Category Archives: Donation Quilts

Mercyful Quilts on Parade

I have been looking forward to the mail delivery and the UPS guy daily. Most days they bring me a wonderful package to open. It’s like Christmas around here!! Sarah’s amazing Hands2Help event is finishing up at the end of the month so quilts are being mailed to various organizations all over the map. Mercy Hospital in Sacramento is one of the (incredibly grateful) recipients.I have opened quilts from throughout the US – Florida, Texas, Arizona, and North Carolina among others!

I thought it was time to share the bounty with you. I took pictures of some of the quilts but not all. This was not done with any rhyme or reason. I wanted to share some of these and it just isn’t feasible to photograph all of them. Not enough hours in the day, right? But I will say this – ALL of the quilts are amazing. Each one is uniquely beautiful and all of them are clearly made with love and compassion.

Let’s take a look at these beauties!

These were both made by Emily of Darling Dogwood. Both have gorgeous batiks in similar colors but the light and dark backgrounds sure make for a different vibe.

I have to say I don’t know Ann but isn’t she a talented quilter? Her choice of colors and patterns are just wonderful! I love both of the patterns she used for her quilts.

Ok – three quilts from three wonderful women. Top left came from Kim C. in Florida, top right was made by Erica in Arizona and bottom center by the wonderful Linda R. in Texas. Thank you ladies!!!

These two are so much fun. Top left is from Anny who lives about 2 hours from me and I have had the pleasure of meeting in ‘real life’. She made this with a group from the Sacramento MQG – so cool that they chose to donate to a hospital local to them! The other came from Selina who lives in Florida. Thank you so much!!

Two more lovelies – Trudie sent her quilt all the way from Texas and Kathryn sent hers over from Pennsylvania. These beauties will bring great comfort to their recipients.

This quilt came from Cyndy in Oregon – she blogs at Quilting is More Fun than Housework. (I got lazy and used a picture from her blog post!!). Anyway, the thing I love about this quilt is it is made up of orphan blocks! Her orphan blocks look like they were planned and made to go together. I was pretty surprised when I read this. It is really beautiful and she did a great job of laying these out and making them work!

As I said before, there are more and I am so very thankful for each of the quilts donated. It never ceases to amaze me how generous the quilting community is. Quilts of this caliber take so much time! Not to mention the expense of fabric and batting. And then, beyond all that, spending $20 to mail the quilt somewhere! I am grateful to know all of you and thankful you thought of Mercyful quilts when you wanted to give someone such a lovely gift.

Hands 2 Help 2020

Oh how I love this event! Each year Sarah from Confessions of a Fabric Addict hosts an event, Hands 2 Help, to encourage quilters to donate some of their work to various organizations. I have participated numerous times over the years. I have donated quilts to various places and have marveled at the number of quilts made and gifted each May. Last year and this year I am going to donate as well as coordinate the receiving of many beautiful quilts for Mercyful Quilts.

Over the past several weeks, the quilts have started to arrive. It is so fun to open the packages and see the color schemes, block patterns and quilting styles on each one. From simple to ornate, each one is beautiful and very much appreciated. I promise to share them with you – I still need to take pictures though.

As I thought about the event from the donor perspective this year, I knew I would donate one to Mercy Hospital – you all know how strongly I feel about their program. I will be giving them the blue and yellow star quilt I wrote about in my post two weeks ago. I also wanted to donate to our local Project Linus group. As I started to look at fabric, I decided it was silly to make a new quilt for them. I have a small stack of baby quilts in the closet that I made for the fun of it but never used or gave away. It seemed more practical to give one of those away than to make another one.

I chose to give them the Fireburst Quilt I made a while ago during a quilt along hosted by Tish’s Adventures in Wonderland. It is such a sweet quilt and should be used. Yesterday I washed and dried it since it had been in the closet for some time. It is all soft and crinkly now – ready for a child in need.

I love the colors used for this quilt – they are bright and cheerful. I remember when I started to spiral quilt this I worried it would be stiff so I decided to gradually widen the space between the spirals. It worked out well and I like how soft and puffy it is.

