Just stopping in to thank all of you for such a successful quilt along. Mercyful Quilts now has another batch of fresh, gorgeous quilts on the way. I am always looking for ways to keep the shelf full for their Palliative Care department and all of you are a huge part of that.
Many thanks to Preeti (Sew Preeti Quilts) for heading this Positivity QAL up for the second year in a row. Preeti designs the quilt, writes up the instructions, keeps the timeline and answers many questions from quilters needing a little help here or there. Without her, this event wouldn’t happen. Thanks also to the quilters who graciously spend their time and money to make a quilt (or two!) for the program. I believe we have about 15 quilts this year as a result of the event. There may be one or two more that get finished up later and that is totally fine.
Due to the generosity of Art Gallery Fabric and Benartex Fabric, each quilter who finished a quilt and either linked up or sent me a picture of the final quilt will receive a gift. I know the prize, or gift, is not the reason we make these comfort quilts. But it is nice to be able to replenish your fabric after you have given up some of your stash to make a quilt for us. These gifts will go out in the mail later this week. If Preeti or I don’t have your address, we will contact you to get the mailing information.
As I write this post, I am thinking about how grateful I am to have your support for Mercyful Quilts. When I consider the time it takes to make a quilt, the expense of the fabric, batting, backing and binding, possible expense of a long arm quilter, and the cost of the postage – this is no small undertaking. Many people don’t understand how many hours and hours go into each quilt. Nor do they know the amount of money spent to make one lap size quilt. But I know and am so thankful. When I count my blessings, each of you are counted.
Who has finished their 2022 Positivity Quilt for Mercy Hospital in Sacramento? Visualize me with my hand up in the air and a huge smile on my face! Whether you are finished, or still working on it, know that Mercyful Quilts is so grateful to you for your time, creativity and generosity. These quilts give comfort to families as they say goodbye to a person very special to them. Anyone who has lost someone dear to them knows how difficult this is. For us to be able to provide some support to these people is a gift.
I am really happy with the quilt I made for this QAL. Before I left California, my friend Stephanie (who has donated 3 quilts to Mercy Hospital already) gave me a stack of fabric. In her honor, I used the bundle of Dreamcatcher fabric for this quilt. It wasn’t the absolute perfect choice because so much of the fabric was directional and made some of the blocks look a bit chopped up. But – the overall effect is good, so I am pleased. I mentioned before that this western themed fabric isn’t something I would typically choose. But this quilt isn’t for me, is it? The region that Mercy Hospital in Sacramento serves has plenty of people with horses and ranches so I am hoping this quilt calls to a family with this sort of vibe.
I had some large pieces in the stack and was able to piece a backing with them. At least this way I could feature the directional prints in the right manner.
I quilted the body of the quilt with loops of all sizes. I wanted to practice one shape while I was quilting so I selected circles – quilting just circles over and over was great to develop that muscle memory. As usual, I quilted with Glide thread. It is super silky and works well for me.
I like this little nook in front of my machine – it is just the right place to tuck the roll of binding while I am attaching it. I machine stitched to the front and hand stitched the back.
Now that this is finished, I have two Mercyful quilts ready to go. So – do you have yours ready too? If so, please link up and show us your finish!
If you can’t link up, please send me a picture so I can enter you in the prize drawing. Here is Lisa T’s quilt finish. Lisa’s quilt is a lovely rainbow of color!
The two quilts shown above were made by Danielle (@justanaveragequilter). The different background colors make such a difference in the overall look of the quilt!
Maybe I should share a prize or two donated by Art Gallery Fabric. They are always very generous sponsors and I am grateful. Surely you are already aware of the quality of AGF fabrics but if you haven’t given them a try, please do.
Each of these Art Gallery Fabric prizes give you three yards of fabric to work with! There are also bundles of fabric provided by Island Batik as well as
OK – Here is the link up! Show us what you made. (Or email me a picture! You can use the contact me button on this page.)
