting this person to have a positive experience in the midst of a negative time in their life.
The quilt I am sharing today happened due to some crazy team work. Somewhere a quilter made the 16 patch blocks. I can tell these blocks were made quite some time ago. They were frayed at the edges and a wrinkled mess. Along the way, the first quilter decided they couldn’t finish the quilt for whatever reason. The blocks were then passed along to another quilter who promised to make a comfort quilt with them. Then these poor blocks languished for a long while, making the second quilter feel a bit guilty for not getting it done. She posted on Instagram that she would send them to anyone who would promise to finish up her promised task. I raised my hand quickly (on Instagram of course) and she mailed the blocks to me. (She actually mailed two sets of unfinished blocks and I have the second set out and ready to work on).
Due to my move up to Washington last spring, it took me some time to get to these blocks but I finally did. Looking at the blocks closely I saw they needed some work. I squared them and reinforced many seams that were coming apart. Next, I set them on point with a solid navy blue background. After laying them out, I realized I would have a few blocks left over. I used them as the border. The fabric was already fraying so I didn’t want to unpick the seams. Instead, I just stitched the blocks in a column and then sliced long strips. (Does that make sense)?? That made a nice border for the quilt.
I used this super cute print (I think it was a Moda fabric?). I remember buying it last fall when I was at a fabric sale for a local sewing group. I had gone to that sale looking for pieces large enough to use as backings and this was one of the pieces I picked up.
Zooming in on the backing so you can see it better, check out the cute birds, oak leaves and acorns. I really like this piece and used just over half of it for the backing.
As a result of three quilters working together another quilt will be donated soon. First I want my daughter in law to see this one and the quilt I recently made as part of the Villa Rosa Designs blog hop. Unfortunately, a woman my DIL works with just went out on leave because her husband has terminal cancer and is now under hospice care. My DIL asked me for a quilt for them and I am very pleased to give her one of these.
How about you? Do you get a strong positive feeling making quilts for a person unknown to you? It sends much needed kindness out into the universe. There are many organizations who want quilts such as these for their clients or patients. It makes me happy to participate and do what I can to fill that need. Working with two other anonymous quilters, together we made one more quilt.
Linking up with my favorites – check them out at the top of the page, under Link Ups.
Boy, that came together really well! I love the border idea, it just seems to finish the quilt so well, and the backing fabric is perfect! Nice finish!
Thanks Wendy. I am happy with it. A quick finish and it felt good to use the blocks. 🙂
I love giving quilts to people who need comfort, just like you. I so admire your willingness to work with abandoned blocks and turn them into comfort for someone. I know there are many blessings for the makers and receivers.
I agree Kathleen! As for the blocks, it makes for a very quick finish when it only has to be basted, quilted and bound. Cutting and piecing seem to be the most time consuming (well, if the quilting isn’t terribly complex). So I am generally happy to do this.
Your finished quilt is great. I admire you for putting it together in a fun way and really like the border idea. It is a comfort for me also to make quilts for others.
Thank you Lynn – I sure wish I could remember who sent me the blocks. Why didn’t I write it down??? I would love for her to know the blocks were (finally) made into a quilt. The important thing is it is done though. That’s what matters. Take care 🙂
Awww, love this story, Bernie!!! Brilliant idea using the leftover blocks for a border!!! Yes, giving quilts is one of the best parts of being a quilter!!!
Hi Nancy – That little border of 2 inch squares worked out well and it used up the extra blocks. Total win in my book!
I too like making and giving comfort quilts. I like the border great idea!
Thanks Cindy. That border was such a last minute thought and I am very happy with the way it finished the quilt.
Need an address to mail my quilts
The backing print is perfect for this quilt, and I love the extra blocks went into the borders for the quilt. I really love making and giving quilts for the same reason. I think it is one of the reasons why I never question whether I’m going to fit in with a group of quilters; we have big hearts and it makes me feel better about the world that so many of us are doing our part to improve things, one stitch at a time. 🙂
That is an interesting comment – I am usually very comfortable talking with quilters. Sewing and quilting for others with a heart for service is almost always something we have in common. 🙂
Making comfort quilts is like that saying “quilts warm two people – the quilter & the recipient” (or however it goes). Making comfort quilts is comforting to me (& I hope to whoever gets the finished project). I’m about to send a lap-sized top to the quilter & will donate it to someone who could use a “fabric hug”. Do you still do Merciful Quilts?
