For the most part, the members of my church’s knitting/sewing group, called Heart & Hands, never see the people who receive the hats, scarves, mittens, and quilts we make and donate.We’ve given products of our knitting needles and sewing machines to A Baby’s Closet, Charis House (for women), Rescue Mission (for men), individuals who come to our food bank, and other places that send out an S.O.S. for warm hats and scarves to clothe people in need.
Recently, we put our hearts and hands to work and made a prayer quilt for Lydia, our liaison with a city school; she made it possible for us to give our time to help classroom teachers, as well as donate school supplies the students may not be able to purchase. She has attended several meetings of Heart & Hands—cheerfully admitting she is not at all handy with yarn or fabric, but enjoys our company, drinks coffee with us, and admires what we make. We have adopted her as a daughter.
In August Lydia was diagnosed with breast cancer. The idea for a prayer quilt seemed to pop into the minds of all the members—we knew we couldn’t make a knitted shawl quickly enough.In short order, we assembled fabrics and sewing machines, scheduled two sewing sessions, and got busy.
We started with precut 2.5-inch strips donated by one of the members. At one of our regular meetings all the ladies sorted through a large selection of strips to come up with the 24 we used--predominantly bright colors, emphasis on red and green. (We learned Lydia's preferences from her boss.) After the selection was complete, they laid out the strips in a pleasing arrangement and we numbered them in the order we liked with masking tape squares.
At our first sewing session three ladies in our group stitched the strips into sets of two; then joined the pairs into the final layout we had selected.
I took the quilt top to a fabric shop and bought inner border and outer border fabrics, plus backing. Members of our group contributed money to finance this part of the project. Those who didn't sew or weren't able to make those meetings participated in different ways--either with cash donations or helping those who did the sewing.
My next task was attaching borders, layering the top, batting, and backing, and then quilting the three layers.
|The backing was pieced.|
Label in upper right.
I used a simple meandering curve, stitched with my regular machine--no free-motion work required.
At our last sewing session, seven members hand-stitched the binding. Here are a few of them:
All that remained was inviting Lydia to visit our group "to view a project" (as one woman put it). Here's a picture of Lydia "wearing" her new snuggle quilt.
Heart & Hands members were thrilled to see one of the recipients of their handiwork. Lydia promised to use it whenever she needed a special moment of comfort during her treatments.
Today I celebrate the friendship and love that went into the making of Lydia's prayer quilt. What a joy to know there are people who still care, and will do something to show that caring.