I have been out of touch for a couple of weeks. Last we chatted, I was heading to stay with my grand girls for a long weekend while their parents took a quick break. We had so much fun. The girls were very easy to take care of even though the two year old was running a bit of a fever. She was still very happy to be with her grandpa, even if not feeling quite 100%. We got to celebrate Ray’s birthday while we were there.
The girls had fun painting a cardboard box outside. There was no real plan other than to paint for the sake of painting.
Once the box was done, H asked if we could make it into a rocket ship. She clearly had a very specific plan in mind. Ray and I talked to her for a bit to try and suss out her plan. She was able to explain just what she thought it would look like.
It turned out so cute and the girls were pleased!
When H was in the box, she and Grandpa would count down to blast off and Grandpa would shake the box like crazy to make it feel like she was blasting off. It was so fun.
The day we were driving home I started to feel sick. By the time we got home (it is only a 75 minute drive) I felt horrible. Climbed into bed and there I stayed for three days. Then I just felt awful for another three or four days. I tested negative for Covid and it seems I had the flu. The day I started to feel better, Ray crawled into bed and repeated my entire experience. Ugh!! We lost a couple of weeks to this virus and it was not fun!
Once we got our energy back, we invited the girls to come for a weekend. We really wanted to spend some time with them before H starts school.
We went to a local park that has a splash pad. Little sister was a bit leary of most of the fountains but she would occasionally stand near one and shriek. It was really funny. Mostly she watched and also stomped in the puddles.
No fear with this one though. She has such an adventurous spirit!
There was a playground next to the splash pad. H was in this big webbed swing and really wanted her little sister to join her. A was not going anywhere near it. She kept saying it was scary. After many invitations, big sister said, “let’s be kitties” which is one of A’s favorite games. A few meows later and little sister was in the swing snuggling with H. I was almost getting choked up here. H kept patting her little sister’s back, saying ‘see, this isn’t scary, I am here with you’. They fight occasionally but this sort of thing makes up for the squabbles.
The last night we all made individual pizzas together. The girls love doing this. Yum.
Summer is winding down and H starts kindergarten in two weeks! Hard to believe she is going to be in school.
My friend from California arrives today for a quick visit. She is also a quilter and as luck would have it, today is the local quilt guild’s show. I am really excited to see Sophia, even if just for one night.
With school starting for H and summer winding down, I have been thinking about fall. I made a few scrappy, strip-pieced pumpkins. I think I will incorporate them into a Halloween quilt.
I can’t remember if I shared this but I was at an estate sale some time ago and picked up this Halloween panel. I am thinking I will use the pumpkins to border one side. I am going to make blocks out of them that set the pumpkins on an angle so they have some character. More on that as I make progress.
Lastly! Sunday is the opening of the final link up for the 2022 Positivity QAL!! I have my quilt finished. If you do as well, please link up!! Remember that if you don’t have a way to link up, you can email me a photo and I will add it to the blog post. I want you to be eligible for the prize drawing!! The link up will be open all next week so you still have time to finish it up. See you soon!
Good morning everyone! I wanted to pop in and let you know the names were drawn for the prizes for this link up. Mercyful Quilts is truly grateful for both the quilts being made as well as the sponsors who have donated gifts for these quilters! The next time you are looking for just the right pattern to make, please check the shops for our sponsors. You will surely find just what you are looking for!
Congrats to these quilters! I have emailed you so please check your in-box for the information. The next link up will be to show your finished quilts. This happens during the end of August.
The turnout for this year’s event is a bit less than last year. Who knows why? Maybe people are busier this summer. Maybe it is too darn hot across the whole country to be sewing. (I cannot believe how scorched much of the US is right now!!) At any rate, we are grateful for those who are participating. If you are working on your quilt and not making the time schedule, no problem. The need at Mercy Hospital is constant so we will happily receive your quilt donation at any time! If you feel overwhelmed and cannot finish the total number of blocks please make as many as you want to complete your quilt. While the pattern calls for 80 blocks, a generous quilt can be accomplished with less than that. Especially if you add a pretty border to enlarge it.
