Our Progress

Thursday, November 29, 2012

Mystery Quilt update

In February, I told you about a mystery quilter who had sent a beautiful completely finished quilt in a box with no name, no note, no return address.

The quilt was very large - and the places I have been working with were requesting smaller quilts - so I set this one aside, knowing the right time and place would come for this quilt to find a home.

And then just after Halloween, the email came from a friend of mine in Georgia.  Her college roommate lived in the path of Hurricane Sandy - and though her home was intact, she was without power and had taken in her sister and her sister's friend, both of whom had lost their homes entirely.

I can't even imagine -

I think Mom must have "nudged" me - because that night I took my 7 year old son shopping, and we put together a care package of foods, hand warmers, gloves, and other items, bundled them all up with the quilt, and sent them off to Long Island.

A hug passed from Kentucky to Long Island by way of me.

A hug intended to bring comfort and warmth - and though it didn't go to a cancer patient (at least not that I know of) - it did go to someone who is suffering and will be going through a long recovery process.

It felt like the right home for this quilt... thank you again, my mystery quilter.

Monday, November 19, 2012

4 Patches become 16

In this whole experience, the toughest challenge for me has been "taming the chaos" - all these beautiful blocks but with such different fabric choices... setting each of them into something that will make them ALL shine is intimidating at times.

I have posted in the past about my initial approach of strips of 12 similar or identical blocks - and that stripe layout was used in the first few quilts that were donated.

Now I am working with groups of 4 - turning them into 16 patches.  I now have a design wall, so I can toss the blocks up there as I make them and ponder the possibilities of layout into the final quilt.  Each one will take 6x7 of these 16 patches, and I think the finished result will work nicely!  I have a bunch paired up and ready to chain piece - one of the nice things about being home for Thanksgiving and not having to travel is having a little extra bit of sewing time over the weekend.

This year I am thankful for ALL OF YOU and the support you have given me through this project.


Saturday, October 13, 2012

4 Patch or not 4 Patch...

Two more quilts are on their way to be delivered - neither is a 4Patch, but both are made from fabrics that were donated.  Quite a bit of fabric, in fact. All from the same fabric line.  These are 2 of 3 that were assembled (the third is not sandwiched up yet) - and there is enough for probably 2 more big block quilts -and plenty to work into 4 patches.

Assembly on 4 patches continues - now that the colder weather is setting in, I just need to do some final fall garden cleanup and the outdoors calls less and less.  The quilt frame is not set up yet - it needs some DIY attention from Hubby- who is busy replacing our rotted out front porch and installing a new insulated front door.  Once I can come and go out the front again - I will put him to work on getting me up and quilting!!!  For now I continue lots of straight line work....

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Cancer Knows no Age...

RE/MAX | For all the things that move you

Please look at the link above- this young mother lives near me, and her young sons are in our school district just behind my son.

Cancer is so much more than the physical suffering...

If  you are so moved, please vote for this family's story. Voting ends today (8/1/12)

Thanks for all you do for those with cancer.

Thursday, July 26, 2012

Phase 2

Although I am still gladly accepting all donations of 4 patches, I am realizing that I need to shift my focus to the materials I need to finish the many quilts that these blocks will create.

On Saturday I am going to a quilt show/craft show, where I will have a booth to promote 4Patches4Hope and sell some small handcrafted items to help raise funds for batting, backing and thread supplies.

At that time, I am also debuting a quilt sponsorship form, which will allow anyone (including any of you) to dedicate a quilt in honor or in memory of anyone.  I will take that information and incorporate it into the label that goes on the finished quilt.  Sponsorships are $20 per quilt, and can be in the form of checks (made out to Regina Arlauckas) or $20 JoAnn's gift cards.  I can also take PayPal - and you can contact me if you wish to pursue that option.

If you would rather donate backings, I am looking for 2 yard pieces of 44" wide fabrics (or wider).  At this time, it is easier for me to purchase batting myself as storing odds and ends of batting is not feasable.

