Quilts for Cure’s UFO Disposal Service

Hey Quilters!

What happens when you lose steam on a project? Does it get buried in a box or basket, tucked away where it languishes until your next sewing room purge? Then what? Do you stare at it for awhile, unable to move forward with it but unable to (gasp) throw it in the bin? As a solution, I’d like to introduce Quilts for Cure’s UFO Disposal Service!

If you listen to American Patchwork and Quilting’s Talk Show with Pat Sloan, then you know that one of the segments this week was on this very topic– Unfinished Objects. Now that she has inspired you to clean out those baskets, we want to enable you to let go of some of those UFO’s that are holding you back. Whether you’ve only completed 12 blocks out of 25, or your skills have improved leaving a quilt top behind with messy points and wonky seam, or your tastes have simply changed, we want your quilt tops! For a small donation, we will finish the tops and donate the completed quilt to one of the 40,000 US kids currently in treatment for pediatric cancer.

What: Quilt tops (no blocks, please– sew them together into a top) of at least 24×36 inches

Why: To lighten your load of UFOs and to wrap a child who is fighting for his or her life in a quilt of love and comfort

How much money? : A minimum donation of $25 per quilt top is requested. You can either tuck a check into your box when you mail the top or you can donate online here and put a note in the comment box about how many quilt tops you will be sending. All donations are tax deductible.

Where do I send it? : Address your box/polymailer to: Quilts for Cure PO Box 1831 Duluth, GA 30096

What about batting,  backing, and binding? : While you do not have to send anything but your quilt top, we are also happy to accept donations of batting (at least 80% cotton), backing/binding fabric (100% cotton), and thread (Aurifil 50wt or Superior Threads 50wt, cotton or poly). They can be sent to the same address above.

Be sure to follow @QuiltsForCure on Facebook and Instagram and to subscribe to our Newsletter so that you can see all of these once-abandoned projects come back to life to encourage and warm cancer-fighting kiddos!

Happy Quilting,

HollyAnne

PS Be sure to share about QFC’s UFO Disposal Service with your quilty friends, guild, local quilt shop, etc!!

PPS If you’re new to Quilts for Cure, here are some facts you should know: 16,000 children are diagnosed with cancer in the US each year (that’s 42 today, and at least one while you are reading this). About 40,000 children in the US are in treatment for cancer at any given time. Less that 4% of the National Cancer Institute’s annual budget goes toward researching pediatric cancer, even though some cancers, like DIPG have a 0% survival rate. Quilts for Cure exists to provide these kids with quilts now to encourage them as they fight, to educate quilters about pediatric cancer, and to raise money so these kids can have a future through better research, better treatments, and, ultimately, a cure.

Introducing Leopold the Longarm

Leopold the Longarm, quite at home dominating my sewing room

Hello everyone!

As you may have seen on social media this weekend, I have some terribly exciting news! A generous quilter named Sally donated a Tin Lizzie 18 longarm to Quilts for Cure, and we picked it up and set it up on Saturday!

Close up of Leo with a practice piece/baby quilt loaded on the frame, ready for quilting

For those of you who don’t quilt, a long arm, sometimes called a “quilting machine,” is a large sewing machine set on a frame so as to quilt very efficiently. When quilting on a domestic (“normal”) sewing machine, you have to push and shove and scrunch the bulk of the quilt through the harp or throat (the space between the needle and the machine), and that slows things down a good bit (hence why I’m still quilting the #OperationSmiley quilts all these months later). With a longarm, the machine moves across the quilt, and it’s much faster.

Practicing stitches and motifs

This longarm, who I’m affectionately calling Leopold, is a game changer for Quilts for Cure. It will make it easier to complete quilts and get them out to kids in treatment. It will make it easier for me to test ideas for Quilt Alongs (like the one coming soon). And, if y’all are game, it might even give me the courage to tackle another #OperationSmiley next February.

Completed practice piece which will be a baby quilt for donation

I’ve been working hard on my machine quilting skills, so Sunday I put them through their paces to see how things translated into working on Leopold. I was so pleased with the results, that I’ve squared it up and will put a nice blue binding on it to make a baby boy quilt. Yesterday, I finished piecing #OperationSmiley quilt #8 and loaded it up. By george, I’m spoiled already– the whole thing was quilted in just an hour or so! I can’t wait to bind it, and get going on #9!

Operation Smiley Quilt #8

 

 

I hope y’all are as excited as I am! Thank you, Sally!!

ACTION ITEMS

  1. Make a Quilt to give to one of the 40,000 children in treatment for pediatric cancer in the United States
  2. Give money to Quilts for Cure so that we can make more quilts and contribute to research for a cure
  3. Spread the word with everyone you know about Quilts for Cure– share on your social media, with your quilt guild, etc.

Oh, and a quick update on Abri– Her family received the most marvelous news this weekend that she has NOT relapsed! It’s a bit complicated as to why the original test results were  misleading, but this is wonderful, wonderful news. As she is still facing several surgeries to repair her leg and replace the bone that Ewings Sarcoma destroyed, two fabulous quilters, Amy and Jen, are collaborating to make her a quilt to keep her cozy through the rest of her recovery.

More soon!

HollyAnne

Friday Fighter: Abriel Bentley, Age 9

My dear Friends,

My heart is heavy for sweet Abriel and her family tonight. Tonight I share a story that I’ve been following for a little while, and it is a story that was so full of joy and now has struck a terrifying plot twist still unfolding in real time.

