Tag Archives: mercyful quilts

Project Updates

Somehow almost two weeks have passed since the last post. Not sure how that happened, but here we are. I have actually been in the sewing room quite a bit so I will do a quick update on what has been in the works.

First and foremost, I have been working on a cute baby quilt for my niece. It is just about done – I have a few more inches of binding to stitch down and then into the wash it goes. Once she receives it, I will share it here. I am 99% sure she doesn’t read the blog but since I haven’t taken photos of it anyway, it will have to wait.

Additionally, I decided to make a quilt for Mercy Hospital. If you are new here, I coordinate a program called Mercyful Quilts and you can read more about it here. It seemed like a good way to start off the new year by making a quilt for them. I have a panel (by Three Wishes) in the shop that is very pretty. It has four large sections and each has a quote. I thought, for people who are going through the process of saying goodbye to a loved one, this quilt would provide comfort. The prints are reminiscent of a water color painting.

Being a panel, this was a simple quilt top to create. I cut the panel into four sections and used some of the coordinates to create borders around the squares. (Looking at the squares, I think these would also be fun to use for a tote bag for bible study.)

Now that it is all put together, I am thinking it might be a tad small at 49 inches square. Just trying to decide if I add another border or go ahead and get it basted. Decisions, decisions. I am thinking of using a soft vintage sheet for the backing. I hope I have one in the right colors for this.

In the on-going saga of pretending to clean the sewing room, I started playing with a stack of leftover HST’s from the Mosaic Mystery Quilt I participated in last winter. (The top is still in the closet, patiently waiting for me to get it finished up.) As a result of piecing that top, I have a large stack of 2 1/2″ HST’s that I want to use for something. I poked around that wonderful rabbit hole, aka Pinterest, until I found some inspiration. I am working on a mini. I haven’t made a mini in quite a while. I remember making a bunch of them when I first started blogging but seems like it has been a while. So this will be finished up soon and I will share it with you then. I am thinking it may need to be hand quilted.

OK – that is it for now. Sorry to have been remiss in posting. I have been reading tons of posts and am loving the Stay at Home Round Robin that is going on. Have you seen the posts about this? It is being hosted by Quilting Gail and I am enjoying it. Check it out – maybe you have the perfect orphan block to build from.

Linking up to Stitch Show & Sew as well as a few others. Check out my Link Up tab at the top of the page.

Thank You from Mercy Hospital

Below is a letter I received from the Palliative Care team at Mercy Hospital in Sacramento, California. They are so grateful for all of the quilts you have made and donated to their program.

Dear Stitchers,

We are writing to thank you…words cannot explain how important these lovely Comfort Quilts are to the family of our dying patients.  When we deliver them, a look of relief and gratitude immediately takes the place of sadness and loss.  For our families to be able to take home something that their loved one has worn is amazing and unforgettable.

Thank you for all of your skill, hard work, and obvious love that is sewn into each and every quilt; our gratitude for this kindness will never end.  Please know that you are making a difference in someone’s life.  Thank you, again. 

Sincerely and warmly,

The Palliative Care Team at Mercy General

Lisa Seo, Palliative Care MD
Sameera Sandhu, Palliative Care MD
Lori Marsh, RN
Emma Cook, LCSW
Elizabeth K. Mohrherr, MSW
Lucy Zang, SSC

Could it be?? Another Finish?

Yep – it’s true. I have another finish to share. The very small, almost non-existent, silver lining to the fires and smoke we are experiencing is having to stay inside. The smoke is thick and the air very unhealthy so we have been indoors continuously for a long while. This means I can sew!

OK – I started this quilt ages ago. The fabric was leftover from the twin size quilt I made for Julia’s bed in our Downieville house (which we sold this summer.) I made that quilt back in early 2016.

Downieville Quilt

This was a huge quilt as I wanted it to hang over the edge of the bed by a ways. I had planned to make two matching quilts for that bedroom but the second one never happened. However I had already cut many squares intending to make the second one. I decided to use the leftover fabric to make a Mercyful quilt for the families at Mercy Hospital in Sacramento. I matched up a number of the squares, making sure each was partnered with the tan solid and made large (10″ finished) half square triangles with (some of) the leftovers.

Quilt Top Completed!