Please note that I am not a registered charity, so these cannot count as tax deductions.  I can only promise to use any funds in the most economical and frugal way possible, and to direct them all to materials for these quilts.


Tuesday, July 10, 2012

The World Spins in Small Circles

When I first started 4Patches4Hope, it was a remembrance of my mother, and a chance to do something in her memory for chemotherapy and radiation patents alike.

Now, as we are nearing the one year mark since Mom's passing, my very own sister is beginning radiation treatment of her own.

Terri - who was Mom's medical advocate and companion to nearly every treatment.
Terri - who accompanied me to deliver the first batch of quilts in April.
Teri - who when we visited the radiation facility to drop off quilts was told "now I don't want to see you or any of your family members here"....

Big sister, Terri.

After a whirlwind few days in early May surrounding an American Cancer Society Relay for Life, bug up the nose, blinding headaches and MRI's, Terri was diagnosed with a benign atypical meningioma - 3cm in size.  Surgery was scheduled quickly, went well (she was posting to Facebook not 24 hours later) and her recovery has been strong and steady - but a bit remains - so her 6 week course of radiation begins soon.  In the same facility where Mom was treated.

Thanks to the support of all the quilters around the world who have sent blocks - I know she will be warm in the radiation waiting area.

More quilts are in progress.  And for those who ask - YES I am still accepting blocks.

Because you never know what the next day will bring...


Saturday, April 21, 2012

First Delivery

On Monday, April 9th I visited the AnMed Health Women's and Children's Hospital in Anderson, SC.  This is the hospital where Mom received both her radiation and her chemotheraphy treatments, and my sister Terri and I visited both facilities.

We delivered 3 quilts to the chemotherapy room, and 2 more to the radiation room.  We spent quite some time visiting with the wonderful staff who helped care for Mom, and shared many memories - both happy and sad.

There were many (too many) patients in the infusion room while we were there -and I observed quite a few that had one, two, three or even more blankets tucked over and around them as they sat through their treatments.  There was a small stack available, but I could see how with just one or two more patients in any of the empty chairs, those could quickly be depleted.

The radiation team were especially appreciative - they said that while chills are not as much a factor of the radiation treatment itself, their waiting room, with a door directly to the outside parking lot, got especially chilly in the winter and the quilts would be used by patients and families alike as they waited.

This quilt pictured above is from the Thread Queens in Wichita Falls, TX and was one of the 5 donated this round, as was the top donated by Selina in NJ.   The others were the rainbow stripe and blue/gold stripe made up from donated blocks, and a lil' spinner top that I made.

The quilts are finishing up at about 48 x 56 (12x14 blocks) which is a nice manageable size for someone seated in a chair.  The "Mystery Quilt" that was received was not donated at this time, as it is quite large.  I am waiting for the right recipient for that one.

Sunday, March 4, 2012

Slow but steady progress

Sorry it has been quiet of late - February is a tough month for sewing around our house as we celebrate all three of our birthdays - and inevitably at least one of us, or usually all 3, succumb to winter colds around this time as well.

Despite the germyness and busyness, I can report that SIX quilts are nearing completion and will be ready for delivery in April when I travel to South Carolina.  TWO of those were from completed tops that were sent to me (pictures to follow soon), ONE was a fully completed quilt, and THREE are ones I have made - one from donated blocks, and two from me playing in between assembling 4 patches (with the Lil' Twister ruler I got for my birthday, and attempting a 1600 quilt).  I managed to sandwich AND quilt two this weekend, and am working on bindings now.  There are a few more weeks and weekends before Easter - so I hope to have more to deliver by then...even if it means finishing up bindings in the car on the way there.

People have been asking if I am still accepting blocks -the answer is YES OF COURSE!!!!!  The goal was 4000, and we surpassed that - but I'm planning to keep on going as long as I can...