The fabric on the backing is Folk Fleur from the Meriwether line by Amy Gibson. It is sweet with tiny flowers floating across the fabric. (There is just a bit left in the sale section of the shop.) I used a zig zag stitch to quilt the border which added a bit of whimsy.

I am really happy to give this quilt to Project Linus. I love making them but it doesn’t make any sense to leave them unused in the closet. I know many people have stacks of their quilts throughout the house and that is what works for them. I feel like quilts are to be used. This one needs to belong to a child.

I am excited to see the numbers for this year. It seems with each year more and more quilts are donated as part of Hands 2 Help. With the quarantine in place this year, and many people unemployed, it might be a lesser number? This would be totally understandable too. Are you participating? If so, thank you for your generosity!! Thank you also to Sarah for spending so much time organizing this inspirational event each spring.

Flannel Blankets and a Trash to Treasures Giveaway

I recently had a conversation with the chairperson of our Community Service team within our local quilt guild. We were talking about the recipients of the quilts we make and the quantity of quilts she had available. The discussion came around to our local Children’s Protective Services team. This team includes officers of our Sherrif’s Department who have the very sad task of removing children from home’s where they are not in good, safe situations.

These officers like to carry blankets in the trunk of their cars so they can wrap up a child if needed when removing them and taking the child to social services and a foster home. The officers asked for blankets or quilts without batting. These kiddos are often put into carseats and the quilts can be too thick.

Thinking about this need, I decided to make some blankets with quilting cotton and flannel. These would be cozy and so easy to make. Plus they wouldn’t take up much room in the carseat. To do this, I looked at my stash as well as the fabric in the shop and selected some pieces that worked together nicely.

The sizes of the blankets were somewhat dictated by the pieces of fabric I wanted to use. The first blanket I made turned out to be 42″ square when finished. I cut pieces of flannel and quilting cotton that were each 1 and 1/4 yards – so almost a 45″ square, depending on the width of the fabric. I pre-washed everything because flannel is known to shrink a bit. After pre-washing, I pressed all of the fabrics and laid them out, right sides together. Then I squared up the pieces. A quick stitching around the perimeter, leaving about five inches open to turn it right side out, took little time. Once the corners were popped out nicely, I pressed the seams and top-stitched around the perimeter at a 1/8″ margin. I top-stitched again about two inches inside of that first go around.

I have a number of yards of gray flannel in my stash that has been sitting for a long while. It looks great with these silly animals. I am sure it will work with other pieces as well and will try and use more of it for these sorts of blankets.

For each blanket I cut one piece of flannel and the other woven cotton. However this could be easily adapted according to the stash a person has to use. Stretch knits would work and be really cozy. A woven cotton backed with minky or cuddle fabric is also a great idea. All of these are thinner than a typical quilt.

On of the blankets I made is quite a bit smaller because I had a little piece of flannel I wanted to use. It finished at 32 inches square. The navy flannel with sweet little daisies is so soft and the size will be perfect for a smaller child or toddler.

The need for these blankets makes me so sad. Last year these officers had to remove about 100 children from bad situations within our county. I couldn’t believe that number. It is much more than I would have guessed. If the blankets are helpful in this awful time for a child, I am happy to make them. They take little in the way of supplies or time and might be soothing during a scary time. I plan to bring these to our community service group and check to see if other guild members might want to make one or two. Really, they take so little time and most likely we all have one yard cuts waiting to be used.

OK – Let’s talk about the Trash to Treasure giveaway now! I have mentioned before that two of my sisters have an Etsy shop together. It is called 6 Monkeys & Co and they make and sell custom children’s clothing and gifts. One of my favorite things they make are traditional baby bonnets. They are soooo sweet and make a wonderful (very affordable) handmade baby gift for a newborn. Please take a peak here to see them. If you find yourself in need of a fantastic gift for a grandchild, niece or nephew, be sure check out their shop.