I made the quilt top in November 2018 and promptly stashed it away – for almost two years!! Why?!?

Basting the top – Finally!

In my last post, I shared I was basting the top and planning to finish it up.

Marking my lines with painter’s tape.

After some thought, I decided to go with simple straight lines for the quilting. Marking the quilt with wide painter’s tape, and starting from the center, I did a two lines of stitching with my walking foot. I used the width of the walking foot to mark off the separation for the second line in each set. This, naturally, went very quick.

My quilt holder, aka Julia, and I took some quick photos on the deck. Didn’t want to stay out long because it was too smokey! I am so pleased with the way this quilt looks.

For the off-centered diamond, I did some extra quilting on the diagonal. I didn’t measure this accurately and my center line is a bit funky. Such is life. I am not overly bothered by this.

The overall effect is good and as we know, I am not one for precision.

A peek at the backing.

For the backing, I used one of the vintage sheets I have stashed. I know many quilters dislike backing with sheets but I have not had a problem with it. They quilt up fine and I have washed the finished quilts (those I have kept) many times without issue. I love how the soft purple and greens complement the darker shades in the quilt top.

This quilt is headed to Mercy Hospital and I hope the family it is given to will take comfort from it.

Unfinished Quilt Tops

About two weeks ago, I made this collage of the unfinished quilt tops I have. I have finished two of them since then which makes me so happy. I haven’t decided which one I will tackle next. I think I need to decide on backings and see what I have available.

For my next project, I need to make a bunting (with the letters of her name) for my youngest grand daughter. When we were up in Seattle, my son reminded me I had made one for older sister before she was born yet this baby is nearly 6 months old and I haven’t made hers. Yikes. Better get on it!!

Take care everyone. If you are affected by the fires (and pretty much everyone in the west is) please take care and be safe. If you have extra rain, please send it to us. We are all in dire need.

Sharing at:

Brag About Your Beauties, Finished or Not Friday, UFO Busting, and Can I Get a Whoop Whoop

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.

Scrappy Dresden and Monthly Color Challenge Block

Happy Saturday Everyone. It is National Quilting Day so I really hope you each find a few minutes to work on a project or at the very least look at fabric and plan the next project!

I got my two monthly scrappy projects done for March! For RSC2020, the color is teal and I decided to make a smaller Dresden plate. I will combine it with the larger orange one I made in February and likely need to make one or two more before I put them together into some sort of wall quilt.

For the Monthly Color Challenge, hosted by Patterns By Jen, the color is orange. You might remember I did the January and February blocks with polka dot fabrics. That caused me to do a quick search though my scraps to see if I have enough polka dotted scraps to make this a theme for the sampler. I believe I do! So this month, I continued with the dotted fabrics.

March Scrappy Blocks

The block was a breeze with a pinwheel block in the center and then some flying geese to surround it, making it a square in a square. Easy peasy and very cute!

Next up is another quilt I am working on for Mercy Hospital. I had thrifted some pretty fabrics about a week or two ago. I knew I wanted to use them in a large block design because they are quite large in scale of print. I gathered another piece from my scraps plus a cut from a blender in the shop and pieced a Giant Star Quilt using a tutorial by Jeni Baker from In Color Order. This pattern is super simple and a lot of fun. Side note: I actually made something very similar when I was about 19 or 20 years old for my parents. I remember I saw the pattern in a magazine and made with in tones of burgundy, navy blue and it had a muslin background. I filled it with a puffy polyester batting and yarn tied it. That was a whole lotta years ago!

At this point, I have the quilt basted and did some ditch stitching to stabilize everything. This weekend I should be able to get it quilted. I need to find something fun to use for the binding.

Since all of California is mandated to now ‘shelter in place’, there is plenty of time for sewing and also lots of time to read. I am LOVING this book and highly recommend it if you want something to read while we wait out this Covid-chaos. My girlfriend loaned it to me and it is such a great read.

Let’s close with a picture of my sweet grand daughters, shall we? Little sister has decided she isn’t terribly fond of sleeping in her bed and is creating some sleep deprived parents these days. Coincidentally, big sister is thinking afternoon naps are passe`. Yikes, this doesn’t make for a good combination. Hoping the baby starts to cozy up to the idea of sleeping in her bassinet soon!!

