A couple months ago a friend shared the Craft Hope website with her network. Crafters had volunteered to hand make dolls to give away to orphanages in Nicaragua. What does a doll represent to us? An evening? A few hours spent sewing and stuffing? When to these girls, who have no parents, no real hope, nothing truly of their own, gifted hundreds of unique, beautiful, personalized dolls, they represented a piece of love wrapped in flannel and yarn. "I can do that," I thought, and waited for the next Craft Hope project to tug on my heart.
The current project is to create quilts for homeless children in Michigan through Margaret's Hope Chest. These children move from place to place, unsure of where their next meal or next bed will be. If you have young children you know how hard it is for them when they sleep in a new place A quilt represents something permanent, something that is always theirs no matter where they go; a piece of movable home. For many of these children, this will be the only hand made item they have ever had. A quilt? I can do that.
I decided to make two quilts for two little boys. I can't hand quilt them right now because I ruined my wrists last year making a quilt and a few other items by hand (I had to sleep in braces for months) but I can machine quilt them.
When Craft Hope updated that they needed to make sure that some of us were making quilts for 10-12 year old boys, I picked up some more flannel. Three quilts it would be.
These are the pictures of the first quilt for Craft Hope that I made last night, intended for a 3-5 year old boy. The pictures are terrible because they were taken with my phone, but you get the idea. It took me 4 hours from start to finish (including ironing the cleaned flannel, through the binding.) I wanted the cars and trucks to look like they were driving on the horizontal stitches. If I have the time, and my wrists can spare it, I'll use some white yarn to make dotted lines on the 'road' (unless they'll just obscure the print.)
I sewed a tie onto one end so that a child could roll up the quilt and button it for easy transport--and I made it tie loosely, so that some little boy out there can sneak in a few other treasures in his blanket and still have the tie button.
This morning, La Yen sent me a link to Rachel Cox's blog, who is gathering quilts and blankets for children in Appalachia. I immediately decided to split the quilts, sending two, including this smaller one and the one for the 12 year old boy, to Craft Hope, and the other smaller quilt to Rachel.
If you want to make a quilt for Craft Hope, they're accepting them until November 15th, and be sure to subscribe to her blog to be alerted to new crafting service opportunities. Rachel's blog is seeking ongoing donations of blankets, quilts, tie quilts, knitted, crocheted, anything that is machine washable and will keep a baby warm.