Sunday, March 21, 2010

Charity Quilt IV

At some point last fall I sent off to for a kit to make a quilt for their project. Unfortunately, life interfered, and it took me a lot longer than they would have preferred for me to finish their quilt. They prefer 4-6 weeks. It took me more like four months!

Quilts for kids is a program sponsored by Downey and other companies which receives free fabric from some fabric companies which it then passes on to volunteers who make kids' quilts. These quilts are given to hospitalized children at certain hospitals which participate in the Quilts for Kids program.
Seems like a pretty good and easy idea. And it is. It took me such a long time, I guess, because they require that absolutely everythign has to be done by machine. The label has to be sewn on by machine, the quilt has to be quilted by machine, the binding has to be sewn on, completely, by machine, etc. etc. So, this became the first quilt I have EVER quilted on my machine. And, before I could do it, I had to get a walking foot and learn how to use it! I have to say I didn't particularly like all their strict rules - though I understand the necessity - the quilts will be washed a lot so they need to be able to stand up to that, is their reasoning.

And I am happy that I now feel like I can machine quilt my own baby quilts, when and if I feel like doing that. Otherwise, I generally hand quilt them, but it is nice to have that option.

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Noah's Ark

Last year a lot of people I knew had babies - some of them quite suddenly and unexpectedly - to me at least, hopefully they had some idea it would happen! As a result I found myself making a lot of baby quilts, some of them without much notice. That wasn't as much fun as I like for quilting to be, and therefore I decided that when time allowed, I would try to get a bit ahead of the curve and once in a while make a baby quilt - even if no particular baby was on its way - at least not one that I knew of. So I would have at least one baby quilt, should I suddenly need or want one to give away!
Here is a picture of the first such "extra" baby quilt I made, held by my adorable Little Sister, Marisela, who I "acquired" in August of 2009, through Big Brothers and Big Sisters of the Bluegrass. Let me take this opportunity to give a big shout-out to Big Brothers and Big Sisters. It is a great program which needs lots of big sisters and brothers - the latter is in particularly short supply. One person can really make a difference in a child's life. I have no illusions about what kind of difference I may or may not make in Marisela's life, but I know she and I both have a great time hanging out together. She makes my life a lot happier and she gets to do things she could never do without me.

We found a use for this baby quilt this past weekend when we made some new friends. I met Lin through my volunteer work at our local low-cost spay/neuter clinic, and at some point told her about Marisela. Lin suggested we might want to get together with her and her granddaughter, Kayla, to do something fun once in a while. That happened for the first time on Saturday and it was a huge success. Marisela and Kayla got along famously and it was uncanny how much they even looked alike, they could've been sisters separated at birth! Kayla's skin is a bit lighter than Marisela's and Marisela's hair is a bit less frizzy than Kayla's but otherwise it is very close! And after playing together for a couple of hours they were both ready to have play dates every day!

A couple of days before we met Kayla, her mother had given birth to Kayla's first sibling, a baby brother named Conner. So Marisela and I decided to give Kayla the baby quilt for her new brother. Between lunch and the afternoon play date, we came back to my house and wrote the dedication on the label. Marisela liked putting her name on it and wrote in the card that she hoped Conner would like the quilt that "Charlotta and I made for him!"

I look forward to making a quilt for Marisela and perhaps even helping her make one herself, or at least helping her design something which I can then sew for her.