I hope you are sitting down as you read this because I have some news! Not only have I finished my quilt top for the 2022 Pos QAL, but I have pieced the backing. There is more! The binding is cut! The quilt is basted! I know, I know – this is shocking. I am almost positive I have never finished a QAL within the stated timespan. What is happening here??? Is my plan to focus on one project at a time actually working? I feel like I don’t even know myself anymore. Hahaha.
OK – Closing for now. I have the pleasure of staying with my grand daughters next week for a couple of days while their parents have a quick getaway. No sewing will be happening but lots of fun will be had!
Because blog posts are much more fun to read if they have pictures, here are some fun ones!
Someone said ‘every finish line is the start of a new race’ but for me it is the start of a new quilt. I am now allowed to work on 2022’s Positivity Quilt! As well as all of the other little distractions that pop up along the way.
This quilt doesn’t have nearly as many blocks as Preeti (Sew Preeti Quilts) called for but I decided it was a large enough quilt at this point. All of the pluses are either a shade of blue or yellow and with one exception, all backgrounds are various grays. The blue cross with yellow background came from Alycia (Alycia Quilts). She included this with her quilt when she donated it – you know, a year ago, when we were supposed to have finished these! I thought it was a perfect pop for this quilt so my quilt was technically made by me and Alycia!
There is a border of deep yellow framing the blocks and a dark blue binding. The binding was selected by my sisters. I texted them when I just couldn’t decide and they chose blue. Smart call on their part, as this looks great!
The backing is a piece called Abiding Reverie from Art Gallery Fabric. I had it in my shop because it reminded me of vintage sheets (which you all know I have a strong affinity for). It is such a cheerful fabric. There is still some left which makes me happy.
After doing straight line quilting both horizontally and vertically, I did this little design on each plus. I am so happy with the new machine my sister gave me. It is so easy to quilt on compared the the older machine I was using. I still don’t have a walking foot yet and the straight line quilting was actually more of a challenge than the FMQ. I had a few puckers since the fabric wasn’t being moved from top and bottom.
This is a finish and I am thrilled with it. I think I will wait and mail it to Mercy with the second quilt. Having this beauty sitting in my sewing room will motivate me to finish the 2022 project! Thank you Preeti for hosting this event, both last year and this!
Linking to my usual favorites. Check them out at the top of the page, under Link Ups.
Good morning all! Hope you are having a lovely weekend. Believe it or not, it is time to link up a progress shot of your 2022 Positivity Quilt. This might mean sharing a couple of blocks with us. Or maybe you have actually stitched a few rows together. Maybe, like me, you are still in the earliest stages and have been cutting your pieces out. Wherever you might be, let us enjoy your progress so far.
I started cutting blocks for mine. Before leaving California, my friend Stephanie gave me a stack of leftover fabric from a western themed quilt she made. This line of fabric is called Dreamcatcher and was made by Whistler Studios . It is not my usual style fabric but this quilt is not for me. Being destined for Mercy Hospital, there is no way of knowing who will receive it. With Mercyful Quilts, the family of the patient chooses the quilt and oftentimes, they choose one that is meaningful to their relationship with the person they are saying goodbye to. Thus it is good to have all sorts of choices. A variety of colors, styles, and themes are advantageous. So this quilt will have a strong Native American, western vibe to it. Some of the fabric is directional and I am hoping this doesn’t create issues as I assemble the blocks. That remains to be seen.
As I was cutting the pieces and getting excited to start assembling blocks, my practical side grabbed hold and told me to finish up last year’s quilt first. Most of the top was done and it didn’t make sense to move on until I got this completed. I set the fabric aside and pulled out last year’s plus quilt. I didn’t make more blocks. Instead, I went with what I had completed. To increase the size, I added a yellow border. Then got it basted and ready for quilting. On Friday I began quilting it. It feels so much better to work in a more orderly fashion. My husband will be the first to tell you I often flit from one thing to another which is, for the most part, unproductive. Once this quilt is done, I will start sewing blocks for the next one.