Linking to lots of fun places including Brag About Your Beauties and Oh Scrap!

Quilts, Quarantines, Babies and More

Oh my gosh, where to start! This is such a crazy world these days. The news is all-consuming as we constantly check for updates on the spread of Covid-19, within the US and internationally as well. Our philosophy is to take it seriously and try to remain calm and rational at the same time. The Governor of California spoke yesterday. He has ordered all pubs, bars, nightclubs and wineries in California to shut down for the duration. All restaurants are to cut their capacity for seating in half and move tables much further apart. People age 65 and over are to quarantine in place at their homes. No visitors at convalescent or senior homes unless it is a terminal situation and people need to be there to say goodbye. So, things are serious here in CA. I believe if people respect the rules and stay home for a bit, the contagion will be limited and hopefully the situation can be controlled. I hope you are in a safe situation and able to stay healthy.

My son with his two sweet girls.

Moving on to better and more enjoyable topics, my new grand daughter arrived on March 12th!!! Such an exciting event to break up the negative vibe we have all been experiencing. When I look at the photo above, I just love how big sister has her hands up to her face, looking at her new sister with awe. Isn’t this heart-warming? The baby is healthy and mommy is healing well. She was very chunky at birth, weighing 8 pounds and 14.5 ounces. She has dropped to 8 pounds, one ounce but is feeding well and doing fine.

Two sisters just hanging around together.

Big sister surely loves little sister but is a tad disappointed in the baby’s lack of abilities. On the first day, she asked her father to bring the baby into her room so “she could crawl around a little”. Once she realized this wouldn’t happen for a while, she got a little bored of baby sister. Today I got to FaceTime with them and she was “playing” doctor with dad and little sister. I could hear my son quietly say, ‘gentle, gentle’. I think it is going well though. So all is as it should be. My husband and I were supposed to travel out to Vermont on March 31st and we are soooo sad to postpone the trip. We will go just as soon as the Covid crises calms down. Hopefully sooner rather than later.

Postage Plus Quilt

I finished up a quilt for Mercy Hospital! I am really pleased with this finish. You may remember I started this back when the blog hop was running for the Modern Plus Quilts book. I took it to quilt it on a friend’s long arm and had a horrible time with it. In frustration, I took it off the long arm and brought it home. After ripping out so many stitches I came to be extremely annoyed with the whole thing. It was folded and placed in a basket where it sat for two years!!

I decided it was time to finish it up and really had fun with it. I used my walking foot and quilted it in a grid fashion. I outlined the patchwork plus in the center. With the wide brown stripes there is quilting running in both directions. The horizontal lines are stitched in brown and the vertical lines in green. It looks wonderful!

Backing is a pale yellow batik heart fabric.

For the backing, I used a piece I had thrifted years ago. It is a buttery yellow batik with hearts all over it.

Scrappy binding for the win!

When I pieced the plus in the center of the quilt, I used a jelly roll. It didn’t take but 1/2 of the strips so I decided to use some of the leftover strips for binding. It looks really pretty since, naturally, the prints and colors work perfectly.

Ready for Mercy Hospital

I am so happy to have this done and ready for Mercy Hospital. I am already working on the next one for them. Their supplies are down so I am trying to boost the stack for them just a bit. Mercyful Quilts is once again thrilled to be a recipient for quilts made through the 2020 Hands2Help event that is hosted annually by Sarah of Confessions of a Fabric Addict. I am so grateful to have our organization included. Last year so many gorgeous quilts were donated and it was hugely helpful. Thank you in advance to all the quilters who participate in this year’s event!

I have been thinking quite a bit about being home for the duration of the Covid-19 saga. Many of us are turning to our craft and sewing rooms. I read a great article about how soothing it is to involve oneself in a craft, such as sewing, art, woodworking or other project during stressful times such as these. Ray and Julia have been talking about working out in his woodshed while she is home. All three of us have been baking. Of course, I plan to sew. My shop has been quite busy the last couple of days so I think many quilters are planning the same thing.

To this end, I want to help out a bit. Lots of quilters are turning to on-line shopping if Covid is prevalent in their area. For instance, I have noticed a substantial increase in orders from the Bay Area in California where so many people are home and quarantined. To make things a bit better for those shopping on-line, I have a Free (standard) Shipping promotion going in the shop. It started today and will run through Wednesday. All orders will ship for free during that time! You won’t need to enter a promo code – it is all set up for you. I hope this is helpful to you! Click here and browse a bit.