Friday, February 24, 2012

A Note on Odors

I just wanted to post a quick reminder to anyone donating fabrics or blocks or quilts to me or to any organization - but especially to hospitals - PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE refrain from using scented detergents or strong fabric softener when washing your fabrics or quilts, and if you are a smoker or have a smoker in your home and around your fabrics, please consider directing your charitable quilt donations to non-hospital settings.  Most of these stronger smells are especially troublesome to those undergoing medical treatments, and many hospitals will reject or dispose of quilts that contain strong smells so as to avoid jeopardizing the health of their patients.

I will say that I have received some blocks (though not many) that do not pass the initial "sniff test" and therefore I cannot jeopardize an entire quilt by including them.  While these will not be included in my quilts, they will be "deodorzized" as much as possible and passed along to a friend who makes quilts for a local shelter, in the hopes that they can still provide some comfort.

I do not mean this to be an "anti-smoking" statement - but rather a reminder of the guidelines on donations that Project Linus and many similar groups have put forth, and that I have used as guidance for my own projects.

Thank you for your understanding.

Monday, February 20, 2012

Goal Reached -and then some!!!

As of tonight the quilters of the world have responded with 4118 blocks for 4Patches4Hope!!!  Some of you have shared your stories and your reasons, most of you have shared your names, some of you have remained anonymous - but all of you have shared your scraps, your skill, your time, and your hearts!!!

I can't thank you enough!!!

I will continue to accept blocks - and every single one received will find its way into a comfort quilt.  Not all by February 28th - but I will continue to assemble them block by block, row by row, and quilt by quilt.  My first delivery goal is the week following Easter in South Carolina, and then we will go from there and see how quickly we can get them made and delivered.

Saturday, February 18, 2012

Mystery Quilter

I have a mystery - a good mystery - but a puzzle nonetheless.

See - I received a box in the mail today - 4Patches4Hope was the address, AND the return address.

Inside was a small bag of blocks... and this:

No name, no note, no return address ... just a postmark from Bowling Green, Kentucky.

The quilt is beautiful - and will be added to the first batch of quilts that will be delivered in April.  This makes two completely done, one done except for the final binding, and a bunch more flimsies in progress.

Thank you, Mystery Quilter.  And if you had contacted me in the past and told me this was coming, and I am not making the connection in my brain - please forgive.  I'm claiming aging brain syndrome -at least for today (my birthday!)

Thursday, February 9, 2012

Texas Teamwork

Earlier this month I received a lovely box in the mail from the American Sewing Guild Quilting Group in and around Wichita Falls, TX. 

Vivian and her lovely friends worked together to send me a box of 105 blocks, and checks totaling $84 for the American Cancer Society.  I loved how each quilter carefully gathered her blocks together with a little note telling me who made them, and how many were in the bundle (which was VERY appreciated!!!!!!) - some were even tied with bits of string or thread, making lovely little "presents" of blocks. (I wanted to post a picture of one but am having trouble blurring out the info on the address... will try again later and perhaps add it in).

Nine quilters creating a box full of sunshine - and nearly 2/3 of a 4Patches4Hope quilt.

Thank you all for sending a bit of Texas sunshine to cloudy and cold western NY!  I will take good care and pass these bits of sunshine along to where they can make a difference.

Friday, February 3, 2012

Around the world in an envelope

Today I received 30 beautiful blocks from Raelene in Victoria, Australia - which is WAAAAAYYY on the opposite side of the world.  My son was fascinated when we went on Google Earth and "navigated" around the globe to Raelene's home town - it made the world a wee bit smaller for a moment  (though he also wanted to know when I met her - lol!)

4Patches4Hope has received blocks now from 3 continents (and email from a 4th) - and I am still hoping (with Hubby's help) to plot all the towns and cities and countries on a map that I can share.

Until then I will enjoy my little bits of Australia - and the cute little Sugar Glider on the stamp.