So this is where I am at for now. How about you? Have you got lots of blocks assembled? Maybe your quilt top is even finished. Share it with us here. One of the best parts of a quilt along is the camaraderie of sewing together. Also, since we are making the same pattern, it is so cool to see it in any number of fabric choices. I look forward to seeing all of them. Link up is open until Saturday, July 2, 2022. Thanks for joining in and sewing for Mercyful Quilts!
This is a good day! I feel like life is getting back to normal. With time for a little sewing, a couple of chores, and time to write blog posts; it is evident that the work of the move is behind us. The timing could not be better as it is time for the second annual Positivity Quiltalong, hosted by Sew Preeti Quilts and Needle and Foot. This quiltalong happened for the first time, last spring. At that time, life was getting crazy and it was difficult for me to focus on it. This is made most evident by the fact that I have not yet finished my quilt from that QAL. My incomplete quilt aside, Preeti has once again created a fun, easy to make pattern for all of us to create together.
In case this is new to you, Preeti Harris is a staunch supporter of a project I organize called Mercyful Quilts. Mercyful Quilts collects lap size quilts for patients who are at end of life at Mercy Hospital in Sacramento, CA. I have been coordinating this program for nearly four years now. You can read a lot of the details by clicking here. Countless quilts have been made for this project – each one given to a person who is saying goodbye to a loved one. The family uses the quilt to cover the person while in the hospital. When the person passes away, the quilt goes home with the family as a remembrance of this special family member. We have heard several very moving stories from families who received a Mercyful Quilt. These quilts serve to remind us how important it is to show kindness to everyone, even to people we don’t know. We are reminded that these acts of kindness and care might just provide a bit of extra support to a family going through a sorrowful time. This is why we make the quilts.
There are only a few requirements for Mercyful Quilts. The hospital serves adults only so no juvenile fabrics or themes. We always need male, female and gender neutral quilts so search your fabrics with that in mind. Lap size only please – no bigger or it becomes too difficult to store them.
Last year when Preeti asked if I would like to work with her on a quiltalong for Mercyful Quilts How could I say anything but yes?? Feeling we all needed a dose of positivity in our lives, Preeti designed a pattern, wrote very clear instructions and even gathered a few prizes. We all made a “plus” quilt together and if memory serves me, Mercy Hospital received over 20 quilts. There were a few others made internationally which were donated to causes closer to the quilter. After such a successful and fun time, she is at it again!
This is the pattern we will be sewing for the 2022 event. Preeti has put together a relaxed schedule (that I am hoping to actually adhere to!) There will be several Linky parties (hosted here at Needle & Foot) to share your progress along the way.
Here is the breakdown:
May 29, 2022 – QAL Launch – Block tutorial and fabric requirements will be shared.
June 5, 2022 – Finalize your fabric picks, block and layout etc.
July 24, 2022 – Level 1 prizes announced. Complete making the binding.
July 31, 2022 – Complete piecing the backing. Complete basting your quilt tops.
August 7, 2022 – Quilting in progress.
August 14, 2022 – Complete quilting and attach binding
August 21, 2022 – Share finished quilts. Mail finished quilts to Patty (our Mercy Hospital contact). Linky party participation required for prizes.
September 4, 2022 – Level 2 prizes announced.
This will be a fantastic project to work on over the summer. I have an idea in my head for the fabrics I think I will use. How about you? Will you join in and make a quilt for Mercy Hospital with us? Preeti and I would love to have you join us! If you have any questions, please feel free to leave them in the comments. I am thrilled to, once again, be working with Preeti, gathering Mercyful Quilts and hanging out with all of you!
You guys – we are close, so very close to being done with the house in California. We sign papers for the close next week and have a final walk through with the new owners and then we are heading up to Washington. It is just amazing! This has been the focus of life for so long. We are so excited to be nearing completion and so ready to move into the new house!
