The quilts that we make from this collection will go to three separate programs:
1. Kids of prisoners. This summer and fall we will travel to THREE prison camps and give quilts to approx. 150 boys and girls who have a parent in prison. If you have been reading here for awhile you know that I love these camps and these families. This is a HUGE commitment but one we are confident that we can handle. Currently, we have about 5 boy quilts and 25 girl quilts.
2. Village of Hope in Guatemala. We sent them a group of 20 quilts last year when they opened their new facility. They have now started constructing more buildings to house more precious orphan children who are HIV+. My daughter Anne and I will be traveling to Village of Hope in November for a service project. We would love to give them an additional 20 quilts for these new children.
3. Mitchell's Journey--In July of 2005 Mitchell was diagnosed with Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy, a catastrophic muscle wasting disease which results in progressive muscle deterioration and is fatal by late teens/early twenties. By the age of 10 it was that discovered Mitchell's heart function had deteriorated much sooner than expected. In less than a year he passed away from acute heart failure.
Mitchell's family has asked for quilts to distribute to other children who are in the hospital with heart conditions. We are happy to help this family on their journey to healing and understanding. Here is something Mitchell's mom wrote about their quilt giving on Dec. 24, 2013:
SWALLOWED UP IN SERVICE
On December 24th, just as we were about to spend time at home as a family we delivered some gifts and quilts to Primary Children’s Hospital CICU (the same place that cared for our little boy). Nobody has cardiac failure on their schedule so you almost always end up unprepared to stay there. With that in mind we took some quilts that were donated to Mitchell's Journey and other gifts we gathered along with messages of hope to give to some of the families that found themselves there Christmas Eve.
We would like to involve as many Mitchell’s Journey followers as are interested next year and try to bless as many lives as humanly possible.
These quilts were donated by loving hands and hearts from Pipestone Minnesota. A follower of Mitchell’s Journey, Nichole Rieck, who has since become a dear friend to our family mobilized people in her community to help Mitchell’s Journey last spring and the echo of that effort continued on this day as these quilts found a home and tender hearts to comfort. A few of these quilts were made by Mavis Holt, an 87 year old woman, who hand sewed the most intricate works of warmth and art. Karla Whipple, also from Pipestone, Nichole, and others generously made beautiful quilts and donated them in hopes that it might help.
Our greatest desire was that those who found themselves away from the comfort of home and the flickering light of a fireplace but instead lay under the flashing lights of monitors and endless beeps found a little comfort that night.
As we parked the car and walked to the hospital I found myself struggling to breathe. For a moment it was hard to go back there. Part of me wanted to run down the hall in desperate search of my son. My knees were weak and my heart was racing as my eyes began to swell. Even though it has been almost a year, it felt like we were just there a few days ago. But as we walked toward the building and I saw my wife and kids cheerful and anxious to help others, my tears turned from sorrow to love and appreciation. Suddenly my heart, which moments ago, was heavy as lead became light as snow.
I don’t know many things, but what I do know is our sorrows can be swallowed up in the service of others. The moment we set aside our own hurts to lift someone else, who also hurts, both burdens are made light.
Isn't that beautiful?? We too discovered that our sorrows can be swallowed up in service to others.
So, my friends, we have so much work to do!!! Let's start with these fun and easy HEART projects!!
Project #1--Pixelated Heart. This is one so easy. All you need is lots of squares! My squares were 3 inches but you can choose any size you have handy. I separated the the rows so you can see the pattern in each row. This project can be for a boy or a girl.
|Sorry I didn't trim my threads--I only have so much time each day!!|
Project #2- Be Good to Your Heart Block (by Amy Smart)
This block tutorial on Amy's blog Diary of a Quilter is great. I followed it last night (and this morning) to make this block. * There are many steps and you do need to read very carefully though. *
This makes a 12.5 inch block that I think is just perfect for this project.
These blocks can be boy themed or girl themed. I will be working up a boy themed one tonight just for fun.
Please make as many as you can and send them to us. We will assemble them into tops and finish the quilts off. What a special gift they will make to any of the children listed above.
Share your work with others and encourage them to join in!
Please send all completed blocks and quilts to :
Margaret's Hope Chest
630 Griswold SE
Grand Rapids, MI 49507
Again, we are very thankful for so many who help us to continue our work of serving others. What joy this work brings to us and others. THANK YOU!