Anyway, when my sisters are sewing, they are inclined to toss their scraps. When you are a garment maker, it doesn’t make sense to keep these pieces of fabric if they aren’t big enough to cut into a useful piece (sleeve, skirt, collar, etc) for a piece of clothing. But as a quilter, I want all the scraps, ALL THE TIME! So Cathy and Patti save them for me. At the moment, I have accumulated tons. Sometimes I cut them into 5″ squares and figure I will make an I Spy quilt. But let’s be real. This pile is growing and I think it is time to share the wealth. If you would like to have some of these, please leave a comment. I will pick two winners and each will receive a great package of assorted scraps. Some are novelty fabrics, some blenders and lots of little florals and stripes. My sisters only save the larger scraps as I explained I wanted to be able to cut five inch squares with them so the pieces are really usable. The fabrics are great quality and would make a really fun scrappy quilt. Giveaway open through Friday, January 31st.

NOTE – Giveaway Now Closed. Thanks for entering!! Congrats to Sam and Sharon – winners of all these fun scraps!

I have almost finished my January goal which was to quilt and bind my Squared Away quilt. I will share that later this week. For now though, how about some scrappy treasures?? Happy sewing all.

Sharing at some of my favorite link ups. Check them out at the top of the page, under link-ups.

Bushfire Tree Blocks for Australia

Currently many quilters are making tree theme quilt blocks to donate to the Woolongong Modern Quilt Guild in Australia. This chapter of the MQG is making quilts for the families who lost their homes in the currently raging bushfires. As a native of California, I am too familiar with the devastation of wildfires and am happy to contribute a few blocks to the cause.

Here is some of the information as posted by the Woolongong MQG on their Facebook page. If you hop over to their Facebook page, there are some blocks shown for inspiration. You will likely see many on the other quilt blogs right about now. Side note – if you are following RSC2020, this is the perfect month to make the tree blocks since the scrap color for January is green.

How you can help:
We have decided to make tree blocks. The tree is a symbol of growth and nourishment. A tree symbolizes the generations of a family; a tree sprouts from a seed, the roots provide strength and stability, and whilst the new sapling is young and vulnerable they are protected by the other trees until they grow and flourish. In time the branches spread and then create new fruit that gives life to the next generation.

There is no restriction to one type of tree block. We would love our quilts to be beautiful and diverse just like our wonderful communities ….. If you would like to help, please make a tree block of a generous 12.5 inch square using a low volume / white or pale grey background. Once completed please send to:

Wollongong Modern Quilt Guild
PO Box 54
Jamberoo New South Wales 
AUSTRALIA 2533

We are going to distribute the quilts made to the families who have lost everything. We would like to ask that blocks be mailed for arrival by the end of February. We thank you in advance for your support#bushfireblocks

For my blocks, I chose to use the tutorial written by Kirsty Cleverly over at Bonjour Quilts. It is a bit different than some of the other blocks and I like the look of it. Plus, they come together quickly. Aren’t they cute? I like the three tones of green in each one.

There are certainly other tree blocks you might choose to make. This pine tree block is really cute and simple. The tree portion (it was drafted for a pillow) creates a 12 1/2″ block which is great for this. The Tree of Life block is traditional and lovely but oh my, so many HST’s. If you are interested though, here is a tutorial over at Fat Quarter Shop.

Created by Linda, FlourishingPalms.com

Post Update: I just learned of an incredible tutorial for another tree block! Designed by Linda at Flourishing Palms, she created the tree to emulate the shape of Australia. I love it! Click here for a well written tutorial for this cool block.

I know there are plans to set up a station at QuiltCon in February to collect blocks. If you know someone going to the show, or if you are going, it might be nice to gather blocks from quilters local to you and contribute them there. This will certainly will save on mailing expenses. Our local guild is making blocks and I am hopeful there will be quite a few to mail in. (If you happen to be a local member, please bring your blocks to the Tuesday night meeting in February!). Hoping you’ll be moved to make a block or two for this worthy cause – Happy Weekend everyone!!

