Nellie"s Needles

Tuesday, November 22, 2005


I make cuddle quilts for children who are ill. Most of them are made as my contribution to the Smoky Mountain Quilt Guild's service project of providing quilts for all the children who come to the Ronald McDonald House in Knoxville, Tennessee. Occasionally, a friend or family member will tell me of a child in their lives who needs the comfort of one of my quilts. Such is the story of the latest one I donated.I make blocks from scrap fabrics when I'm between projects or am stuck in the process of creating one. These 6" scrappy blocks are sewn out of left-over fabrics and trimmings from my other projects and those of friends who've given me what they would normally discard. They're fun to make and I like to imagine a child exploring and discovering little treasures of color and pattern ... that this would be a distraction from their pain or circumstances.
The story of this quilt began with my making up a bunch of these blocks on a Sunday in late September ... just because. Later that day my sister telephoned and said, " I know of a young boy who needs one of your quilts. He's a student of my daughter out in California." I believe in serendipity ... that I had already begun making this quilt for that particular child.

I just received a thank you letter from my neice. She enclosed a photo of the quilt surrounded by the classmates of the little boy who got the quilt. The children sang spiritual songs and prayed for Daniel while holding hands around the quilt.His mother wrote, "Daniel was thrilled and amazed at the stitching that went into the blanket. It came at an opportune time as he was hit by a wave of nausea and was feeling quite lousy. The blanket gave him something to cuddle up with afterward."

His grandmother (and day companion) wrote: "Thank you so much for thinking of Daniel and for brightening his life with this beautiful quilt. He keeps it in the living room where he spends a great amount of time and enjoys snuggling under it."

Daniel wrote to my neice:
I love that picture he drew ...that big happy, toothy smile. I'm thankful that my creation has given Daniel some comfort and a bit of diversion from his illness and chemotherapy.

Each quilt I make for these children is a form of prayer for me. A prayer of thankfulness for my having had healthy children and gratefulness for the good health of my grandchildren.

1 comment:

Elaine Adair said...

Oh my, Nellie, such a dear story. How rewarding to actually receive a letter/photo from the recipient.