First, here is the first part of Abri’s story, written by her Mama on their Team Abri Facebook page:

“At 7:30 PM on Friday September 4, 2015 we received a knock on our hospital room door that changed our lives forever. Our beautiful, spunky, full of life little girl was diagnosed with an extremely aggressive form of bone cancer called Ewings Sarcoma. It all started a week earlier on a Thursday night while saying her bedtime prayers, Abri suddenly had a pain in her left leg below her knee. Assuming it was nothing to worry about we tucked her into bed. Friday morning Abri woke up with pain in that same spot so I assumed she probably pulled something in her leg, gave her some medicine and sent her to school. At school that day Abri went to the nurse once and was given icepack for her leg but was otherwise pain free. That evening she still said her leg was sore but bearable and again we tucked her into bed without any worry. At 10:30 PM she woke up screaming and holding her leg. Knowing at this point there had to be something wrong, we took hr to the ER where they ran X-rays and saw nothing of concern. The doctor told us that Abri’s pains were growing pains and to not worry and give her Tylenol and Motrin until the pain subsided. Saturday and Sunday the pain continued off and on and she began limping. At some points the pain was so bad that she would scream and cry but then it would go away again. Monday morning the pain was still there and the limping was getting worse so we made an appointment with Abri’s pediatrician. The pediatrician could not figure out why Abri was in so much pain and also assumed it was growing pains. He sent us off to get labs drawn just to safe and told us that if it didn’t improve in another week that we should try to get her in with an orthopedic surgeon. By Wednesday morning we had had enough of Abri being in so much pain so my husband started calling around to orthopedic surgeons in the area hoping to get Abri in to one of them as soon as possible. One surgeon at Phoenix Children’s Hospital had and opening at 1:00 that afternoon so I picked Abri up from school and my husband drove her down for the appointment. I had no idea that this would be the last day my sweet girl would be attending her second grade year with her friends. The orthopedic surgeon at PCH immediately knew something was not quite right and decided to admit Abri for an MRI. That evening Abri was put under anesthesia for the first of many times to come and an MRI of her leg was taken. We were told that something appeared on the MRI and that they assumed it was a bone infection and they would be performing surgery in the morning to clean it out. The next morning Abri was put under anesthesia again for surgery but things did not go as planned. We were told that when they opened up Abri’s leg they did not see what they had expected so they did a biopsy and we would hear back in a week or so. Cancer was never even mentioned as a possibility. We settled into our room on the 7th floor while the pain team worked on trying to control the extreme pain Abri was now in from the surgery and waited for results. I remember walking up and down the hallways seeing all of the rooms that contained little bald kids and bright yellow Chemo signs and thinking “at least my baby girl does not have cancer.” I felt so sorry for the exhausted and terrified parents I passed in the cafeteria and felt so grateful that at least we weren’t one of them. Then came the knock on the door. A moment frozen in time that still brings me to my knees.
Thankfully, after several more tests, it was found that Abri’s cancer had not spread to any other parts of her body. She began her 17 rounds of chemo the next week, which took a year to complete, and she had limb salvage surgery on Dec. 23, 2015. The tibia, which contained her tumor, was removed and an adult cadaver arm bone was put in its place. Abri spent 9 months in a wheel chair, lost all of her beautiful long blond hair, endured numerous pokes, shots, transfusions, scans and surgeries but is now in remission and learning to walk again. She is back in school full time and enjoying every minute of “normal” life. God is good!”

Abriel at her 9th birthday party last month

For the last couple of months, as Abri finished her school year, she began having pain in the cadaver bone they had transplanted in her leg in 2015. On June 19th, Abri had surgery on her leg during which they removed the bone because the doctor’s discovered it had split vertically. Tonight, her Mama posted horrible, heart wrenching news:

“PLEASE STORM THE HEAVENS WITH ALL THE PRAYERS YOU CAN!!! PLEASE!!! We just got the call that Abri’s cancer is back. They found it in the bone that they took out. Now we are headed to the hospital for more testing over the next couple of days to see if it is just in that bone or anywhere else. If it is just in that bone she has a chance. PLEASE I AM BEGGING FOR PRAYERS FOR IT TO JUST BE IN THAT BONE!!! PLEASE!!! PLEASE!!! PLEASE!!! 🙏🏻🙏🏻🙏🏻🙏🏻

Abriel post-op this month

THIS IS NOT OKAY. CHILDHOOD CANCER IS NOT OKAY. Please, like Abri’s family, I’m begging you: Take ACTION:

  1. PRAY like you have never prayed before– for Abri and for the other 42 children and their families who were diagnosed today.
  2. QUILT Abri is a spunky 9-year old girl who needs a colorful, cheerful quilt. Twin sized would be ideal, so it can brighten her hospital room as she faces the tests and treatment ahead. Please email me at hollyanne (at) quiltsforcure.org if you can send a quilt ASAP.
  3. GIVE Please support Quilts for Cure financially. The money you give provides quilts for kids, helps us spread awareness about childhood cancer, and helps to find a CURE through Cure Childhood Cancer‘s nationwide research programs.
Winning is EVERYTHING. Once again, Abriel is fighting of her life

Share, share, share this. Also, Abri’s family would benefit from a wheelchair that is just her size. If that is something you could provide, so they don’t have to wait months and months on insurance, please email me at the address I mentioned above.

Fight on,

HollyAnne