Much of the house looks like this! There is still a lot to be loaded into the last Pod and we have some movers coming to help with that next week.
Spring break is here in California. Julia went on a trip to New York to spend time with her brother and sister-in-law who live there. She seems to be having a blast. They have walked many miles and she has seen a lot. I am not exactly sure how she is suddenly an adult and able to travel across the country on her own. It is mind boggling because wasn’t it only last week she was twelve years old???
This sweet girl had her first T-Ball practice yesterday. She loved it. Today she went to a thrift shop and got some cleats which (obviously) make her run much, much faster. This grammy is pretty excited to go watch some fast paced T-Ball action once we get up there!
Last October this beautiful quilt was donated to Mercyful Quilts. It came from Deb in California. You might remember that the families of patients are offered the opportunity to choose a quilt as they say good bye to their loved one.
This quilt was chosen by a woman for her husband. One thing that makes this extra special to me is that the young man who passed away was an organ donor. This quilt was laid upon him as he was taken on the Honor Walk to surgery for organ donation. During this last walk, all available staff, and any family who is able to, line the hallway used to take the patient to the OR to show respect and gratitude for the gift being given by this person. This touches me deeply.
Clearly he and his family felt the great importance of organ donation and what that means to our community, giving to others, and being selfless. In a (much smaller) way, we quilters hold these same values when we make quilts for people we will never know and offer them up, being selfless, showing how much we value community and giving to others. This young guy passed away far too soon and will not be here to raise the baby they are expecting. I hope this quilt will bring comfort to his wife and maybe someday to their child.
As always, thank you for continuing to support Mercyful Quilts. Truly, these quilts you make and donate bring such comfort to people at a time when it is deeply needed. If you are participating in Hands2Help this year, Mercyful Quilts is one of the very fortunate recipients of quilts this year. We want to thank you all in advance for possibly choosing us to receive a quilt. For more information on this year’s event, click here and you’ll be taken over to Academic Quilter.
I am guessing that the next time I post, I will be a Washington resident! Yikes, that is so exciting!!
I am guessing this isn’t news to all quilters who happily participate in Hands 2 Help each year but the event is being coordinated by Mari of Academic Quilter this year. Sarah has a lot going on right now and rather than having to skip a year of making quilts for deserving people and organizations, Mari has stepped in and is hosting the whole event! We are all grateful to Mari for taking this on but most especially grateful are the staff and families at Mercy Hospital in Sacramento, California. To read the details about this year’s Hand 2 Help event, hop over to this post by Academic Quilter.
Mercyful Quilts was started back in November of 2018 by me and my friend Patty, a nurse at Mercy Hospital. There are many posts on my blog about Mercyful Quilts and you can look through them by clicking on Mercyful Quilts at the top of this page.
If you haven’t heard about Mercyful Quilts, we make and donate lap size quilts for Mercy Hospital. These quilts are given to families who are saying goodbye to a loved one who is currently in the hospital. Mercy treats adults only so we cannot use juvenile themes for our quilts. The patients are male, female, older adults, young adults, ore sometimes veterans. It is helpful for us to have a wide variety of quilts with a variety of colors and styles. Family members are invited to choose a quilt and use it to cover their loved one. They stay with the person throughout the dying process. The family will keep the quilt as a remembrance of their special person.
Reminder of the requirements for Mercyful Quilts:
Lap Size – this is very flexible. So anything from 50″ x 50″ up to 75″ or so. Square or rectangle – whatever works for your design is great for us.
Look – Please feel free to use your imagination. We have received so many gorgeous quilts and each has a unique look to it. From modern designs with bold color, to sweet soft florals or maybe fishing and western motifs, they are all appreciated. It is great when a family member sees a quilt and says ‘Oh, this is just perfect for my dad, mom, sister, brother.’ That is just what we hope for!
Labels – This is left up to the quilter. If you want to put a label, great. If not, that is fine too.
