Friday, October 1, 2010

Quilt for a cause!

A few weeks after finding out about my own cancer deal, I was on Babycenter (a website for mommies). They have a lot of different groups for common interests such as birth clubs for your baby, or my personal favorite- a crafting and sewing group!  I have gotten a lot of neat ideas and inspiration from the ladies over there and then I read about a 14 year old girl name Olivia.

This is the original post:
Yes, it is odd to make a 'lovie' for a 14 yo girl, but this is a special girl who found on on Friday that she has a cancerous mass around her knee, and started very aggressive chemo therapy on Monday, after having surgery to put in 2 ports in her chest.

She has a very long road ahead of her and I want to make her something that she can take back and forth with her to hold onto when she is having a bad day. She was told to expect her hair to fall out so I will probably make some fleece hats for her when it gets a little colder out.
We have our house on the market to sell, so I don't want to get a ton of sewing stuff out that will take a lot of time to clean up if we have a showing.
And if any of you are the praying type, please pray for Olivia.

I read this on a Wednesday and I was going to be out for my own surgery starting on Friday, but I knew I had to do something! I replied saying that I was touched by this and wanted to make something for her. I asked Debbe (the person who posted) what the teenager liked and *shocker* the response was TWILIGHT!! (with the caveat that she did NOT like Jacob! But, um he's the hot one!!! I digress..). I am a teacher and have a huge network of other teachers and people in the district available via a virtual "bulletin board", so I posted that I was in search of Twilight t-shirts that would be used for a quilt for Olivia, but that I needed them by Friday! I was impressed with the responses I received and ended up collecting six shirts! Some of them even came from students in the district! Amazing!
I went home and found a large piece of black fleece that I could use for the back of the blanket and hadn't yet decided what I would do for the borders. I packed up the shirts and fleece along with my hospital bags and "after hospital" bag that would be taken out to my parents house where I would be for a few days after I was released from the hospital. I had my surgery on Tuesday and was at my parents from Thursday evening until Sunday. I managed to get the shirts cut apart, laid out in a design that would work for the blanket, and then sewn together. I also made one of the shirts into a pair of yoga pants following this tutorial. I finished up the blanket after I got home and was able to get into my fabric stash and figure out what I was going to use for my borders. I found a mustardy colored fleece that I think coordinated well with some of the colors in the t-shirt graphics. I am super pleased with the final product, but I learned a big lesson when making this! I should have treated it like a quilt and pinned the heck out of the sucker!! There is some bunching on the back, but it doesn't affect the purpose or function of the blanket and hopefully Olivia won't mind!! At least the front looks fab! :)

Here it is- all laid out on the floor of my mom's sewing room. All of the fabric here (besides the fleece back) is from the t-shirts. I cut them up and used as much as I could!

Here we are on the floor of my 2-year old's bedroom with the top and bottom border added.

Side borders have been added. I ended up having to trim down the side borders because um.. it was bigger than the back  of the blanket. Totally should measure the back of the blanket to make sure it is squared up *before* making the front! Just sayin'..

It is all pinned and ready to be sewn!

VIOLA! There she be! Team Edward... and stuff!

 Here's the super awesome and amazingly comfortable yoga pants from a t-shirt!

I received the following message from one of Olivia's sisters. THIS is why I took the time to do this. Reading this letter brought tears to my eyes. I hope Olivia loves this and that it can bring comfort to her during this difficult time.

Tracy, My name in Erin and I am the oldest sister of Olivia to whom the blanket is for. I can not begin to tell you how much I appreciate you and what you are doing for Olivia. Olivia LOVES Twilight and when Debbie first told me that she had a friend who could make this kind of thing, I didn't realize she meant right away. She told me about your cancer and b/c I see what Olivia is going through everyday, I didn't think this would have been something you could feel up to doing now. Words can not decribe how perfect the blanket is and she will just be as blown away as I am. I want to thank you from the bottom of my heart for making the blanket and pray that our Lord will help you to heal quickly. If there's anything I can do, I know Debbie said you don't want payment, but maybe a donation??? I would be more than willing. Neither Olivia or our parent's know about this b/c I didn't realize how quick it would be so they will be so happy. thank you once again and know that you will be in my heart and prayers. Sincerley, Erin

FYI- I did not, and will not, accept payment for this. Thinking about and working on this blanket was therapeutic for me and I enjoyed it, every step of the way!

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