I am going to sew this afternoon. I haven’t made any of my scrappy projects for March yet. So I need to make my orange block for the Monthly Color Challenge and then something with the teal scraps for RSC20. After that, I will pick up another quilt top to finish up for Mercy Hospital. What is your plan? Is Covid affecting you and your daily routine? I worry about people who live alone and are quarantined. Can we all support each other? Let me know how you are doing and let’s all keep each other busy and engaged.

Linking up with several sites, including Brag About Your Beauties and Elm Street Quilts.

Wrapped with Kindness

I received something really special in the mail yesterday. The family of a patient who received a Mercyful Quilt wrote a note of thanks. We quilters have talked about this and agreed we do not need to hear the gratitude felt by recipients of the quilts we donate. As quilters, we donate because it might soothe someone during a really difficult time and it makes us feel we are helping in some small way when we make and give these quilts.

But this family was so taken by this handmade gift and they wanted to be sure we all knew how touched they were. Three sisters spent time with their father who recently passed away at Mercy Hospital in Sacramento. They were given the opportunity to select a quilt and wrap up their dad with it as they sat with him. Receiving this was such a sweet surprise for them. They wanted to extend a note of thanks and this is the best way for me to share it with all of you.

The best thing was the photo they enclosed with their thank you note. I am really hoping the person who made this quilt will see this post. Please let me know if it is one of you who donated it. If I can track down the quilter, I would be happy to send the picture to the maker – what a sweet way to see your quilt providing comfort.

This picture says it all to me. The comfort it provided to three sisters and their father. The beauty of this quilt tucked around their dad rather than a plain, sterile hospital blanket is just lovely. It surely didn’t make saying goodbye to their father easy but maybe it helped just a tiny bit.

Since I am writing on the topic of our gifts for Mercy Hospital I would like to share one more story. Last summer a young woman was dying of breast cancer at Mercy Hospital. Her husband and 11 year old daughter spent their time with her. As her death became imminent, a palliative care team member asked the girl to come and choose a quilt for her mom. She explained the girl would be able to keep the quilt after her mother’s death. The girl looked through the quilts and carefully picked one out. When asked why she chose a particular quilt, she told the nurse it made her think of Paris. She and her mom had talked about how wonderful a trip to Paris would be. Since this wasn’t going to happen, she wanted to wrap her mom up with this quilt. (I wish I knew which quilt this was but I don’t have any idea). I think this is so amazing though. For this little girl to attach such an important memory to the quilt she chose must have been comforting to her.

These are the reasons we do it. This is why we spend hours cutting up pretty bits of fabric and sewing them into quilts to be given to people we will likely never meet or hear from. It is kind, thoughtful, helpful and so necessary in our world. Kindness matters. Thank you to each of you. Please know the need is on-going. Mercy Hospital is down to about ten quilts right now so if you are called to help, please donate a lap size quilt when you can. It means more than we know to so many people.

A Note from Mercy Hospital

Hi all – I want to pop in and share this lovely thank you I received from a member of the Palliative Care team at Mercy Hospital. The response to the Mercyful Quilt Drive has been nothing short of AMAZING and I want to be sure you know how appreciated your beautiful quilts are. So far we have received over 90 quilts in the last 10 months. Hurray!!! Just in case you are new to my blog, you can read the details about Mercyful Quilts here and here and even here!

Dear Bernie, 

Back in November of last year, our ICU nurse Patty reached out to you about how we used to have a supply of quilts for patients at the end of life (aka “comfort care”) here in our hospital and how the quilts have sadly been harder to come by in recent years. You in turn said some wonderful things about your own family’s past experience at Mercy General in your blog post and then asked for those in the community to consider sending us quilts to have for this program. The response to this has been incredible and we thank you so much for this help. I am a social worker on our palliative care team here in the hospital and have had the honor of bringing these beautiful quilts to the family or loved one of a dying patient. 

