Quilting Gallery Blog

It is in giving that we receive… by Melissa Hatheway

Please join me in welcoming today’s guest blogger, Melissa Hatheway as she shares with us her charity quilting projects.

By way of introduction – I am an enthusiast by nature; when I take on something it is whole hog. When I found quilting it was just the greatest happiness – having a creative outlet I can share with others is just a wonderful thing for me! In addition to being a compulsive quilter I do freelance work promoting movies and I bicycle a lot. I am married (30 years in August!) and have four grown children.

It is in giving that we receive…

My absolute favorite type of quilt to make is one to give away to a charity! This way I can follow my fancy, try out new ideas or techniques and help someone.

Our guild has a number of charitable organizations we give to. We have the local homeless shelter for families – all of the children receive a quilt, something of their own. (I volunteer at the shelter and see the quilts "in action"); we make quilts for children that have had to be removed from their homes due to abuse, etc. – these are the quilts that are easiest for me to make, this situation just yanks on my heartstrings! – and finally we make quilts for wounded warriors. The wounded warrior quilts must be in a patriotic theme and red, white and blue – I find it cramps my style but I always participate because these folks serving our country and living in harm’s way need to know we care about them!

The year I scheduled programs for our guild I had representatives from all the groups we support with quilts come speak. What a weep fest – there is so much need and we are doing one part – but there is so much more to do! Last month the coordinator for Wounded Warriors read a letter from a nurse at an army hospital that was giving out the quilts that we made and I was sobbing by the end! I guess we’ve established two things: that it is important to acknowledge others with our talents and that I am easily moved to tears!

I have really enjoyed improvising and making quilts for these groups, especially the children’s home, Valley of the Moon. In this quilt, I took the two center blocks from the castoff table at our guild and built a quilt around them – they were a quilt-as-you-go-blocks which look like trapunto in the completed quilt and only enhanced this project more! This was a fun improvisation.

In my "real" life I promote movies – when the movie Gnomeo and Juliet came out so did Michael Miller’s gnome panels. I just LOVE them – no reason – I just can’t get enough of gnomes so I bought some and used up a bunch of 2" squares I’d over cut for another project to make this quilt that I think would really appeal to a kid!

I enjoy making quilts for high school graduations – it seems like a good time to give a quilt – the recipient will be moving on and what object can help more in a period of transition than a quilt? I have made this quilt called Cabana for a number of graduations – the technique leaves you with lots of half square triangles – which "they" have you use in a pillow, I use them for quilts. I used leftover half square triangles from the Cabana quilt in these two quilts following patterns in Edyta Sitar’s book Friendship Triangles. I love them!

A member of our guild travels and teaches a great deal and, as a result, has a good friend in Tuscaloosa, Alabama. When the horrible tornadoes hit Tuscaloosa she asked us to pitch in with quilts to help. After viewing the complete devastation it was easy to whip out these quilts! In the spirit of learning new techniques, I quilted them myself. Big step for me!

I also find that when I don’t want to start a planned project, making a giveaway quilt whets my appetite for a larger project and sort of limbers me up for another project. I guess I should mention that I also like these projects because they are to be small! Thus, in procrastinating, I am virtuous. Try and refute that logic!

As quilters we have so much to give and do give so often. I love being part of community that expresses itself in giving and in so doing wraps another in love and I am very grateful to Michele and the Quilting Gallery for giving me this chance to expose you to my blog Wide World of Quilting – I hope you will check it out!

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This post was published on June 23rd, 2011. Post topics: Charity Quilting, Guest Bloggers.

One Response to “It is in giving that we receive… by Melissa Hatheway”

  1. Deborah says:

    Even an adult would love that Gnome quilt!! Too cute.
    All of your quilts are lovely. I share the same philosophy in “It is in giving that we receive.” Charity quilts are one of the best ways to share our talents.
    Great job, Melissa!

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