Linking to my usual places including Brag About Your Beauties over at From Bolt to Beauty and Finished or Not Friday at Alycia Quilts and Oh Scrap! at Quilting is Better Than Housework.

Odds & Ends

I am supposed to be at a class today. I have been really looking forward to it – Mel Beach came up from the South Bay to teach a workshop for our guild. But, as you can probably guess, the past two days were migraine days and I am wiped out today. It seemed ‘too difficult’ to cart the sewing machine and supplies and be in class, listening and comprehending a technique today. The day or two after a migraine are just weary for me. So, I am home.

I thought I would catch up with you. It has been a while since I have shared the Mercyful Quilts I’ve received. They are just gorgeous, I am sure you will agree!

Six new beautiful quilts for Mercy Hospital!

As always, the quilts are stunning. Each one is so unique and more beautiful than the last. Mercy Hospital’s Palliative Care team is so grateful for these. I hope you know how much your work and generosity are appreciated by staff and the families who are given these comforting, loving quilts. If this program is new to you, read this post and this one to see what it is all about!

I could drool over these Art Gallery bolts all day long.

I have been running out of space in the shop so I ordered a wire shelving rack. It is now filled with Art Gallery Fabric, my favorite of all fabric. Isn’t it a pleasure to look at this and just think of the projects one could make??? I have a box of AGF arriving today and I can’t wait. There will be a couple of new colors from the Pure Elements solid line as well as a few more from Maureen Cracknell’s Sun Kissed line. It’s like Christmas morning every time a box shows up!!

Did you have any idea of all the choices??

I am out of Mary Ellen’s Best Press and went to order a bottle on-line. Did you have any idea of the number of scents it is made with? I thought there was just the regular Mary Ellen’s – this caught me by surprise. Just what do you suppose “Caribbean Beach” smells like?? Of course I ordered unscented. I am not a fan of fragrance – not in lotion, creams – none of it. This was news to me. (I lead such an exciting life.)

OK – Better get busy. My project for today is to make a couple of simple curtains for the Downieville house. There is a stairwell off the kitchen, leading to the basement and it has a couple of windows. Those windows are single pane and can be quite warm in summer and chilly in winter. I am going to use this vintage sheet and line them with a heavy muslin. I think that will help and they will look cute. The old fashioned floral is perfect for the house. I have an old curtain from the window to use for measurements so this should be a quick project. (if my post-migraine brain cooperates.) Wish me luck!

If you haven’t yet read the fantastic comments and discussion on this post, please do! So many quilters are sharing their mistakes and quilting blunders. So funny to read these and very validating!! There is time to enter a comment sharing your experience as well. ( I am definitely reading all of them and trying to comment on most – it has been a challenge because of my head.) Prizes are offered!! Winners drawn Saturday morning. Go check it out.

Guest Posting at Confessions Of a Fabric Addict Today

Good morning! Just popping in to let you know I am guest posting over at Confessions of a Fabric Addict today. I am thrilled to tell you that Mercyful Quilts is one of the recipients of the quilts made for the 2019 Hands2Help event hosted each year by Sarah!!

Each day this week on Sarah’s blog, a representative for the charitable organizations receiving quilts this year is posting about their group or charity. I have a post about Mercyful Quilts on her blog today. I hope you will hop over to read more about the event and if you choose to, it would be great to sign up and participate! Check back each day this week and learn more about the other wonderful groups you might want to make a quilt for.

Thanks to Sarah for hosting this amazing annual event. This is the ninth year of Hands2Help!! Amazing, right? Thus far, over 1,450 quilts have been made and donated to a variety of groups. I have participated a couple of times and it is very rewarding!

Have a great day everyone!

VIntage Panel Finish

Happy Friday everyone!  It has been really busy here between the shop, the usual migraine nonsense and… wait for it…. getting ready to leave for Vermont!  I am going to be watching my grand daughter for three weeks.  Her mama has to go to Washington DC for a month long training session and asked if I would come and help out while my son is with H.  He commutes a fair bit to work and back which makes H’s daycare time much longer if he is on his own with her.  Between that and snow days and the usual illnesses she is always coming down with, it will be good to have another person there.  I am looking forward to it as much as my DIL is NOT looking forward to it.  You know?  I feel terrible for her to have to leave for so long.  She is a medical resident in Radiology at the University of Burlington and has known this was coming for the last several years but now that it is actually time to go, ugh! She is such a trooper and is trying to make the best of a lousy situation.

