Wednesday, January 22, 2014

The Story of the Friendship Star

 As a supporter of Project Linus, the idea of donating handmade 
blankets and quilts to children in need across the US is near 
and dear to my heart. Imagining the power of giving a quilt 
in someone's time of need has fueled me for years, 
and has even inspired me to create and share my own patterns.
A few summers ago I made the two quilt tops shown above,
both earmarked for Project Linus.
Since that summer, they've patiently sat on the back burner
looking just like that. Waiting. You know.
Well, a few weeks ago I felt ready to bring them out, 
finish them up and send them off to Project Linus.   
 As fate would have it, I was first drawn to the Friendship Star quilt.
Just as I was beginning the quilting, however, my dear friend Atu  
fell quite sick and was hospitalized.

It was then that I realized this quilt wasn't 
patiently waiting for me, but for Atu.

Atu loved all the colors of the rainbow, the cosmos, and the night sky.
One of my treasured memories is the peaceful summer night we sat 
in her convertible in the middle of a dirt road in Roslyn, Washington 
and star gazed and talked for hours.

I managed to finish the aptly named Friendship Star quilt, 
in all its vibrant, cosmic glory 
in time to lay it over Atu's lap shortly before she left us. 
Thanks to my dear friend, I now truly understand the power of 
giving a quilt or blanket to someone in need of love and comfort.

If you're looking for ideas to get started on your own quilt(s) 
for charity, here are a few favorites I've made over the years:

Kaffe Fassett's Diamonds quilt (above) makes up fairly quickly 
and beautifully showcases a wide variety of fabrics. 
I could makes these all day long!
Think boys, think girls, teens, toddlers.... 

In the second photo from the top of this post is a quilt top 
and I mostly used Lizzy House's Castle Peeps fabric collection. 
This is my own design, Cartwheels, and the pattern is available for free 
in the right sidebar. It makes up very quickly, and the giant blocks 
leave plenty of room for hand or machine quilting fun! 
I'm currently planning another one with the cartwheels in 
black, gray & yellow fabrics set on a cream background - 
a little more sophisticated for a teenager.
Finally, Storm Clouds, my first go at a scrappy quilt, 
and inspired by a summer thunder storm that rolled through 
our valley. In this previous post you can see three options 
for block settings, each with its own distinct look. I can 
easily imagine this quilt wrapped around someone's shoulders, 
snug as a bug. 

Need more inspiration? 
Find tons of free patterns on the Project Linus website.
It's informative and easy to navigate
You can also locate your nearest chapter.
Whether losing a home to fire, being placed in an orphanage, 
becoming a patient in the hospital or temporarily living in a shelter,
 receiving a handmade quilt or blanket surely puts a smile 
on each child's face. 

If you're planning to sew or knit for Project Linus, 
leave me a comment and let's share the good vibes! 


  1. How very fortunate that you and Atu had each other in your lives. Lovely quilts. Lovely memories.

  2. Thanks, T. I do feel lucky to have had her in my life. While she's in a peaceful place now, she will be greatly missed here.