Laundering – please wash and dry your quilt before sending it. Do not use any scented laundry soaps, fabric softener, or dryer sheets. These are used in a hospital setting so as close to scent free as we can be please. After washing, give the quilt a quick once over to be sure no seams have frayed. Now and then there might be a fray at the binding. When I see this, I hand stitch it. If you could check though, that is so helpful.
There has been a change in our process that I need to let you know about. As I have mentioned in previous posts, I will soon be moving up to Washington state. I hope to continue to work with Mercy Hospital as I think the program is wonderful. If you have donated previously, please do NOT mail the quilts to me. Going forward, they will be mailed to my friend Patty who is a nurse involved in the program. When you have a quilt to send, let me know and I will send her mailing information to you. I have found using the flat rate, large size box to be the least expensive way to mail a quilt.
I think that sums up our program and what we need in the way of quilts. Please feel free to read through the other Mercyful Quilt posts if you’d like to. Thank you all for considering donating a quilt to Mercy Hospital. These quilts bring comfort to families at a time of deep sorrow. Let me know if you have any questions. Happy quilting all!!
Oh how I love autumn. It means the summer heat is over, the possibility of rain is coming closer, the fire dangers might soon reduce greatly. Colorful leaves, cooking comfort foods, baking bread – this is fall at our house.
There is no filter or editing done with the photo above. The first of our 1/2 dozen maples has turned to a brilliant crimson color. It is the same each year; this tree turns red first, drops its leaves first, and leafs out first. Then the other two on the front lawn take their turn after this tree.
This road doesn’t have any maples but the oaks do drop their leaves and it becomes autumnal in its own way.
Being crisp and cool out, I wanted a coffee when I was running errands yesterday. I went to Caroline’s, my favorite local coffee roaster. I asked for one pump of pumpkin spice added to my latte – this is not something I usually do but I thought maybe I would enjoy it. Hmmm, it was terribly sweet. I mean wayyyy too sweet. I won’t be doing that again. Either I really don’t like the pumpkin flavoring or they accidentally added twenty-nine pumps rather than the one pump I requested.
A week ago or so, I saw these cute garlands in a shop window. I liked the colors and the texture provided by the variety of fabrics it contained. Of course, I decided to make one. Julia and I both like seasonal decorations and I knew she would be happy to receive something with fall colors. I cut strips measuring 1.5″ x 4″. I used quilting cottons, wool felt and some fleece and tied the strips to a piece of twine. It is adorable and just long enough to decorate a bit of her dorm room.
Autumn also means using up the last bits of produce from the vegetable garden. Ray grows a particular variety of tomato that is pale orange in color and very meaty. Sunday I roasted a pan of tomatoes. I cut them either in half or quarters, depending on their size, and give them a gentle squeeze to remove any excess juice. Then brushed them with just a bit of olive oil and dusted them with garlic salt.
I put them in a 300 degree oven for about 2-3 hours. I checked them after two hours and removed any that are dry enough. If they were still really wet, I left them in the oven longer. They are delicious – really, really yummy!
Yesterday I was running errands and while at the grocery store, I stopped and thumbed through a quilting magazine. I couldn’t bring my frugal self to purchase it for $7.99. Instead, I went to one of our thrift shops. I found these American Quilter magazines for 2 for 25 cents. Oh my gosh – six current (2020 and 2021) quilting magazines for $1.50. While there I also picked up some sweet books for my two grand daughters and a jig saw puzzle. I want to bring a few treasures up to them when we visit later this month. Big sister loves these floor size puzzles and I am thinking it will be a challenge to amuse little sister while we assemble it. Maybe we can play with this during lil sis’ nap time. I spent just $7.00 for these treasures.
Finally, I received an unexpected quilt donation for Mercy Hospital a few days ago. It is just beautiful. I think the heart motif will be perfect for a family grieving a loss. Thank you Deb for this donation. It will be loved and will bring comfort.
I have done some sewing but I think this post is long enough. I will be back in a day or two to share a cute quilt top with you.
I hope you are enjoying the beginning of autumn. Let me know what signs of fall you are seeing.