August 30, 2014

Quilting in Paisley

There is a very special little girl far, far away.  She has a some very special people waiting for her to come and be part of their family.  They are preparing to make the long journey to give her the one thing every child needs.  While their suitcases will be overflowing with clothes, supplies and gifts, the greatest thing they will take with them is love.  This precious girl is very sick and before she ever sees her new home she will go to CNMC where she will spend a long time receiving medical care unavailable to her now.  Medical care which will give her a chance at life she would not have otherwise. 
I wanted to give her something special to help her be comforted during all these transitions and trials.  My kids love the quilts I made them.  When Addison was born everything was so unsure and so confusing.  Allen had gone home to check on the other children at one point.  I felt so alone and confused and unsure.  As I was trying to think of what to make for this precious baby I remembered the wonderful comfort when I cuddled with Addison under his quilt.  During the very long night we were in the hospital last month the only thing I wanted was Addison's quilt.  It was so cold and it was scary and as he laid on the bed I just wanted to tuck that warmth and comfort around him. 
It seemed like the perfect gift.  But really I didn't see anyway I could do it before they travel in September.  I do almost all my quilting by hand.  And it normally takes me about 9 months to finish a quilt.  But still I mentioned it to the girls.  And they said you have to do it.  You could do it. I pointed out I don't have time to shower many days right now.  And it would be really stressful trying to get it done in time.   We tossed around the idea if we did the stitching and quilting by machine maybe I could finish it in time.  But not really.
But God really wanted this to happen. 
Just to prove we couldn't do it, I sketched out a design.  Everyone loved it.  It could seriously take me months to find the fabrics I get in my mind.  And I couldn't be hanging out in fabric stores and risk picking up something that could make Addison sick.  Just out of curiosity, I did a search.  And within 10 minutes I had found exactly what I was looking for online.  Time was important so I knew shipping wasn't going to be a possibility.  When we called Joann's to see if they had what I was looking at online they said no.  Which seals the deal right?  Except, Allen was traveling that day.  And it just so happens he was passing by a store that had exactly what we needed.  We explained our situation.  They gathered up the materials we needed and cut the fabrics so Allen just needed to stop and pick it up.  Within hours of concept we were cutting out the applique. 
Even Carmella and Elisabeth helped by pulling stitches through
Enter the troops.  I typically do all my quilting by myself.  For one thing, my girls have never been into it.  For another this is my outlet.  My artwork. And I am not usually in a hurry. It's just something that occupies my hands and keeps my joints limber during the winter months.  I told the girls we would all have to work on this if it was to be finished on time.  
And just in case, God sent reinforcements. 
Way back at the start of summer our friend Julianne had booked a trip to spend a few days visiting with us.  We debated cancelling but in the end we knew it would be worth the risk for moral.  We were really looking forward to seeing our friend but kind of bummed we weren't going to be able to do any of the things we had been looking forward to all summer.  It was pouring down rain which is not even good for hanging out by the pool. 
But it is perfect for a quilting bee. 
Taking turns quilting and cooking dinner.
Even though we said we would attach the binding on the machine we decided to do it by hand.  We ended up spending the better part of several days gathered around the quilt.  Even in the van on the way to and from the airport. 
It was simply divine.  All we really wanted to do was talk anyway.  As always God knew just what we needed.  We set out to do something for someone else but it we were the ones who received the blessing.  It was awesome to feel like we were doing something useful.  It was awesome to think outside of our own trials.  It was awesome to work on something creative.  And all the chit chat was very therapeutic.  I seriously couldn't think of when we've had such a great weekend. 
I couldn't do it.  But God made it happen.  I had planned on delivering the quilt when we went to CNMC on September 4th for Addison's MRI.  We lost a week when his test was moved up to August 28th.  And still it was finished.
Ta Da!
We chose this fabric to reflect her name, Paisley.   
And added heart appliques because it is her very special, very sick heart which brought her to a forever family.
And then we added embroidery and applique to show the journey she will take from the Hunan province of China to her family here in Maryland.
 We ended with a satin binding because Carmella loves the satin on her lovey. 

Oh, and in the end, we couldn't resist.  We had to hand quilt the paisleys.  Unless you are a quilter you probably wouldn't notice the quilting.  But this is my very favorite part.  As I started each new one I prayed for a specific need for Paisley and her family.  I like to think there are prayers quilted in each stitch.

You can meet this special girl and learn more about her journey at The Crafty Nester.  Please pray for Paisley. For the family waiting for her. For the family who had to part with her. For those who have cared for her in China. And for those who will be tending to all her medical needs here.   I am so grateful to Josh and Joanna and the example they set by following God's will with total faith to carry out his command to love the orphans, care for the sick and give shelter to the homeless.

How has God called you to step out of your comfort zone to carry out His will, to show His love to the world or share the scriptures with the lost?


  1. This quilt is just beautiful and so very special!!

  2. That is a beautiful quilt and it's a beautiful thought behind it.