Wednesday, June 10, 2009

When things work out

Don't you just love it when things work out?

I mentioned that my neighbor has leukemia, right? He's four and is in his second week of an inpatient chemo stint at Children's. I went over to visit last week and found him doing alright (his parents probably in worse shape!) but wanted to check in again. Last week there were about six or seven visitors in the room, and I know after the initial admission visits can taper off.

Besides that, we women (mother, sister, me) had gathered a parcel of gifts to deliver to the sick one, because the best way we know how to help is providing the sick one with material goods, lol. So many hospitals ban flowers and plants and latex these days (understandably) that little gifties are so much better, nevermind hospital "legal."

My sister got two awesome activity books, a lego one and a paper airplane making one, my mother bought a pile of books, some classic children's books (Ricki Tikki Tembo, etc) and activity books and I made a quilt. Actually I made two quilts, one for our little inpatient, and one for his brother. They were pretty easy to make, and I didn't want older brother feeling too left out. Plus the quilts were "I Spy" quilts (pictures soon), so this way, they could actually play "I Spy" together with their own blankets. Hurrah!

Now I can make a quilt up without too much trouble, but I totally admit to being a "lazy" quilter when it comes to finishing. Since I'm so often down to the wire with a gift quilt, the "put the right sides together and flip it out" method is the one I most often utilize, followed by tying, which I admittedly abhor. I don't finish the tops (too scary) and I never bind! I know, slacker!

We-ell I was looking at a particularly awesome quilt my cousin made me for a graduation gift and noticed that she doesn't use batting (partly responsible for my finishing hatred), and instead of a cotton backing, used flannel. I thought about it; warm cozy blanket, not too heavy, easy to put together, and maybe I could even manage to sew the top.

Because it was 1 am when I finally finished these quilts, I did indeed choose the slacker option of sewing the quilt up, right sides together, and turning them inside out....what I did manage to do, however, was sew the top down, because I hate tying (think I mentioned that) and I didn't want the quilt to be too slidey.

Here are the results (I apologize for the craptastic pics):
Here's the first quilt. I love the set up of small and large blocks.
Here are some closeups:As soon as my little neighbor opened the gift he and his mom started playing I spy. It made me happy...

Even though he's home from the hospital now, childhood leukemia patients have anywhere from 24-36 months of treatment ahead of them. I hope that these quilts will be companions during those long days in the pediatric clinic at the cancer hospital. Maybe it will even brighten other kid's days....I can only hope it does.


RecoveringActor said...

What a beautiful quilt. That is one craft I've never picked up, but always wanted to. I have a sewing machine.. I'm just on my super knitting kick.

I'm knitting a chemo hat for my mom's boyfriend right now... he's on his third round of chemo in a year... stage 4 non-hodgskin's lymphoma. super aggressive. in the grand scheme of things, a chemo hat doesn't seem like much... but it's all i can do. if only hats and blankets worked miracles.

Al said...

Thank you! I bet you could pick up quilting in no time if you already have a machine...

My thoughts are with your mom's boyfriend. I'm the project manager of a non-hodgkin's lymphoma research database so while I've never experienced it personally I know how nasty the disease can be. I think something like a hat or a blanket it a lot. I think a gift like that is really special to a patient because its something tangible that they can have with them during hospital visits and treatments that let them know someone is thinking of them. I think sometimes it gives patients something else to think about despite the hustle and bustle of a cancer ward, treatments, needles, etc.

I wish they did work miracles though. We crafters could save the world :-/

Elizabeth said...

You crafters are saving the world. Wrapping a sick person is love and good energy goes so much farther than so many people know. Keep it up! You are doing your part, and doing it beautifully. :)

Al - your quilts are gorgeous! I love the I Spy theme, and that you made one for both brothers. So thoughtful, so sweet. My thoughts are with your neighbors and their son. 24-36 months of treatment is forever to anyone, much less someone who's only 4 years old and his parents. Please tell them that people far and wide (like me) are sending them our thoughts and prayers.