I have been cooking meals and freezing them so Ray and Julia don’t have to cook quite as much while I am gone.  They both have long days and it will be nice to have a few things they can just pull out of the freezer and heat up. Also, my friend Sophia has been coming over and learning to run my shop for me.  She is such a good friend and I am incredibly grateful she is able to do this for me.  She will cut orders and ship them for the next few weeks.  I have known her for a long while and we are both into quilting and sewing.  She will have everything under control while I am away!

I did play a bit in the sewing room this week, though not as much as I would have liked (is there ever enough hours in the day?). I had four custom orders, two are finished and the other two are prepped to be completed today.

Inspired by watching Marie Kondo on Netflix the other day, I thought I would clear out some old fabric that just wasn’t ‘sparking joy’ for me any longer and give it away.  But as soon as I sat down and started going through things, I found this panel I had picked up at a garage sale last fall.  That was the end of the Konmari cleaning effort!

I just love this panel.  I did several reverse image searches to try and find it on-line and see what line it was from.  One person on Facebook or Instagram (?) commented that she made pillow cases with it in the 1980’s for her children.  So it is an older fabric.  I wasn’t sure what to do with it but finally decided to make a doll quilt with it for A Doll Like Me.  It is so pretty and, at 22″ x 26″, just the right size for this.

 

I found a batting scrap and some backing fabric and quickly put it all together.

I love the pig and unicorn both!

The quilting is basic since it really doesn’t show up and the animals are the star of the show here.

Lions, tigers and bears, oh my!

I free motioned around most of the animals and some of the vines to hold everything together. Around the outer border I FMQ’d flowers.  That was good practice as I am really rusty these days.

The backing and binding were also a thrift store find – I believe it was an older RJR print.  Great colors thought, right??

Don’t you love making something start to finish with bits of fabric you already have. The stack of fabric in my closet holds so much potential. I will keep this little quilt and mail it to Amy when I have a few more things to add to it.

Time to go finish up those two orders.  Also need to make meatballs for the freezer. Yesterday I had a roast in the crockpot for shredded BBQ Beef sandwiches.  I am filling our freezer!!

Hope everyone has a wonderful weekend.  Ours will be gray and rainy out, as it has been all week.  The wet weather inspired me to cut a few gray and white fat quarter bundles for the shop.  Aren’t these pieces wonderful?  Included are flowers, stripes and text prints by Carrie Bloomston, Alison Glass and Sarah Fielke!  Click the link if you want to add them to your stash.  🙂

Linking to my usual sites.  Check them out at the top of the page under link ups!

twisted

Twisted Quilt is Finished!

I haven’t finished a quilt for such a long time.  This one feels great! Partly because I started it in June, 2017 so it has been around for a while.  But also in part because I am donating it to the Mercyful Quilt drive that I have been hosting over these past weeks.

Surely I am not alone in the feeling of intention that comes along when making a quilt for a specific purpose.  When I began making this quilt, I chose it because I love the Twisted pattern, the lattice look of it.  I was happy because I mainly used scrappy bits that I had in my stash.  It was just a nice project. However as I began quilting it, I knew it would be a nice piece to donate to the Palliative Care unit at Mercy Hospital.  Once I decided to donate it, my mind constantly wandered, thinking about the purpose of this particular quilt.

twisted

I chose to use a grid pattern for the open sections within the lattice.  This was a bit time consuming.  I did mark the lines with a Frixion pen – though they still have some wobble to them. But I wanted them to be as straight and uniform as I could get them. I marked and quilted a one inch grid on each spot. This gave me plenty of time to think while I quilted.

twisted

As my mind wandered, I found myself thinking about the family who might choose my quilt for their special family member who was actively in the dying process.  I do not hold any grand illusion that because they have this quilt in hand, the process becomes easy.  I have been there. I know that whether given one, or twenty five, handmade quilts, the process doesn’t become easier.  But it is something. It might reduce the sterility of the hospital room a tiny bit.  Maybe taking the quilt home will bring comfort to the family as they grieve. It gave me great satisfaction to think that maybe by donating this quilt, I am bringing a little bit of solace to the family as well as comfort to the person who died.

twisted

Modern, bright florals on the front and soft roses on the back. So sweet.

