Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Donation Quilts

I make quilts for fun, really, and for trying out new things.  I like to give them to people, sure, but I often make them without a specific recipient in mind.  A few years ago there was a dearth of new babies in my family and immediate circle of friends. There were no big milestone-type occasions for me to plan a quilt around. So I started looking around for places to which I could donate quilts.  The first place I found was Quilts For Kids, which was mentioned to me on an online community to which I belong on LiveJournal. Quilts for Kids is a nation-wide organization which distributes quilts to children’s wards and NICUs in hospitals across the nation.  Their quilt donation method is great: they give you cut fabric for a top and more fabric for the backing, with instructions on how to layout and sew the fabric, and then you piece it, provide batting, and quilt the whole thing together. You mail it back to the organization. Ordering a kit is easy and the patterns are too. The main thing is to add color and comfort to kids in hospitals. This is a worthy cause to which I have been contributing pretty regularly. I’ve made several quilts for them, and have posted about one of them here:

A few months ago I was perusing the Quilts for Kids website and noticed that there is a local chapter of the organization, in San Francisco. The organization encourages people to work with local chapters as that enables them to contribute to local hospitals, etc. I contacted Patti, who runs the local chapter and learned that she does things a bit differently. She asks people to make a top and then she provides batting, backing and quilting. She’s got a long arm machine (over which I admit I am jealous). I like this idea. It lets me play with color and design, and experiment on new techniques, etc. and STILL be able to donate the quilt.
Right now Patti is working with the Ronald McDonald house in SF, which provides housing for kids who come here for treatment and their parents. Unfortunately, Patti told me, the House has some returning kids, teenage boys who have had a recurrence of cancer. I immediately set about to make a quilt for one of the boys. Now teenage boys often have specifics likes, dislikes and ideas about what befits a boy/young man. I looked in my stash and pondered and pondered (and bought a couple of brown fat quarters), and finally came up with this:

The design is called “Warm Wishes” and is one which I’ve used, and about which I’ve blogged here, before. It is an extremely versatile design. Every quilt I’ve made using this design has a totally different feel. Consider these:

In any case, I made this one in blues, green, and browns, and shipped it off to Patti. She finished it, and gave it to the House. I am glad it found a good home, and glad to cheer somebody in need, and so thankful that my hobby can be useful and meaningful to others. I’ve already started planning the next one, though it’ll have to wait a bit.
Here is the picture of the finished quilt for the Ronald McDonald House in SF:

If anybody reading this is interested in contacting Quilts for Kids, the link is at the bottom of my blog page.

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