That is a sweet sentiment Rebecca. Yes, I am always looking for Mercyful Quilts. Should you decide to donate to us, please let me know because the mailing address has changed. Thank you so much!
Please send me the new address because I’ll have a comfort quilt for Merciful Quilts soon. Thanks in advance!
I believe if given a skill, we must use it to help others. It’s a joy to give one away as I did this past week. I took it to an elderly lady from our church who was put into a memory care facility after a long hospital stay so more adjusting for her.
I laid the quilt on her lap and she loved it after looking it all over. Then she folded it back up after she asked me to stand up and show it off to the others in her recreation room that were there. She proceeds to hand it back to me and I said no it was hers to keep and she got tears in her eyes and they ran down her face. I did all I could to not cry with her knowing she needed that hug of warmth. Then off she went with her quilt back to her room and I felt like I had won the lottery.
Kathy – this is the perfect illustration of what I was trying to say in today’s post. How wonderful you were able to help this woman and make her transition a bit easier. Thank you for sharing this story.
I really like how you set those blocks!! it looks awesome!!
and right with you – sometimes the recipient just needs a hug right? and we can provide that!!!
Thank you Alycia.
What a sweet quilt, Bernie, and a great way to set those blocks together. Very creative border, too. I’m sure it will be appreciated and loved. As for the rest– why not share what you can? After we’ve covered all the beds, why not share with others who don’t have what we do? And if it brings someone comfort, all the better. Have a wonderful, restful weekend!
Thank you Mari. I like the border as well. It needed something extra. Plus I was able to use every block. 🙂
Love this story! I too enjoy making quilts to give away
Thank you Leslie – Happy to hear you understand the sentiment!
Wow you did a nice job with those blocks, and the backing is pretty and perfect. Yes I get those feelings when I work on a comfort quilt – what is that person going through and will they feel the love and prayers (and hopefully not the cussing) that went into the making of the quilt.
So enjoyed this quilt and its story. My husband of 61 years recently passed in hospice care and as a veteran of 20 years in the US Navy was presented with a Quilt of Valor just 2 days prior to his passing. What a gift of comfort to me because as a quilter I am aware that someone unknown to me took their time to make a gift of comfort.
Hi Hazel: Thank you for sharing your thoughts. My condolences on the loss of your husband. I am sure you are missing him terribly. My first husband was also a Davidson! He passed away in 1994 but the same last name as you and your husband. That is quite a coincidence.
Quilts of Valor made for US veterans is a wonderful program. I haven’t made quilts for them yet but it would be really rewarding.
Is this the first time you have visited my blog? I feel like I would remember the name! How did you come across the site? Hope you’ll stay in touch! Have a lovely day.
This is such a beautiful and touching story. I sure could have used this when my son passed (he took his life). Much nicer than just curling up in a ball and crying nonstop. What an awesome idea!!!! Thank you!
Hi Sharon, My deepest sympathy for the loss of your son. Losing a child is such a tragedy. I hope you have loads of support around you. I am glad this post touched you. Do you quilt? If so, do you have organizations you give quilts to? I would love to hear.
Also, are you new to my blog? If so, how did you hear about it? Thanks for stopping by!! 🙂
I feel the same way about gifting quilts. It’s the best kind of hug and let’s the person know you care. Great use of the orphan blocks and I love the binding. How inventive. Bernie
Thank you! I have another stack of blocks waiting to be assembled. They were given to me at the same time as the blue patchwork was. It will happen – I need to find something that works for a sashing. Should not be a problem considering how much fabric is on the shelves in the sewing room!
I am an unusual quilter Bernie in that I only have scraps left. I don’t have a “stash” per say of new material. I get too overwhelmed and have no idea how one buys if it’s not for a specific project. I am all about using what I have so other than the backs I try to make my left overs work for lots. So one quilt runs into maybe 2 baby quilts and then I add in some cross over colours and start a different direction.
When we went to Haiti on a medical mission I wanted to take 26 quilts — one for every member of our group — but we ended up with 52!! Lots of them started out as someone’s huge box of half done projects. That just blew me out of the water. Bernie
That came out beautifully! I feel the same about making quilts for gifting. This one is sure to be a comforting hug.
Thank you! I appreciate it. 🙂
Excellent teamwork, Bernie!!