Since starting this quilt drive, I have received so many comments that compliment the staff who support patients as they die.  Many of us feel the same – that this is such a special calling and certainly a very difficult job much of the time.  Collectively we are grateful for these angels who are able to provide care for patient and family at this time of life.  Personally, when I think of someone dying, I almost always find myself remembering when my first husband died. It is only natural I suppose; this was a huge, life altering event in my, and my childrens’, life.  He died in 1994 after experiencing an aneurysm in his brain stem.  He was flown to a trauma care hospital and they took care of him (and me) for the next two days.

This was such a stressful, terrifying time in my life.  I was only 33 and he was 36.  We had three young children.  I spent that weekend in a shocked, fearful state of mind.  The staff there were amazing.  Mark had a nurse that spent about 36 hours with him, without going home.  She just stayed with both of us. I remember asking her how she could do this job.  I asked her why she stayed so long, and how many of her patients actually survived.  She sat with me and explained she felt honored to care for him and me both as we faced this change.  She told me that less than 20% of her patients survived.  But she felt called to do this work. She told me that most of the nursing staff don’t last a very long time in this type of work, but for the time she was able to, she wanted to do this type of nursing. She was an angel and while I can hardly remember her face, I do remember her words.

There was also a chaplain who came in and out quite a number of times to check on me.  Memories of him are a bit of a blur but I know he was there and supportive.  At a time like this, there are many decisions to make and having someone who wasn’t emotionally involved is so important. I am not sharing all of this as a call for pity.  I am fine and my boys are fine.  We will always miss Mark but memories of him have become a sweet part of our life.  I am sharing it to describe how needed and comforting it was to have this team of people who deal with death on a daily basis and thus were able help me to deal with it.  They helped me to make decisions when I was reeling with shock and grief. Mark wanted to be an organ donor and that process was somewhat involved. They told me what to expect next, why they were doing each process, what Mark might be experiencing as time went on.  They were such a comfort at such a scary, sad time.

twisted

My Mercyful Quilt is backed with a soft vintage sheet.

So, making this quilt caused me to reflect.  It gave me time to think about providing what we can to help people we will never meet.  I thought about how being kind to a faceless person feels good.  Quilting this piece made me realize how important it is to pay it forward.  I received comfort from a team such as the one at Mercy Hospital.  It is my turn to help the next person going through a difficult time.

Now this one is done so I can look forward to quilting the next one.  I have two quilt tops in line to work on.  I have a few holiday projects in process but I think it is ok to work on those first and then tackle the next Mercyful quilt.

Mercyful Quilts – destined to bring comfort to others.

Look at the stack that is waiting to be picked up! I believe we are at twenty quilts so far and more are on the way.  My gratitude intention for Thanksgiving this year is easy.  I am over the top grateful for each of you and the amazing, gorgeous quilts you are sending to me for Mercy Hospital.  Quilts have arrived from Texas, Arizona, Louisiana, Massachusetts and all over California.  AMAZING!! I hope you will continue to feel a desire to work on this drive.  Share it with your quilting groups, post about it on your blog or Instagram feed and tag it #Mercyfulquilts.  The need is ongoing.  If you cannot contribute a quilt, you may want to make a couple of blocks for Covered in Love.  This program serves the same need at a hospital in Texas.

Wishing all of you a wonderful Thanksgiving weekend.

Linking this finish up at a few fun places.  Check them out at the top of the page, under Link Ups.

 

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