The supply that you all have provided has been amazing. I, as well as others, can now provide a quilt that family feels expresses the personality or the favorite colors of their loved one and allows an openness to talk about who they are- who they were. We actually have a selection for men on comfort care now which was always so hard to come by and in addition, we’ve been trying hard to honor our Veterans at the end of their life here, and those who made and donated the patriotic colored ones and the American flag ones are now used to help honor them in one final way and show appreciation to their family for their service. 

Our palliative care team, as well as the dedicated bedside nurses that care for patients in their final moments, can often feel helpless in wanting to provide comfort and something meaningful to loved ones during such a dark time. These gifts have allowed us to bring something they can find some beauty in and later keep to remember the one they’ve loved and lost. 

I am so sorry that it has taken me almost a year to write to you but wanted to say to you, and to all those who have made and donated these quilts, that we cannot thank you all enough for the time and effort you put into these. It means a great deal and on behalf of our team here, thank you so much for your wonderful gift. 

-Emma Cook 
Palliative Social Worker  
Mercy General

This was such a wonderful note to receive. I knew they were really happy to have the quilts but this certainly validates all of the work and effort, time and creativity, not to mention expense, that goes into the gorgeous quilts so many of you have donated. Please continue to make quilts for this worthy reason. I am happy to facilitate the donations and get your quilts right over to Mercy Hospital. Continue to think about gender neutral themes and the occasional patriotic theme as they are needed.

Thank you, thank you, thank you for your kind hearts and gorgeous quilts!!!

Back to the Real World

After a fantastic ten days of family time, my kids have gone back home to their lives and I am getting caught up here at home. We all enjoyed our time together and I am so happy they were here to celebrate Julia’s graduation from high school. It was so much fun to have this long visit together.

My last post was celebrating my five year blogging anniversary! I want to let you know who the giveaway winners were.

For the charitable donation, Jinger S. was selected by the handy dandy Random Number Generator. Her charity of choice is the Alzheimer’s Association. She has family members who were or still are suffering from this insidious disease. I am happy to donate $50 to this cause. I hope someday there will be some way to prevent the disease or at very least, stop its progression. Interestingly, June is Alzheimer’s Awareness month so the timing of this giveaway couldn’t be better. If you would like to see a few of the facts and figures about Alzheimer’s, click here.

For the handmade wooden point turner, Random Number Generator chose Robbin G. Robbin is a reader who actively participates on the blog. I always enjoy her comments on my posts and I am happy to send this prize off to her!

Last Wednesday, during an incredibly hot evening, Julia graduated from high school. I was so proud of her and her classmates as they all completed this phase of life. She had such a great experience at Ghidotti and I know she will grow even more when she goes off to college in September.

Having cake together after graduation.

My grand daughter endured the hot, long (and for her quite boring) commencement like a champ. The high school is quite small, Julia’s class had 43 students in it. The Parent Association provides cake and lemonade at a reception after commencement. I love this picture of H looking up to her Auntie Julia.

The rest of the week was spent celebrating graduation with a family party and just hanging out on a stay-cation of sorts. H loved watering with this little watering can I picked up for her at the Dollar Store. Luckily it was really warm so my plants didn’t mind her zealous watering routine. Haha.

As usual, the cherry tree ripened all at once! We have so many cherries. Ray spent some time pitting fruit and freezing it. We were too busy to can or cook jam. Hopefully later on we can get to it. Cherries rot so quickly but we were able to take advantage of some of the fruit.

Aside from her watering chores, this girl enjoyed pushing a little red wheelbarrow around the property. Isn’t she the cutest?

We also spent an afternoon on the pond at the edge of our property. My son, Ian, caught a bass and it was fun to see H’s response. She was enthralled with the whole process and enjoyed watching the fish swim off when he was set free.

Today my plan is to clean up the house a bit. There are toys strewn everywhere. Then I need to open the many boxes of Mercyful Quilts that arrived last week. The only package I did open last week contained this gorgeous piece by Preeti of Sew Preeti Quilts. Preeti named it Oasis and you will surely enjoy her post telling more about the quilt. My grand daughter clearly approves of this donation. It is so pretty and has an hombre effect with the blues gradually changing shade. Thanks so much Preeti.

Once the house is (somewhat) under control, I need to baste my Squared Away quilt top. I am excited to quilt this one up. It is going to be a warm day so this will be a perfect way to spend the afternoon. How about you??